Leveraging Sinek's Golden Circle: Part 1

Common Thread Collective

by Common Thread Collective Collaborator

Mar. 13 2019

What does CTC have to do with a lion and an ice cream truck? In this short blog post, you will learn exactly that.

Anyone familiar with Simon Sinek will know his concept of the Golden Circle:

Essentially, most companies pitch “what” they do, but the best companies work backwards, building their foundation on the “why” before explaining the “how” and “what.” Why is this so effective? People buy into why you do what you do, not what you do.

This principle applies on an individual level as well, and has the power to drastically alter your mindset towards your goals.

Raise your hand if you know what your goals are.

Great, me too.

Keep your hand up if you know how you plan on accomplishing your goals.

If you put your hand down, no sweat. Part II of this blog series will focus on the “how.”

Keep your hand up if you know why it is important to accomplish your goals.*

*Unacceptable answers include: “because it’s my job”, “because my boss told me”, and “because I’ll be fired if I don’t.” Sure, a pink slip hanging over your head will probably get you to the finish line, but it won’t be the reason why you tackle your goals with ferver and purpose.

Is your hand still raised? Not likely. The good news is, you are not alone. As Simon pointed out, neglecting the “why” is an all-too-common error. Now that you’ve been made aware, it’s time to lay a sufficient foundation.

When it comes to goal setting, you have a much better chance of accomplishing more work more quickly if you have a clear understanding of why your effort is worth it. What is your personal buy-in? What satisfaction or reward can you glean from accomplishing this project? Identifying potential rewards to be earned, instead of focusing on dooms-day “what ifs,” will realign your mindset to view the effort going into your goal as positive.

Negative-focused motivator: “If I don’t accomplish this project on time, my supervisor will be disappointed in me.”

Positive-focused motivator: “If I accomplish this project ahead of schedule, I can prove to my supervisor that I am successful at time managing.”

Think of it this way, if one man is running towards an ice cream truck and another man is running away from a lion, they both get the same workout, but I guarantee you one is enjoying his life significantly more.

Time for a real life example...

One of my goals for the first quarter is to build out a training for Google Suites (aka, my nemesis). Is it my favorite way to spend an hour of my day?

Ha, good one.

But! I have identified three “whys”/personal benefits that keep me motivated to achieve my goal:  

  1. I know that once I have built this training, I will be entirely familiar with every aspect of Google Suite, therefore, making me more efficient while working on other tasks
  2. It will move me closer to qualifying for a quarterly cash bonus
  3. Having all the CTC Rookies watch these training videos will be the closest I ever get to being a reality TV star

In summary, make Simon proud by ensuring that your goals include a “why.” Bonus points if that “why” has a positive orientation that will remind you what you have to gain in accomplishing the goal.

You might have to run, but you’ll have a better time if you focus on the ice cream truck ahead of you instead of the lion behind you.

Applebee out.

Common Thread Collective

Common Thread Collective is the leading source of strategy and insight serving DTC ecommerce businesses. From agency services to educational resources for eccomerce leaders and marketers, CTC is committed to helping you do your job better.

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