How Great Leaders Inspire Action

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Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?” His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers — and as a counterpoint Tivo, which (until a recent court victory that tripled its stock price) appeared to be struggling.

Simon Sinek

Beginning as a student in anthropology, Simon Sinek turned his fascination with people into a career of convincing people to do what inspires them. His earliest work was in advertising, moving on to start Sinek Partners in 2002, but he suddenly lost his passion despite earning solid income. Through his struggle to rediscover his excitement about life and work, he made some profound realizations and began his helping his friends and their friends to find their “why” — at first charging just $100, person by person. Never planning to write a book, he penned Start With Why simply as a way to distribute his message. Sinek also contributes to several efforts in the non-profit sphere: He works with Count Me In, an organization created to help one million women-run businesses reach a million dollars in revenue by 2012, and serves on the Board of Directors for Danspace Project, which advances art and dance. He writes and comments regularly for several major publications and teaches a graduate-level class in strategic communications at Columbia University.

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