Simon Sinek is a self-proclaimed unshakable optimist, and even amidst the Coronavirus outbreak, he continues to believe in a bright future and our ability to build it together.
He is probably best known for popularizing the concept of WHY. His first Ted talk has been viewed by over 50 million people and I can still vividly remember the first time I saw it in 2009. I loved the concept of the Golden Circle and thought to myself: “We’ll be seeing more of this guy in the coming years!” As you know, I was right. Since then, Simon has written 5 best-selling books and has become an internationally recognized expert on leadership.
If you are a long-time listener, you’ll notice that I kick off the conversation with Simon differently. Instead of asking my usual question about his early cultural influences, I jump straight into the topic that is currently on everyone’s mind: the current pandemic and the impact it’s had on businesses and teams. We spend a good part of our conversation talking about what he’s observed during the COVID-19 outbreak and how we should be showing up for our teams and our clients during these challenging times.
We also talk about Simon’s books, his WHY, his vision, and organizational culture.
Here are some of the themes that we explored:
- Two primary reactions that people have to the pandemic and how to engage with both
- What is and what is not unprecedented about the COVID-19 outbreak
- The mindset shift that is required to see this crisis as an opportunity
- What makes people capable of extraordinary acts of courage during difficult times
- Building trust when we are being challenged by external circumstances
- What the current crisis revealed about Simon and his team and how they are flexing to the new reality
- What leadership qualities remote working calls for
- The importance of putting ourselves out of our comfort zone
- What infinite mindset is and why we need it now more than ever
- How to balance the short terms needs of the current crisis with an infinite mindset
- Why the most important thing a company has are its values and what to do when they are being challenged
- Characteristics of an environment that will help people move forward and beyond the current crisis
- What to do when you find yourself in an environment that has been locked in a finite mindset for decades
Listen to the interview in the player below or on iTunes. If you like what you hear, please leave a review, and it may be featured in a future episode.
More about Simon Sinek
Simon has devoted his professional life to help advance a vision of the world that does not yet exist; a world in which the vast majority of people wake up every single morning inspired, feel safe at work and return home fulfilled at the end of the day.
He is the author of five books:
- Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, a global bestseller (with over a 1 million books sold in the U.S. alone)
- Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t, a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller
- Together is Better: A Little Book of Inspiration, a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller
- Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team
- And his latest book, The Infinite Game, also a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller
A trained ethnographer, Simon is fascinated by the people and organizations that make the greatest and longest lasting impact in the world. Over the years, he has discovered some remarkable patterns about how they think, act and communicate and the environments in which people operate at their natural best. He has devoted his life to sharing his thinking in order to help other leaders and organizations inspire action.
His interview on Millennials in the workplace broke the internet in 2016. With over 80 million views in its first week, it has now been viewed hundreds of millions times. This led to Simon being YouTube’s fifth most searched term in 2017.
His unconventional and innovative views on business and leadership have attracted international attention. From the airline industry to the entertainment industry, from finance to fashion, from big business to entrepreneurs to police forces, Simon has been invited to meet with a broad array of leaders and organizations in nearly every industry. He has also had the honor of sharing his ideas with multiple agencies of the US government and with the senior-most leaders of the United States Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, Army and Coast Guard. Simon is an adjunct staff member of the RAND Corporation, one of the most highly regarded think tanks in the world. He is also active in the arts and in the non-for-profit world (though Simon prefers to call it the for-impact world).
Books Mentioned in this Episode
Man's Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish