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Leadership in Business: The Why

Updated: Apr 27, 2021

Written By: Samuel Jha

When we think about leaders, we think about presidents, military generals or a person you've always looked up to. We also remember Chief Executive Officers of several companies or startups all around the world, and leadership in business truly reflects the impact of leadership in driving the world through innovation and a sense of culture for all their stakeholders.

It is important to understand the difference between leaders and managers first. Managers deal with specific tasks, they bring their expertise to manage their subordinates and work to achieve a project or goal in the best possible manner. Leaders on the other hand serve to inspire and make people share the same vision as them. They play a crucial role in carrying the organisation forwards, in terms of its long term goals and the long lasting impact they wish to make.

The why, the what and the how are small questions everyone asks for their daily tasks and in almost everything they do. Out of this, Simon Sinek, a british-american author, emphasizes the importance of “why” as a question and its cascading effect on all decisions leaders and organisations make to inspire action and repeat success. He did this through his book, Start with why, a global bestseller.

Simon stressed the importance of sharing the why to inspire others and make them see the goals a leader wishes for, envision the same aspirations and desire the same impact. This applied to both customers and employees, and to avoid “manipulations” of marketing tactics, increased pay, incentives or discounted products. He talks about the positive and effective impact of creating value and a sense of trust between employees and customers with a certain brand or organisation. He considers this tool as the main reason for repeat customers, loyalty and repeat success. One of the main highlights is the concept of the golden circle: a pattern or a ratio to motivate and understand human behavior. It truly is a practical application to improve leadership and create loyalty. It focuses on communicating from the inside out of the circle, from the why to the what; with the why stating the cause, belief or purpose and the what acting as tangible proof for the why.

The why should be kept intact to prevent it from going blurry and to constantly push for inspiration and original innovation. Organisations that just ask the question of “what should we do?” is not enough, both the why and what should be asked, considered and implemented in tandem when making a decision to have the maximum impact.

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