Friday, 16 December 2011

TEDCEMBER: How Great Leaders Inspire Action

Dan Pink contends that the three key ingredients that motivate people to perform cognitive tasks are autonomy, mastery and purpose. I want to learn more about the purpose motivator, so today have been searching for a TED talk to do just that. My first attempt was a waste of time, the second more interesting but not really what I was looking for, the third, Simon Sinek's "How Great Leaders Inspire Action", was right on the money.

Simon proposes that there is a pattern of communication followed by successful leaders, it's the reason why Apple products are so highly desired and why people were inspired by Martin Luther King. Here's the secret. When marketing our products, ideas or selves most of us start with a description of "what", followed by an explanation of "how" and finishing on "why", e.g.
We make great computers. Our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly. We believe in challenging the status quo and thinking differently.
Want to buy one?
Great leaders inspire us by giving the pitch in reverse.
We believe in challenging the status quo and thinking differently.The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly. We just happen to make great computers.
Want to buy one?
The theory goes that when we pitch a "Why" argument it bypasses the rationalisation part of our brain and gets straight to the part responsible for decision making,  trust and loyalty. When our own views align with of the Why pitch we become pre-disposed to the product. I'm no biologist but this at least passes the sniff tests.

The same argument goes for rallies. People don't go to learn what the speakers have to say, they go for affirmation of what they already believe. Just as those 200,000+ civil rights supporters did from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, we follow leaders when they believe in what we believe.


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