Sep 5 2014
The Golden Circle, What’s Right? Simon Sinek video

What’s Right with Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle comprised of What, How and WHY?

Golden CircleThe Golden Circle is a communication tool that reveals a simple but dynamic organizational system.

The Golden Circle by Simon Sinek has become very popular. His TED talk, How Leader’s Inspire Action is number 2 in terms of the most viewed TED Talks. The talk comes from his book Start With Why. The TED 18 minute talk takes about 1/3 of that time to clarify his Golden Circle. The Golden Circle is basically a graphical presentation explaining “Why” we should Start with Why when explaining what we do. The Golden Circle leads to better communication and results in more sales to the right market for your product.

The following video is a clip from Simon’s TED talk where he explains his Golden Circle.

At least one author makes a case that the starting place is really Who, not Why. We will get to that in a moment so you can decide where the best place is to start.

What is The Golden Circle?

The Golden Circle reveals that our individual life, as well as small and large businesses, businesses, are built on What, How and Why. As the Golden Circle chart shows most companies start on the outside and work toward the middle. By starting with What and How we areThe Golden Circle presenting benefits, features and figures. Not the most inspiring of conversations.

However, Simon’s theory is that the reverse is much more effective. On the Golden Circle start in the middle and work to the outside. A sound Why presentation inspires like-minded buyers.

“Why” conversations are inspirational. This can be seen  at an early age, even as a child learns how to talk. What is THE favorite most voiced question in a young child’s vocabulary? Is it not . . .  WHY? Why is that the case? Because they are inspired to get answers to their questions, and to their problems.

“Why”, when it is properly presented, defines a purpose or a cause and is a belief statement. Such a statement can be inspiring. At the very least it draws an agreement or a disagreement. Simon Sinek’s research, grounded in biology shows that, “people The Golden Circledon’t buy what you do, they buy Why you do it.”

Major Management Key – The Golden Circle!

When managing people Simon counsels to use a constant flow of “Why” conversations. People work harder for a believe than they will for anything else. There are many other benefits when starting our managing and marketing conversations from the viewpoint of Why. They include:

  1. A deeper perspective and understanding of what we do.
  2. Our services, or product, becomes more marketable as people tend to buy a properly presented why more than what we do.
  3. We typically have a great deal more passion for what needs to be accomplished every day.
  4. A well-defined WHY can lead to more enjoyable work.

What’s Right With The Golden Circle?

The starting place is Why. When a company comes up with an idea for a service and or a product they typically do so in order to solve a perceived problem. Solving problems is The Golden Circlesteeped in Why. Otherwise there is no need to solve it.

Why is involved in writing a book or building a new product to meet a need. It is the Why that then drives a number of issues including what we do and how we do it.

Why also drives who our target market is. When a “Why” is presented as a belief statement, the market, or, Who will buy is readily determined. The market place is defined by the “Why” as those who believe in unison with those making the statement. Who is not the starting place. Why is the best starting place.

Why drives where we set up business and where we market our product. And Why drives the when issues including when we engage in various aspects of marketing. To keep things simplified and understandable Why, How and What might be enough to handle.

As per the Golden Circle when the why, purpose, belief statement is stated first it inspires decisive action. That coupled with features and benefits can make for a very effective presentation. Who will buy? The market is defined by the Why belief statements as the Golden Circle starting point.

The following video is Simon Sinek’s TED talk in the Puget Sound, Washington. If you already viewed the video above start at the 6 minute point.


What Is The Golden Circle? The Golden Circle is made up of 3 parts.

  1. Why is the belief portion of the Golden Circle.
  2. How relates to the action needed to activate the Why.
  3. What is the results of the above.

Start With Why for best results!

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About Joe Voutour

Joe Voutour now lives in Arizona via the Seattle WA area. He has an BA in Psychology and a Masters in Business. Joe is retired from his Life Insurance and Financial Planning career. Joe speaks, teaches and loves writing articles focused on helping people think about various businesses and other issues. His writing includes business reviews, economics, Christianity and other subjects of interest. Joe and his bride, Shirley, live in the White Mtns. region of AZ. Joe Voutour is a Founding Member of Vertical Rising.