How Great Leaders Inspire Action

This week, I watched the TED talk, How Great Leaders Inspire Action by Simon Sinek. He is the author of Start With Why. The message of his talk aligns exactly with the title of his book. He asserts that successful companies not only understand why they do what they do, but also they successfully communicate that why to both customers and prospects. He suggests that it is the “why” that attracts and causes changes in behavior.  He uses Apple as example which is appropriate since he is talking at a technology conference and most people are familiar with Apple.

What I liked about his talk was that he did not use PowerPoint and instead chose to support his  points with simple hand drawn graphics on a flip chart. I also felt his use of repetition clearly emphasized his point. He said, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it” ten times during the talk to drive home his main point.

I also liked that he used the rule of three consistently throughout the talk. When you watch, listen for that. I like that he used am extended example by using Apple, Martin Luther king, and the Wright brothers.

However, I think he needed a stronger opening. I would have told him to start off by asking, “What do apple, Martin Luther king and the Wright brothers have in common? then pause and say, “They all think, act, and communicate the exact same way …and it’s exactly opposite of everyone else.” He would then go on to the other things he said…I think this would have have engaged the audience more and gained attention more quickly.

Finally, I would have suggested he incorporate more of himself… He mentioned this impacted him significantly but he never shares exactly how. This would have made his message more meaningful and helped the audience to imagine how they might apply this in their life.

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Copyright Lisa B. Marshall ©2012-2016. All Rights Reserved. Photo of Lisa B. Marshall by Joan Ford Photography.