The WHY must come before the HOW and WHAT!

20 February 2013

Photo by Jerry Reynolds

I recently came across a TEDtalk called How Great Leaders Inspire Action by Simon Sinek which instantly grabbed my attention. It seemed to help explain some thoughts and theories I’d had of recent but struggled to explain very well, even to myself. I immediately followed on by reading his book on the same topic Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action.

I know the title of this video and his book sounds like one of those typical scam HOW-TO guides that promises to instantly change your world and make you a millionaire overnight. But I assure you this isn’t one of those. I suppose they don’t let just anybody do a TEDtalk.

The idea he presents is that having and knowing your vision either as an individual, a team, or an entire organisation must come first to be successful. Like I said, he isn’t suggesting that this is like instant noodles. He isn’t saying that by merely having a vision, which he refers to as the WHY, will guarantee success. Rather he suggests that given all other factors required for success existing, the reason for failure or average traction around an idea or concept or product, is the lack of vision or belief first. But then this must be reinforced through actions consistently and continually.

I do think it’s totally worth at least watching the video as it’s good food for thought. Simon presents this idea through lots of real examples such as Apple Inc and Martin Luthar King Jnr.

I think what he is saying makes sense. It’s certainly a theory I think I’ve been clutching at for sometime now. And finally I don’t think any harm can be caused by giving this approach a try.


Personal blog by Janaka Abeywardhana. Thoughts on topics other than Software Engineering and Product Management. All of that is over at [janaka.dev](janaka.dev) by Janaka Abeywardhana. On Github, Twitter, and Instagram

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