06 Oct Episode 003: Simon Sinek
“Where we find happiness is when we have the opportunity to serve. When we are in our healthiest is when we have the opportunity to look after those in our charge. I think a lot of entrepreneurs like being the boss and like being in control and they forget that it comes off the element of responsibility."
Simon Sinek is an unshakable optimist who believes in a bright future and our ability to build it together.
Described as “a visionary thinker with a rare intellect,” Simon teaches leaders and organizations how to inspire people. With a bold goal to help build a world in which the vast majority of people wake up every single day feeling inspired, feel safe at work, and feel fulfilled at the end of the day, Simon is leading a movement to inspire people to do the things that inspire them.
Simon is the author of multiple best-selling books including Start With Why, Leaders Eat Last, Together is Better, and Find Your Why. He is best known for popularizing the concept of WHY in his first TED Talk in 2009.
In today’s episode, Simon shares how the concept of WHY started, how to utilize the chemicals we produced in our body the right way and his passion for sharing his thinking to help leaders be the leaders they wanted to be.
01:05 – Simon shared his story, how he started his passion of writing his bestseller books and the most important for him rather than the number of the book he sold.
05:03 – The hardest part for him when writing his book.
07:30 – What Simon hopes people would do to work and move forward.
09:15 – How entrepreneurs can utilize the four chemicals produced in our body that reward our behavior on the day to day basis.
12:10 – What the circle of safety is all about.
15:00 – The effects of social media now that creates a huge impact on our lives.
19:00 – Books Simon likes to read and the people whom he is honored to meet during his travels.
22:15 – Rock shares how his community started, how they are accountable with each other, how they are giving back to people and ask Simon what’s his thought about this type of community.
29:20 – Simon’s advice to millennials in dealing with habits and to not be caught up with it and his tips to naturally provoke the chemicals on our body that people can focus on.
34:05 – Simon words of wisdom, “Becoming a parent is a lifestyle, becoming a leader is the same thing, it’s a choice and it’s a lifestyle choice.”
“The CEO is not responsible for the numbers. The CEO is responsible for the people who are responsible for the numbers.” – Simon Sinek
“Your success will grow exponentially when you take care of the people who are responsible for your success.” – Simon Sinek
“Leadership is not a rank it is a choice.” – Simon Sinek
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Why knowing your “WHY” is the key to your success
What is the true meaning of leadership?
How can you make a positive impact in the lives of your team as an entrepreneur
And much more!
Hi, I’m Rock Thomas, the founder of M1. The tribe of healthy, wealthy and passionate people, also known as fulfillionaires. You’re listening to the I am movement podcast where we believe words that follow. I am following you. Join me in the world’s greatest thought leaders as we discussed the power of transformation and making success a part of your identity.
So those of you that don’t know, um, the, the illustrious story of Simon. Simon wrote a great book called Start with Why. And I think that the Ted talk came first. I’m not a hundred percent certain.
Came out at the same time.
Came out at the same time. Okay. And I believe it was the top two Ted talk of all time and I know that I saw years ago and I was moved by, it was very excited when I read the book and uh, just finished reading your second book, Leaders Eat Last of which, wow, what a wealth of research you’ve done, Simon. That’s phenomenal. Where does that appetite come for that deep, deep research?
I mean, I have a curious mind and so, you know, I’m, I’m like a little kid. I want to know why things work. And you start adding questions, you have to start going looking for answers. And every, every door you open has more questions rather than answers.
Very true. Very true. Well I did. I did appreciate that. Reading the book. Now I’m going to ask you a few different questions and some you’re welcome to give short answers. You may not want to answer them all because I’m there. Get some maybe personal and that’s okay. But I’m asking anyway if that’s all right. And it’s kind of two kinds of questions. One is how do we take what you’ve given us as research and make our lives better is where I want to go. And the second part is you as an entrepreneur. So as an example, you, you wrote two books. How many books did you sell? A number one and number two,
Which question do you want me to answer first?
Which, how many books did you sell? I’ll Start with Why and how many of Leaders Eat Last?
I don’t know.
You don’t know? Okay.
I don’t know. And I’m not being evasive. I don’t know. I don’t ask the publisher for the numbers, I don’t really care.
You don’t really care.
I care it, that the message is spreading. And over the long term, the number of book sales matters obviously, but impact matters to me more. You know, I had a meeting at the Pentagon with a general, the three star general and uh, you know, you, you have small talk, you know when you code, when you go to a meeting from the, from the lobby to the office used to go, so how was your trip? So we had, you know, pull away talk and he says to me, um, I had everybody in my office read your book. He says to me, to which my response was my publisher, thanks you. And he was funded. Tell them not to bother. I had them read my copy.
So total impact was huge, but total book sales was only one.
Whereas I go to an event and they give away 500 free copies of my books, total book sales 500. But if everybody uses it as a coaster, the impact is zero. And so that’s, that’s when I learned a long time ago that, that the numbers don’t always align with the impact it does over the course of over the, you know, in the longterm it does. But, uh, uh, and so for me, book sales is actually less, less interesting than the trend that that continues to sell because I don’t really have, I don’t have a publicist and I don’t really do any formal marketing and it’s all word of mouth. And so that to me really matters. So I mean, I, I find out at the end of the year how many books I sold, so I, I can tell you how, how many books, like by December of last year, I know that answer, but I don’t know.
Okay, well go ahead. What does that answer?
It’s, I don’t know, a couple of thousands and like that. I don’t.
Okay. Awesome. I like the answer though. I like the fact that you’re mission driven versus financially driven, which says a lot about the message. I noticed also that you have some sort of seminars or workshops that you do in order to help people find their why and you even have people that you trained to do that. Talk to me a little bit about that.
Yeah, I mean I’m, I, you know, this how the whole thing began. You know, for me, the, it was never an end, a commercial or a academic enterprise, the concept of WHY it was born out of struggle. You know, I lost my passion for what I was doing at a small business and, and I fell out of love with it. And, and it was the pursuit to try and refine that love again, that I discovered this naturally occurring pattern that I call it The Golden Circle. You know, we all know what we do. Some of us know how we do it, but we have to know why we do. We do also. Um, and so that discovery set me on this path and I not only was able to find out how to find my, why, I was able to find that out, how to help others find theirs.
And I would do it for people on the side. And um, and people kept asking me to do it and I kept saying yes and it became an element of the business as well. Um, but obviously it’s not scalable. And so my amazing team took everything I did to help people find their why and they put it on that, that we made, uh, an online course called WHY University, which is on our website startwithwhy.com. I’m really proud of it. They did an amazing job and it really is fantastic for individuals, entrepreneurs to find their why that that’s who it was made for.
Yeah. That’s fantastic. I love the fact behind it because it’s so energy based and energy driven.
By so many people are unhappy with what they’re doing because they’re just trying to make it to Friday night. Um, tell me a little bit about what was the hardest part of writing the books for you?
The writing. I’m, I’m not a writer, you know, I like short form stuff, but for me, writing long form is really hard. It’s like a marathon, you know, you can’t just wake up and do it the next day. It takes, it’s a long, painful process unlike a marathon and there’s a lot of training and pain and anxiety and self doubt and so it’s really hard to, to write a linear treatise about ideas that are often chaotic in my head. You know, it’s you, you can talk about things a lot easier than you can write them.
Did you have a lot of help? Did you have a ghost writer or did you do it?
I just wrote it. I mean, of course I had help. I kind of do, I need these things by myself.
But no I don’t.
So often people, if they knew how difficult things would be, they would never have begun a task. What would you say was one of the things now knowing where you are that had you known how difficult it would be? What would be one of those things?
You know, I, I, the organization of the ideas is really the most complicated part. You can sort of a, it’s sort of a punchline here. It’s often make sure you have an outline. I got an outline. But it really is to organize ideas, you know, in that, in that quantity of pages is, is really, really hard. And you know, most business books I think don’t deserve to be books. They, there is enough content there for sort of a good article, you know, as I’ve just dragged on. And so especially in the second book where there’s, it’s really dense and there’s a lot of stuff it and where you start is not where you went, you know, organizing, organizing that plus it’s about human behavior, which is the messiest subject in the world. And every chapter could’ve been its own book. Um, and so, so that, it just paring down the information, knowing what throw out there was so much stuff that ended on the cutting room floor, that’s really good content that won’t, you know, I have to find out what to do with it another time. But I basically wrote two books.
Absolutely. It was chock-full. I mean, I listened to the audio version as well and I just, as I was listening to it, I’m like, my God, I, I want to take action on this. I want to be able to create my own dopamine and I’ll go for the shortcuts and oxytocin. Yes, I’m in an environment. I just came off of a seminar with 9,000 people. I was a participant this time and they did a great job at creating oxytocin in the room and you can just feel it and see it and people are moved by it and that’s why they keep on coming back.
