Written By: Tayllor Lillestol
Edited By: Hina Ali
Over the course of my college career, I’ve had the chance to learn from TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), a global set of conferences that showcase “ideas worth spreading.” I challenge you to listen to a few TED talks and not be amazed at the minds we have leading us into the future.
One of my all-time favorite videos features Simon Sinek, an author and self-described optimist who shares his take on how great leaders inspire action. At the center of his phenomenal presentation is the idea that motivation, or the “why” of doing things, is what makes the most impact.
“People don’t buy what you do.” Sinek says. “They buy why you do it.”
The idea is that most companies and people share their products and ideas by saying what they do, how they do it, and why they do it, in that order. He says everyone knows what they do, some know how they do it, but a rare few actually know why they do it. It’s the motivation behind the action or product that makes the difference, according to Sinek.
He explains that all the great leaders and companies we know and love today think in the exact opposite way. They begin with the ‘why’ and work out to the ‘how’ and ‘what,” and this allows them to have far more of an impact.
I believe Sinek’s assertion that motivation is what makes the difference. Unless you have a valid reason for your actions, something that is moving you forward, you’re just doing things to do them. Motivation can be a powerful tool, especially when combined with passion and a clear vision to back it up. Great leaders inspire by channeling their motivation into a movement for positive change.
The key is finding out what your motivation is, and how to use it. So what’s the motivation behind everything you do, and how do you communicate it to the world?
Watch Simon Sinek’s full TED talk for more inspiration!