Why start with why?

Charlotte Thorp’s blog on Simon Sinek’s ‘Start with why’ tells how some businesses are better at building trust than others.

Why start with why?

When starting a new job, you prepare yourself for a variety of things – meeting the team, learning where everything is, getting your first tasks – but being asked to watch a YouTube video as a priority wasn’t in my expectations.

The video began with a man, no older than 40, dressed in a pastel pink shirt that looked about two sizes too big for him, who clearly loved everything he had to say. At this point – I didn’t realise he had every right to.

He began by drawing three circles on a paper flipboard, each inside the one before it. He then wrote three words – what, how and why.

The outer circle was labelled ‘what’ and referred to what a business does. The second circle was labelled ‘how’ and referred to how a business does what it does. The final, inner circle was labelled ‘why’ referring to why a business does what it does.

He called this last, inner circle The Golden Circle.


This Golden Circle was used to explain how great leaders and successful organisations are able to inspire others.

It was explained that every organisation understands what they do, many, but not all, understand how they do it, but few understand why.

This concept of ‘why’ refers directly to your organisation’s purpose – why does it exist and why should anyone care?

How can The Golden Circle help you communicate?

Most marketing and most business communication is driven from the outside in – starting with ‘what’ then explaining ‘how’. They explain what an organisation does, then how that is different or better than anyone else.

But those inspired few who understand their organisation’s purpose, start from the inside out – they start with ‘why’.

Communication that starts with ‘why’ talks directly to the part of the brain that drives behaviour – it inspires people.

The man in the video, Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why, motivational speaker and organisational consultant, explains, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

People place trust and loyalty in organisations that share their values and beliefs.

How can you start with why?

Kinetic’s ‘why’ is all about every decent business deserves to be trusted. As part of that, we’re helping businesses to better understand their own ‘why’.

It gives rise to some interesting conversations – I didn’t expect these so soon either, but variety is what makes our work so exciting.

For help in understanding how you can start with why – get in touch with Kinetic.


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