People Don’t Buy What You Do, They Buy WHY You Do It

Two days ago I created a blog post entitled, "Leadership And Self-Deception And Social Media." In it, I suggested that the thing that separates success from mediocrity "isn’t how we do what we do, but who we are as we do it ... What determines how a brand’s actions create or destroy rapport (in social media) isn’t just what it does -- there is no magic social media 'to do' checklist -- but who the brand is and what it stands for."

Today I had the good fortune to spend 18 minutes with a wonderful TED presentation by Simon Sinek, author of "Start With Why," which shares Sinek's theory of effective leadership. His words are quite inspiring, and the ideas he conveys are so similar to the ones I included in my last blog post that I wanted to share this thoughtful video with you.

Sinek has studied great leaders and notes "All the great and inspiring leaders ... think, act and communicate the exact same way." That's a pretty bold statement, and he illustrates it using companies such as Apple and people including Martin Luther King and the Wright brothers. He notes that great leaders don't work from the outside in but from the inside out -- they start with Why and not What. 

And what does this mean to marketers? Sinek contends (quite convincingly) that great brands do the same. In the end, "People don't buy what you do; people buy why you do it." 

I hope I whetted your appetite to spend 18 minutes with this terrific TED Talk:

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