So a question for you is, with all that information, what is the call to action that me as a reader or as the entrepreneurs on this call, what’s the call to action? You would be most satisfied that people would move toward?
That they committed themselves to doing good for other people. You know, where we find happiness is when we, when we have the opportunity to serve and when we are at our healthiest, it’s when we have the opportunities to take look after those in our charge. You know, and I think a lot of entrepreneurs like being the boss and like being control and they forget that that comes with an element of responsibility. And just as we find it, you know, the, the captain of the Costa Concordia, the Italian ship that ran aground a few years ago, you know, the captain abandoned ship and the coast guard ordered him to get back on board and he said no, and we found that deplorable. You know, and yet we don’t find it deplorable when, when our leaders of our companies abandoned their people that had tough times, they would sooner fire their people than they would sacrifice their numbers, you know, uh, shirking of responsibility equally as deplorable.
They’re a human being that you, you’ve asked them to volunteer, you’ve asked them to join your company to take and you will take charge of their lives if they commit themselves to help you advance your vision. And if through external factors or your own stupid decision making, the company falls on hard times that you would dispense with the people, you know. Um, I find that, I find that pretty gross. So I think this is a great opportunity for every, for every leader to commit themselves to be the leader that they wished they had and commit themselves to take care of the people who were running their businesses and building their dream. The CEO not responsible for the numbers. The CEO is responsible for the people who are responsible for the numbers. And uh, and so if there’s one call to action, it’s, it’s, um, that your own successful will grow exponentially when you take care of the people who are responsible for your success.
Now, when you were doing the research, you came up with, um, four chemicals or drugs that we create in our body that you say drive us and drive us.
They don’t drive us, they reward. They reward our behavior.
Okay, so they reward our behavior. How would an entrepreneur who’s running a small business today, um, knowingly use the information you gave them to tap into that and utilize it on a day to day basis? Can you speak to that for a bit?
Sure. Well, there’s these four chemicals in our body that are the responses that are responsible for their, their internal incentive systems is what they are. And they reward us for behaviors that are in our best interest. Trying to get us to repeat behaviors that are in our best interests, you know, as human beings. So any feeling of happiness, joy, success, pride, achievement, love, loyalty, friendship. All of these feelings are produced by chemicals inside our bodies. Now dopamine, which is the feeling of get when we accomplish something, it’s like when you cross something off your to do list or you win the game, you hit the goal or any of those. That sense of accomplishment that’s produced by a chemical called dopamine. The predominant means by which we incentivize people inside our companies is a dopamine driven incentive. Hit the goal, get the bonus, Right? And it’s predominantly an individual incentive.
If you hit your goal, you will get your bonus. Right now, the problem with that is as an imbalance where it’s predominantly dopamine driven and we do not reward the systems that allow for trust and cooperation and the words we’ve done have peer recognition programs and we don’t do things that allow for people to interact with each other, where we allow cell phones and meetings for example, that actually diminishes our ability to interact with each other. What starts to happen is the system starts to tip and it breeds selfishness. Just like any addict, you know that they will beg, borrow and steal to get their next hit. So too can we become addicted to performance. So too, can we be, we’d get predicted to making the numbers. We can get addicted to making the numbers and so we’ll do sort of, we’ll do anything to make the numbers, and this is why companies like cheat and steal sometimes because they’ve gotta make their numbers.
It’s a human, it’s a human condition. And so the responsible leader keeps the system balanced where the dopamine incentive driven system is okay, but it’s balanced with good leadership and it’s balanced with a good corporate culture and its environment, you know, balanced with good a group reward systems and pure reward systems. And would you end up finding is that ultimately the performance is even better because people are looking at for themselves and looking out for each other? I’m looking at more for each other than themselves and looking out for the good of the organization over over their individual achievement.
So you speak also about, um, being safe and creating a safe culture. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is, uh, is, you know, is one of, I think the second one is for safety and security hence everyone has maybe belonging. And as I read through your book, I started to connect the dots in that way and saying really those chemicals and the ability of a leader to create a culture that allows for that safety, um, is really what you’re talking to. Is that, does that make sense?
Yeah. It’s, um, the whole idea is to create an environment where people feel safe from each other, right? That’s what I call The Circle of Safety. So external dangers, you know, the uncertainty of, um, of a market, you know, addictability of an economy or the stock market. Uh, what your competitions are. Those things are a constant and we have no control over those. The only variable of the conditions inside our company, inside the organization and when we create a circle of safety means that the people don’t feel any threat from each other. When they feel safe amongst each other, then they, the natural human response is trust and cooperation. Remember, we’re social animals and we respond to the environments for it. Uh, you can take good people and put them in a bad environment, like capable of bad things. You can take people who, uh, have the, maybe society has given up on them and maybe even perform bad acts and you put them in a good environment, in the capable of good things.
So it’s the same as I had a company. Um, and leaders are responsible for building that environment. So any organization which it’s standard practice for people to send ZYA emails, it’s a sign that the people are spending time and energy. They’re taking time and energy out of their day to protect themselves from each other. Any organization where it’s standard practice for people to keep folders of things they’ve done, you know, that are really good just in case they need. It is a sign that you know, they’re spending time and energy to protect themselves from their own leadership as opposed to devoting that time and energy to seizing opportunities and, and, and facing danger. So it’s the leader’s responsibility to create an environment in which people feel safe from the leader and from, from each other. So for example, the, the ease at which we use layoffs.
Think about that. You’re going to send someone home and say, honey, I no longer have an income because the company had to balance their books this year. Right? Forget about the people who lost their jobs. Think about the people who kept their jobs. Now they come to work everyday with the absolute knowledge that their leader would as soon as sacrifice them to save. The numbers rather than sacrifice the numbers to save them. Do you think you’re going to get the best from them? Do you think they’re going to give you their best ideas? Do you think they’re going to sacrifice? Do you think they’re going to share information? You know, it’s nonsense. Decisions like that absolutely destroyed corporate environments. And though it may be beneficial in the short term for that one year of the longterm, it does serious, serious damage to the organization’s capacity for innovation and achievement for the very simple fact. Because people don’t work together, they don’t help each other, they don’t share their best ideas. It’s just biology. It’s just biology. And so like a good parent that would, you know, sooner feed their children before they feed themselves. So to does a good leader, um, look to protect their people’s lives before their own interests.
Okay. And you know, to me that was a fascinating point because there’s so little, it appears to me of that kind of leadership in our culture today. You look at the enrons of the world and all of the people that don’t take responsibility. I’m like you say they’re trying to cut the system for them,
Forget about them, forget about the ones that went out of business. Think about the ones that are still in business.
Right? So as a culture, we really don’t take responsibility for the things that we do as leaders. Right. And we’re looking for those hits. As you say, I was fascinated by the fact that you talk about social media now and what it’s doing to the young people.
And how they’re getting and us and them growing up, that generation where they’re distracted. You mentioned that I believe that the um ADD was going up dramatically in the last 10 or 15 years. I’d love for you to talk a little bit about that cause I think that’s a huge impact. I think we’re so disconnected as a society and we’re so addicted to our phones, etcetera, that I’d love to see your vision of what you think’s going to happen and how we can maybe help mitigate that.
No, my prediction, it’s already happening. I mean cases of ADD and ADHD have been diagnosed up 60% of the past decade. That’s nonsense. You know nothing, nothing just rise at 60% for no reason. If you ask me, it’s a, it’s a misdiagnosis. It’s an, it’s an overdiagnosis that what we actually are developing our addictions, addictions to cell phones, addictions to social media, cause cell phones and social media both released dopamine, which is the same chemical released by alcohol, nicotine and gambling. In other words, it’s addictive. Now in balance, it’s fine. Some alcohol is fine. It’s too much. That’s a problem. Some, you know, gambling is fine. It’s too much that it’s a problem. Well, some of your cell phone and some social media is fine. It’s when it’s too much. That’s a problem. You know, the first thing you do is wake up in the morning and check yourself on before you even get out of bed.
Maybe you’re an addict if you want from room to room and your own home carrying your phone. Maybe you’re an addict and if you’ve got the dinner with your friends and you literally will check your phone a number of times where you have to keep it on the table even upside down. Who cares? And you have to, you have to keep it there with you. You know, probably it’s because you have an addiction and like all addiction in time, you will waste time, destroy relationships and waste resources. I mean, that’s what all addictions do. So this, you know, in its most extreme, we see that it affects society because what we’re starting to see are increases increase levels of depression and suicide. More baby boomers not kill themselves from suicide than car accidents. More baby boomers die from suicide than car accidents, right? You don’t kill yourself when you’re hungry.
You kill yourself when you’re lonely. In the 1960s, there was one school shooting in the 1980s, there were 27 in the 1990s there were 58 in the past decade, we have over 120. Right? So again, these young people that are going shooting schools, you know what? We’re finding research on it. But anecdotally, we know that a disproportionate amount of their relationships are online as opposed to real. In other words, they’re virtual. And so, you know, when we perform antisocial behavior like suicide, a mass murder, uh, it’s not from a feeling of anything other than isolation, loneliness and feeling out of control of our own life. And so these addictive qualities, you know, think about it, we, if you’re feeling a little down, what do you do? You send out 10 texts hoping to one back, cause it makes you feel good, but the feeling does not last.
A feeling does not. And that’s the problem. It’s not as, it’s not a real friendship. And we count the likes, we count, we count how many followers we have. You know, we become obsessed with it. And if somebody unfriends us, Oh my God, it’s like somebody stabbed us in the heart, you know? But it’s, it’s all fake, you know? And the problem is it feels real. That’s the problem. But it’s not real. It’s not a real relationship. It’s a virtual relationship. So all of these things are going to get worse and worse and worse and worse.
What does Simon do with his phone when he goes to dinner with friends?
I, I, if I don’t bring it, I leave it at home, uh, or I give it to the person I’m with. If I need to bring my phone to meet up with them or something, I give it to the person I’m with. So I don’t even have that. It’s like an alcoholic. You, you kind of trust your willpower. You get rid of all the alcohol in the house. Well, I can’t trust my willpower either. So I give it, I give it away.
And you wake up. What do you do? What’s your routine in the morning? Do you, by what time do you get to your phone or computer?
Well, I leave my, I, my computer not forever, and I leave my iPad, uh, in the living room now. I don’t charge it by my bed yet, uh, anymore. Um, so it doesn’t, it’s not next to me. And again, all of these things are fine. I’m not anti any of these things. It’s the balance, it’s fine, but it’s the balance. And if you, if you check your phone before you lean over and kiss your husband or wife, good morning. You know there’s an issue there. If you go to your kid’s baseball game and you look down the whole time and you only look up when there’s cheering, there’s a problem there.
Agreed, agreed. And especially when you’re driving. So what are you reading right now that we should be reading?
Um, you know, what am I reading right now? That’s a good question. I’m actually in between books on my dresser that are waiting to be read. I’m about to start Ed Cattle’s book called about Creativity. Uh, he’s the one of the co-founders of Pixar. I’ve heard him speak and he’s pretty amazing. So I’m looking forward to reading the.
Okay, good to know. And now you’re speaking a lot. Are you travelling? Is that what you’re doing mostly?
Yeah, I do a lot of speaking alone. I’m definitely a lot of traveling.
Yeah. Okay. And um, who in your travels, cause I know you’ve met some fascinating people who’ve been to the Pentagon, who are the top one or two people that you’ve met that you know, you went, wow, that’s really cool to meet this person to meet their mind. Tell me a little bit about that.
Well, there’s a good bunch of them. I mean Lieutenant General, George Flynn, Flynn from the United States Marine Corps. He wrote the forward to my book and amazing guy. I’ve learned so much about leadership from him. Bob Chapman, CEO of Barry-Wehmiller in St. Louis. Incredible human being who’s built a company that I simply talk about. You know, I can, I can no longer be accused of being a crazy idealist when the company that I imagine exists in reality. Charlie Kim from Next Jump in New York, amazing company with no a lifetime employment policy. If you get a job that you cannot be fired for performance issues, they’ll coach you but you will never be fired for performance issue. If it’s an amazing, it’s an amazing thing. And by the way, in an industry which is the tech industry where the churn amongst engineers is something like 40% is in the low single digits and he doesn’t necessarily pay more than everybody else.
They don’t leave, they don’t want to leave. They’re, I’m going to Google and Facebook, they want to stay there. Cause they feel like they belong and they feel safe in their own company. It’s wonderful. I’ve met some amazing folks in the military, navy seals and pararescue jumpers, just incredible, incredible human beings, selfless, remarkable human beings. Angel Martinez, the CEO of Decker’s, which makes Uggs the boots Uggs again, remarkable human beings devoted to his people and gets them and helps them be at their national best that they come to work feeling like they can be their true selves. What an amazing experience to go to work and feel like you can be yourself, right? That’s the culture. He’s built really good stuff. Good people
Now. Great. You got to meet all these people in your research. How did you go about getting introductions to these people?
Most of them called me.
Most of the people in the or I was introduced to them by mutual, by mutual relationships and this is what happens when you’ve talked with why. You know when you preach what you believe and preach what you believe and preach what you believe. People who believe what you believe will reach out to you, like a lighthouse or people who believe what you believe will introduce you to somebody, say you need to meet this person. You know, so that the point of starting with why and so everything I say and everything I do reflects my own beliefs. And so people who believe what I believe either reach out or introduce me to people they want me to meet.
Very cool. So the group we’re part of is started about 18 months ago as a bunch of guys wanting to create a tribe that think you have so well described. The benefits of having that culture. So we have five pillars that interest us. Passive income, age defying health, extreme accountability. In other words, you know, we share goals and we do things together and we hold each other accountable. And then like it listed ventures. So we travel around the world and we do these different things together. Go to Machu Picchu or to Norway, kayaking, etcetera. And then we give back. I did my going to Nicaragua, I’m building a house or we teach others what we know in the four pillars I just mentioned. What I’ve noticed is, and we have a saying in our group is we don’t apologize for being awesome, and one of the things that we do is when people come to our and spend time with us is we allow them to be authentic.
But I think what what’s happening is all those chemicals you talk about are actually being activated because we allow people to be authentic and we celebrate them in who they are. We actually ask them to tell us what they’ve done to overcome to get where they are. And I haven’t seen that created in many places on the planet because there’s usually, most people come from fear, will I fit in? Am I good enough? You know, can I survive in this environment? And they’re, they’re playing that pattern. The people, you mentioned that you just met at the great leaders. Would you say that there’s some similarities in that environment?
How do the people who work for the people in your group feel?
Well, that’s one of the reasons we have this call is we’re constantly looking at getting the information so that those people can go back to their environments.
That wasn’t on your list of five things. That’s true. So I think it’s all great that you, you guys feel a little hunky dory around each other, but how do the people who work for you feel working for you? I think it’s so great that you go build a house in Nicaragua, but are you destroying the lives of the 400 people that work for you?
Well, that’s a great question. I think that the answer we’ve had from some people, family-wise as an example, is I met one of the wives of one of the individuals and I said, you know, we really appreciate your, your man spending time with us. And she said, no, no, I love it because he comes back a better man. He comes back a better husband. But I think that that’s, that’s definitely some evidence that we’re moving in the right direction. I know that when I come back, my staff is a little bit afraid of me because I come back so fired up that I have these ideas I want to implement and share and connect. But I think maybe I haven’t yet found a way to make them feel first safe of the change that is imminent with my desire to improve. So,
And you heard the people improve?
They today, do they, do they have peer groups like yours that help them be their true selves? Do you encourage employees to get together and go on adventures themselves? Maybe even sponsored by the company and everything that you’re doing for yourself? Do you allow them to do for themselves?
Well, I can’t say everything. No, but the culture continues right?
It, you pass it on in different ways. But definitely the mother ship being go bonded becomes all to bring back in to our lives.
I mean, your list of five things in a hierarchy matters. You know, the order matters. The thing we put first as the thing we prioritize first and thing we put it last is the thing we prioritize last. Even though they’re all priorities and so your number one thing was passive income and your number five thing was giving back.
Yeah, that’s a great distinction. One of the reasons we do that is because most people, if they don’t have finances, unfortunately they’ll put everything else, second, they’ll give up their health or give up everything in order to do that. And if they don’t have finances to take care of themselves, then giving back to others is not something that they think is possible, even though it is possible with time or with compassion, etcetera. So we’ve put it in that order because that’s,
If you don’t have money, you can’t be compassionate.
No, I said you can be, but a lot of people. Behave yourself, Simon. Don’t put words in my mouth. I said most people are still busy taking care of themself, that they may not go to that place. Right, right. But there’s definitely something magical that’s created in that environment and we haven’t maybe defined it yet, but I believe that all the chemicals you talk about in the leadership you talk about is something that we’ve kind of co-created there.
Yeah. You know, if you can all say of all the members of your organization can say that the people who work for them feel safe coming to work every day, that they don’t, that they feel that they can be their best true cells, that, that they feel that, that their creativity naturally thrive at work. That when they’re offered another job that pays them more money, they would never leave because they love working for you and they feel that you have their own growth, their own personal growth, that if they would have performance issues, they wouldn’t get fired. They get coached and they, and they, and they can feel that. And I’d say that your organization is remarkable.
If they can’t say that, if the people who join your organization that their employees couldn’t say that, then I would say that your organization is selfish.
