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The Golden Circle

Consciously or not, the leaders who truly inspire people do so by following a naturally occurring pattern that Simon calls The Golden Circle.

The Golden Circle provides compelling evidence of how much more we can achieve if we start everything we do by first asking a simple question: “Why?”  

It finds order and predictability in human behavior. Put simply, The Golden Circle helps us understand why we do what we do.

The Golden Circle can be used as a guide to vastly improve every aspect of your business or organization—from leadership and hiring, to product development, sales, and marketing.

It even explains loyalty and how to earn more. And it all starts with WHY.

The Golden Circle

Consciously or not, the leaders who truly inspire people do so by following a naturally occurring pattern that Simon calls The Golden Circle.

The Golden Circle provides compelling evidence of how much more we can achieve if we start everything we do by first asking a simple question: “Why?”  

It finds order and predictability in human behavior. Put simply, The Golden Circle helps us understand why we do what we do.

The Golden Circle can be used as a guide to vastly improve every aspect of your business or organization—from leadership and hiring, to product development, sales, and marketing.

It even explains loyalty and how to earn more. And it all starts with WHY.

Let’s define the rings of The Golden Circle, starting with WHY (of course!) and moving outward.

Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do what they do. When Simon asks WHY, he’s not referring to making money—that’s a result. Your WHY is your purpose, cause, or belief. WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care about the work you do?

When most organizations or people think, act, or communicate, they do so from the outside in (from WHAT to WHY). We say WHAT we do, we sometimes say HOW we do it, but we rarely say WHY we do it. But the WHY is the most crucial part of any endeavor or communication.

For example, the WHY of The Optimism Company is to inspire people to do the things that inspire them so that, together, each of us can change our world for the better.

Companies and people know HOW they do what they do and can typically communicate these processes clearly. HOWs are often utilized to explain that a product or service is better than a competitor’s—but HOWs can be so much more than that.

Our HOWs are the actions we take when we are at our natural best and are living out our WHY. It’s HOW you bring your WHY to life that makes you and your company unique. As a result, the combination of your WHY and HOWs is like your organization’s fingerprint.

Revisiting our example, these are the HOWs of The Optimism Company: keep our offerings simple, adopt an infinite mindset, try to see things from unconventional perspectives, and always find the silver lining.

Every single company and organization on the planet knows WHAT they do. This is true no matter how big or small, and no matter what industry. Everyone is easily able to describe the products or services a company provides or the job function they have within that system. WHATs are easy to identify and important to have, but are less impactful than the WHY.

To round out our example, the WHATs of The Optimism Company are our classes, courses, keynotes, podcast episodes (and so much more) that encourage people to learn and grow their human skills of leadership, communication, and trust.

The inspired leaders—every single one of them, regardless of their industry—think, act, and communicate from the inside out.

People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.

Want to see the TED Talk that started it all?
Check it out here:

Get into The Golden Circle

Here’s a downloadable packet to help you better understand the elements of the Golden Circle and how they can help you unlock your potential.

Start your journey to discover your WHY with one of Simon’s Master Trainers.

Simon will be your video guide as you work through The Golden Circle to find your purpose.

An inspired team is a limitless team, and we can make it happen with a private class taught by one of Simon’s Master Trainers.

Interested in bringing The Golden Circle to your whole company?

Contact our Experiences Team to book an unforgettable in-person or virtual event.

FAQs

Simon wrote Start with WHY in 2009. He is the author of five books, including Leaders Eat Last (2013) and, most recently, The Infinite Game (2019).

Start with WHY was born out of pain. Simon lost his passion for his work…which was disconcerting, to say the least. He didn’t want to go to work any more. He no longer found joy in the thing he had been doing for years. Learning about starting with WHY changed all that. This simple idea completely transformed his life and his career in ways Simon could not imagine. He knew he had to share it with as many people as he could, and talk about it with whomever would listen.

Start with WHY is divided into 3 parts and 14 chapters. On average, Start with WHY takes 3-5 hours to read depending on your reading habits. We also offer at-a-glance materials to help you grasp the concepts of The Golden Circle on our Resources page. 

There are three components of The Golden Circle: WHAT, HOW, and, most importantly, WHY.

Our WHYs are an articulation of who we are.

For most, a good WHY statement is simple, easy to understand, and reflective of the person to whom it belongs. The WHY statement should not include WHATS (the tangible things we do/job titles/etc). It should embody who you are in every facet of your life, not just work.

We recommend that you read Start with WHY before you read Find Your WHY. Find Your WHY is the companion workbook to Start With WHY and came out numerous years after Start with WHY was published.

Start with WHY was written for anyone looking for a deeper sense of purpose in their work. Whether you are marketing, retail, anything between, or anything beyond, we all have a WHY that gives our lives meaning and fulfillment.

We believe everyone should find their WHY, so we have created a few ways to help.
    1. Start with WHY Live Online Class: You can join us in our Live Online Classroom as one of Simon’s Master Trainers guides you through a tried and tested process that will help you find a first draft of your WHY statement
    2. Find Your WHY On-Demand Course: Want to find your WHY at your own pace? With Videos of Simon as your guide, this on-Demand course will take you through the steps of drafting a WHY statement. All you need is a partner and an open mind! 
    3. One-on-one WHY Coaching: Serious about finding your WHY? You can even book a private session with one of Simon’s Master Trainers to dive deep and explore what your WHY means to you.
    4. Start with WHY keynotes, workshops, or private classes: Want to inspire the whole company? Get in touch with our Experiences Team to kickstart your team’s WHY journey.

Unleash Your Infinite Mindset

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The Art of Creating Fiercely Loyal Customers

Quantity: 1 quantity = 1 team of up to 20 participants

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For teams of 20+ contact us

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Purchase: $999

The Art of Creating Fiercely Loyal Customers

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Buy Unleash Your Infinite Mindset and The Art of Building Fiercely Loyal Customers together for only $1,198.

Curiosity is essential
                for progress.
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We fully agree, so we like to reward curiosity.
Use code GETCURIOUS for 20% off your next purchase.

A spark is something quite small and, by itself, not very powerful. But a spark has the ability to ignite. An idea is like a spark; alone it is just a set of words, but it too can ignite. A great idea can inspire others to dream bigger. Let us all work together to ignite something greater than ourselves.

Let us all be a Spark of Optimism.