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It starts with why

by | Jun 27, 2023 | Change, Integrity, Purpose, Strategic Narrative, Uncategorized, Values


We love Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle and use it as the starting point for developing a strategy on pretty much anything from an overall business plan to program design and workshops and communications and social media etc. We start with “WHY” and then move to “HOW” and “WHAT” and then we add on “WHERE” and “WHEN”.

Here is a bit of background on the theory behind his Golden Circle model.

Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle is a concept he introduced in his book and TED Talk titled “Start With Why.” The Golden Circle provides a framework for understanding the fundamental drivers behind successful individuals, organizations, and movements. It consists of three concentric circles: Why, How, and What.

  1. Why: At the core of the Golden Circle is the question of “Why?” Sinek argues that truly exceptional leaders and organizations start with a clear sense of purpose or belief—why they exist and why they do what they do. The “Why” represents the underlying motivation and values that inspire action and resonate with people on a deeper level.
  2. How: The next circle is “How.” This represents the unique approach or guiding principles through which an organization or individual pursues their purpose. It involves the actions, strategies, and processes that differentiate them from others in achieving their goals.
  3. What: The outermost circle is “What.” This refers to the tangible results or products an organization produces or the services they provide. It represents the visible outputs, such as the products they sell or the tasks they perform.

Sinek’s key proposition is that most organizations communicate from the outside in, starting with the “What” and moving towards the “Why.” However, he suggests that truly influential leaders and organizations communicate from the inside out, starting with the “Why” and moving towards the “What.” By focusing on the “Why” and effectively communicating their purpose, they can inspire others and build deep loyalty and engagement.

The research behind Sinek’s Golden Circle draws on various fields such as psychology, biology, and neuroscience. Sinek highlights the importance of the limbic system—the part of the brain responsible for emotions, decision-making, and behavior—in influencing human behavior and decision-making. He argues that by appealing to the emotional “Why,” leaders can tap into the part of the brain that drives loyalty, engagement, and trust.

While Sinek’s concept is not based on a specific scientific study, it synthesizes research findings and provides a practical framework that resonates with many people, offering insights into effective leadership, communication, and building successful organizations.


Want to know more about how we can help you to find your WHY? Call us on 1300 108 488 or email





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