It might feel great when you guys were with each other, but so what you know, the opportunity of owning a business is that you get to have a positive impact in the lives of human beings and the lives of people who work for you. This is the opportunity of owning a business. It’s like the decision to become a parent. And when you decided to have a child, you are now responsible for the life of another human being. When you decide to own a company, run a company, you know, you have to make the transition from being the doer to being the leader where you, you make this transition from being responsible for the numbers, to taking responsibility for the lives of the people who are responsible for the numbers. And that transition is very, very hard for some people to make. And so they may be successful entrepreneurs, they’re probably failures of leaders and know.
And it is possible to have both. In fact, the best entrepreneurs are the best leaders that they understand that they can’t do anything by themselves. And I don’t just mean from a peer group, although that’s very valuable. And I think peer groups are great because you have an opportunity to relate to others like you. You could, you know, not everybody in your business can relate to what you’re going through. And I think they’re very, very good. But to promote the values of being good to the people I think is really important, especially if they want to see a reversal at some of these trends that we started talking about with increased levels of suicide, increase levels of homicide, increase levels of depression, increased levels of school shootings, increased the diagnosis of ADD, ADHD, and addiction to cell phones, which destroying relationships we can change all of those things in our companies, and even when unemployment is at all times high as a seven and 8% that still means that 92 and 93% of people still have a job, which means the place to get to people as at work and the people who take, you talk about extreme accountability.
We’re seeing rising rates of diabetes rising and rising rates of cancer, rising rates of heart disease in America. It’s not partially hydrogenated oils, it’s the increased levels of cortisol at our companies. In other words, our jobs are literally killing us. Where’s the extreme accountability for CEOs today to take responsibility for the lives of human beings that worked for them?
Yeah. Well, I don’t think it’s there. I think people are selfish and they, they’re ultimately up for the bottom line, et cetera. Question for you regarding when you know, five years, 10 years from now, um, we talked a little bit about the social media. What is a, I have a son who’s 22 years old. What are some of the things, the habits he’s going to have to undo that he’s learning now, do you think? And what are some things he can do to, to start to deal with that today instead of getting caught up in this pattern?
Well, as I said before, you know, when you get a hit, when you, when you get a being a buzz of flash or a beat from your phone or your social media who releases dopamine and dopamine can be highly addicted but left unchecked. And so I think for him to get in the habit of going out with his friends and leaving his phone at home for him to get him that, well, the same things as us, you know, you know, you see young people today and they’re typing their computers at work and they have their cell phones in between their hands in front of their keyboard, put the cell phone in the drawer and check it at lunchtime. You’ll then get, you’ll actually do better work. It takes 20 minutes to get into deep thought you should come out of it like that. And so every time thing buzzes, you’re done. You’re out. You know.
And so you hear this complaint a lot in universities where a professor will get a great paragraph and a break. Great paragraph in a book, great paragraph. Six of the paragraphs are connected because they wrote and they stopped and they wrote and they stopped and, and it’s, you know that you can’t follow a line of thought. So I think for him to get in the habit of spending and when he’s with people, spend time with people, when he goes out for dinner with his friends, there are no phones. Because I’m with my friends. These, these are really important, important habits to break and really, really prioritize the time we spend with human beings a bubble.
So, uh, what is Simon Sinek excited about these days?
I think there’s more and more leaders are standing up and taking responsibility for the fact that they are responsible for the environments that they create, that they’re responsible for the conditions in which people will come to work every day. And the fact that my work is gaining momentum is to me a good sign that, you know, cause I talk about silly things like trust and cooperation and it’s embarrassing that I have a career in the first place, you know? But, uh, but the fact that there’s a demand for that work is I think a good thing. And, and I know that there are lots of things happening in the world where people are talking about things like purpose and what is a purpose led company? What does that mean? What does that look like? So I’m, I’m optimistic that we will do a good will you done?
Is there, um, an awareness around natural ways to um, provoke the, the chemicals in our body that you would suggest that people focus on? For instance, I know when I work out, after I work out, I’ve worked out hard. I’ve got dopamine, my body then afterwards,
Endorphins, you get endorphins.
Endorphins and then afterwards I feel the serotonin of that kind of light, successful feeling, happy feeling. Um, are there other? Still endorphins?
Then, when does the serotonin kick it?
