“Leadership requires two things: a vision of the world that does not yet exist and the ability to communicate it.” Simon Sinek, “Start With Why”
There you have it: communication is key to successful leadership. That quote was extracted from the book I selected, “Start With Why.” By Simon Sinek, an optimist and leadership guru, this book takes good leaders to great leaders and non-leaders through the leadership grooming process. Sinek believes that anyone who understands and can communicate the “why” of what they do can be an effective leader.
As this is one of my final blogs for the Humphrey Seminar, I will be talking directly to my classmates. By merit of being in this class, we are all talented communicators. We have journeyed this semester to grow and find a communal and personal understanding of leadership.
As I finished Kevin Cashman’s “Leading from the Inside Out” and Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why,” the pieces fell together. The answer to leadership is something that we—Humphrey Seminar students—already possess: successful communication skills.
I came to this conclusion through Cashman’s “Being Mastery” section and Sinek’s leadership chapters. Cashman said that Being Mastery consists of leading with presence and driving all efforts toward communicating one’s true purpose. In order to reach Being Mastery, one must turn to silence and reflection. “Silence and reflection are actually performance pathways to more expanded vision and more effective, innovative leadership,” Cashman says. Once we achieve Being Mastery, our unconscious competence will become our presence of Being. Then, we can use our confident Being to share our true purpose with the world.
But it’s not enough just to have a charismatic presence. Sinek’s “Start With Why” answers the question that Cashman’s “Leading from the Inside Out” leaves us asking: now what?
Once we achieve Being Mastery, Sinek outlines how to successfully use our persona to share our true purpose. This applies to our personal purpose or to the purpose of our company and organization. Sinek outlines the Golden Circle, which has a ring for what, how and why. Most all companies start explaining their goals from what to how to why. These aren’t the innovative, dynamite companies. Groundbreaking companies like Apple describe their corporations from why to how to what. This is because “people don’t by what you do, they buy why you do it,” according to Sinek.
Once we can use our communication skills to astutely describe our true purpose, the world is ours for the leading. “We are drawn to leaders and organizations that are good at communicating what they believe. Their ability to make us feel like we belong, to make us feel special, safe and not alone is part of what gives them the ability to inspire us.”
My personal leadership plan is to go through Cashman’s Being Mastery exercises and reflect on my core. Then, I will apply Sinek’s Golden Circle tenets to communicate my purpose with my solidified Being. This will be put to use when I am asserting my worth as a potential hire at my imminent graduation in May. This will also be put to use next semester when I am placed in a group in the PR Lab to create public relations campaigns for our client.