“This is the importance of having vision in the world”: Simon Sinek on the key principles in building a truly successful company

On Monday’s ‘Glenn Beck Program’, author Simom Sinek joined Glenn to discuss his theory behind ‘the golden circle’ and his book Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t.

“There’s a new era coming and things aren’t going to be the same, at least if you want to be successful,” Glenn said introducing Sinek.

How is one successful? In his book, Sinek details examples where companies transcend doing what is legally required and do what is morally right. He told Glenn the story of the Titanic, where the law only required that there be enough lifeboats for a quarter of the passengers on board. What happened? The Titanic hit an iceberg and 75% of the people onboard died because the owners decided to do what was legally required, not what was morally right.

Sinek also discusses companies that are culturally weak because they treat people as a disposable resource. Take a company that undertakes mass layoffs as a means of balancing the books.

“Now, forget about the people who have lost their jobs. Think about the people who kept their jobs. Think about the environment that that creates that every single person comes to work every single day knowing that they are disposable if the company doesn’t make its numbers. And what that does to us biologically, it actually makes us paranoid, cynical, mistrustful, and self-interested. And this is what you start to see in a lot of these organizations where self-interest trumps altruism or just service,” Sinek said.

So what is a business supposed to do when it is trying to find the balance between financial solvency and accomplishing its larger goals?

“This is the importance of having vision in the world, which is when we know what we’re building towards, we understand that every single sort of quarter or year is purpose built. It’s in pursuit of, in service to, this higher purpose or higher calling or this greater vision that we have. Absent of vision, the only thing that we can see are the quarterly or the annual numbers, so we work towards the thing we can see,” Sinek explained.

Coming back from a break, Glenn asked Sinek to talk about his past work and the importance of businesses finding their “Why” rather than a profit.

“What should your expectation be if it is to really change the world? Why is that better than somebody who would say to you to create this widget and make a bazillion dollars?” Glenn asked.

“Money is always a result, and the fact of the matter is as human beings, we want to feel like we belong to something bigger than ourselves. And what we find is that the greatest leaders are actually the best followers because as leaders, they see themselves in service to a purpose or a cause or a belief larger than themselves. And so all of their behaviors and all of their decisions are guided by this cause that they’re on, this pursuit, this journey. And so starting with why is an essential component of leadership because it’s the reason we would show up in the first place,” Sinek said.

Watch the full interview below:

Part 1:

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Part 2:

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  • Deckard426

    Sinek’s Golden Circle (Why, How, and What) attempts to explain the rationale for productivity. Why: is concerned with motivation or cause. How: deals with the process or value. What: outlines the product or services. Lost in the shuffle, and unexplained, are such manufacturing failure as Just-In-Time-Shipping. JITS being the quintessential element of manufacturing that is supposed to create enough to meet demand, without creating a surplus in advance of need. God forbid anybody carry an INVENTORY! As a result, manufacturers must assemble products without regard for quality, because they have no inventory to draw from, should a supplier provide out-of-spec parts. Virtually all of the automakers are now recalling millions of cars and trucks that were assembled with defective parts, because they could not shut down production lines to wait for good parts.

  • Anonymous

    Sinek seems quite idealistic. I’ve been in business long enough to know that the bigger companies are, the more evil is motivated by power and profit. In my business career I’ve learned that managers will make unethical but legal decisions for profit and power. As an organization grows its influence with resources such as it’s own team of lawyers, it will push the boundaries of the law, crush weaker businesses or people in its path and purchase the political system. This is what’s happened in investment banking and corporate America. Regulate them.

  • Anonymous

    Glenn Beck is such a flopper just last year he was on the side of the big cooperation which don’t care about there employees. Now he saying that cooperation should follow the bible. lol

  • Anonymous

    There have been problems in the past and there will be some in the future. However, there are many tools to avoid this in the LEAN, SIX SIGMA, etc., world and there are very few major faults in companies that employ such. They drive out inefficiencies as well as waste and error.

  • http://www.patriotwood.com Art Pinney

    What about hard work and customer satisfaction. In our business it’s all about the customer – period. http://patriotwood.com

  • Deckard426

    Untrue. Rank and file do quality checks that uncover out-of-spec parts, but management ships them anyway, because of the pressure to meet production goals. All shops do this.

  • Raz Matazz

    By assaulting private property, collectivism channels our aggressive instincts outward, resulting in modern-day systems of masters, serfs, and plunder — more commonly known as socialism, communism, and the welfare state.