Serotonin is when you, uh, see your kid graduate school and you feel proud? Serotonin is when you let your employee fail and try again and fail and try again and fail and try again. And then they discover that they’re capable of something that they didn’t even realize they were. And they come to you and say, I couldn’t have done it without you. And sense of pride. You know, you can get serotonin in unhealthy ways as well. Like buy yourself a Ferrari and you know you get serotonin because it makes you feel like your status has gone up. But for the fact that there was no human relationship that was, that was reinforced when you did it. So it’s not, it’s not a healthy way of guessing getting serotonin. The healthy serotonin, this one, when we sacrifice for others and, and others are grateful for that and think about it, when someone, when someone feels that you have their interests in mind, they will work extra hard because they want to prove to you that your sacrifice was worth it and they don’t want to let you down or they want to make you proud, right?
That’s biologically accurate. So the problem with dopamine and endorphins, in other words, just go into the gym and just getting all of your goals is you don’t need anybody’s help. And the feelings don’t last like your endorphin rush from your workout yesterday or even this morning gone. You know? That’s why you have to do it again.
That sense of accomplishment for that goal. You hit two years ago, gone, they don’t last. Where I could tell you a story about your grandfather who had died 10 years ago and I bet you I could bring you to tears. In other words, those feelings last, that loyalty last, that will love last. And that’s why you, you have your friends back and your friends trust that you have their back is because it’s real loyalty. And even in your own group you couldn’t do your group virtually. You guys get together and you go on vacations and you have adventures and it’s the real human relationship that creates that bond.
It would not work. And it was just an online forum. And so the way we get serotonin and oxytocin properly is when we actually sacrifice for each other. When we actually do nice things for each other, where we actually help each other accomplish things. And that’s where loyalty and love comes from. And so you guys have loyalty and love for each other because of all the good things you do with and for each other. And the opportunity is to do all those things for your people and your people have equal love and loyalty to you.
That’s awesome. That’s really, really great. All right, we have a couple of minutes left. I want to be respectful of your time and the guys on the call, a couple of parting words for us Simon, some words of wisdom, some, some something crazy you want to tell us.
So the, you know, if you think about what it takes to become a parent, right? It’s a, it’s not a better life and there’s all full of sacrifice. You know, you have to get the, you need not the car you want. You’re going to get less sleep. You have to put the life of someone else. You can’t just go out till four o’clock in the morning every night if you want, you can just go away for the weekend. I mean, you can’t do those things anymore, right? This is becoming a parent as a lifestyle. Becoming a leader is the same thing. It’s a choice and it’s a lifestyle choice. I know many people who sit at the top of organizations who have authority, but they’re not leaders. We do as they tell us because they have authority over us. But we wouldn’t follow them. And I know people who sit at the bottom of organizations that have no authority, and yet they’re absolutely leaders.
It’s because they’ve made the choice to look after the person to the left of them, and they’ve made the choice to look after the person to the right of them. Leadership is not a rank its a choice. And just because you’re the head of the organization doesn’t make you a leader. It means you just have authority. That’s all it means. And so I think there’s this amazing choice that we can make, which is to be the leaders we wish we had. And it’s just like being a parent. And the reason it’s worth it, despite all sacrifice and all the hard work, and despite the fact that it’s so hard to measure on a daily basis, we have no idea. Are we really being good leaders or bad leaders on a daily basis? Like we don’t really know if we’re good parents or bad parents on a daily basis.
If we were to be judged on a daily basis, they take our kids away, you know? But the ultimate feeling when you get to see your people achieve more, do more, invent more, create more. They find new and innovative ways to advance your business, to find you the passive income that you want. Then they will figure out all of these solutions, the pride that you will have and you will look and save yourself. My God, it was worth it. It was all worth it. That is the greatest opportunity. That sense that you’ve devoted your life to others is literally the greatest sense of belonging and achievement you can have in a lifetime. So I would encourage everyone to be the leaders you wish you had
Very well said. I was just at an event. Does an organization that that has, it’s a, it’s a networking event and they have 50,000 people in their group and they’re called mother and father by most of the people in their group. And I think that’s very fitting with what you just said is they’ve obviously achieved that place of trust and care.
That’s beautiful. I love that.
So that’s pretty cool.
Yeah, I love that.
Thank you. Simon. I want to thank you so much for taking the time to spend with us. I know the guys are gonna love it. We look forward to, um, to cheering you on and buying more of your books and passing your words around.
I know that’s your, uh, your name is mentioned a lot in our organization. We want to thank you very much.
Thanks for being a part of the movement. I really appreciate it.
Alright, we’re on it.
Thanks a lot.
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