What you believe — your values, your heart and soul — are the key to your why.
Simon Sinek’s famous TED talk, Start With Why is the first place I go when working with clients on product and company messaging. Why? Because most of us naturally think about what we do and how we do it. It takes discipline to get to what really works: why we do it and why the customer needs it. Sinek has helped us all switch to a far more effective approach: Start With Why.
The most powerful way to get to the Why is through our values: who we are, what really matters — what we believe. Here’s a new video with a more developed version of Sinek’s talk. It incorporates a super-important feature that had scant mention in the earlier video: how what we believe connects to customers.
Funny, but I hadn’t really noticed how often he used the word “believe” in the original Start With Why presentation; and since then, I have been noticing how often it comes up in the values statements of the best companies in the world.
In particular, listen at the 4:50 mark as Sinek uses Martin Luther King and others to explain how “we believe” is how you connect to the why. Your values — your beliefs — are what moves you and moves your customers into relationship with you.
“The clearer you are about what you believe, the more disciplined you are in how you do things and the more consistent you are in what you do, everything you say and do becomes a symbol for your values and beliefs.” — Simon Sinek
Every company I work with has heartfelt values, but few have enumerated them — or even discussed them. But most companies are motivated by more than just making money. For instance, my company is here because I believe in startups and entrepreneurs. I believe that bringing them world-class marketing will help them succeed, which makes the world a better place as their great ideas become commercially successful. They do not need a big budget and an expensive marketing executive to have quality marketing. A marketing strategy built on straightforward processes delivers a roadmap that even junior-level marketers can execute.
Those values — my beliefs — translate into my why, and I think all companies benefit from knowing what they believe, and why.