Simon Sinek’s model of leadership – Why We Do What We Do Determines Our Leadership Style


by Mark Chew

There are leaders, and there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of power, or authority, but those who lead inspire us.

In 2009, Simon Sinek released the book “Start With Why” — a synopsis of the theory he has begun using to teach others how to become effective leaders and inspire change.

Sinek also became famous for his ?golden circle? model of leadership. He explained that the reason why some leaders stood out above the rest was because they answered the ?why we do, what we do? and inspired innovation among their people.
Essentially, he explained that we follow those who lead not because we have to but because we want to. We follow those who lead, not for them but for ourselves.

An example of this is that some people tend to confuse this with soldiers fighting for their glorious motherland.They think that the soldiers really fight so hard because they believe in the “cause”.

Can this really be so?

Many times, the soldiers are actually fighting, because they are fighting for the other soldier fighting alongside in their trench! In other words, it is the close brotherhood bond between them that compels them to stay alive and finish the battle. Their “why” in life, was simply about staying alive to protect each other. I have seen how Commanding Officers try their best to integrate their battalions so that each and every soldier can associate themselves with the battalion as a whole. However at most times, the soldiers are only interested in their own team mates, and company!

Similarly, office workers may only wish to complete their task at hand, because they have to do it, and not because of the “Oh, I need to complete this for my company so that they can earn that 15% profits for the year!” Many employees are not aligned to the goals and vision of the management.

And the biggest reason is because many people and organisations fail to uncover what is their true purpose in life.

Sinek therefore attempts to explain that the great leaders and organisations that succeed, succeed because they managed to find the why they do what they do, and that consumers are aligned to that feeling as well. It could work both ways, because just like how a charismatic leader can influence everyone to be the best that they can be, an equally charismatic leader can persuade his followers that other cultures are worse off and should be exterminated.

So how can you find what is the “why”?

You can do so by first finding out who you really are.

Do you know your life’s purpose?
Do you know what is your life’s mission statement?
Do you know what your leadership style is?
This is because once you know who you are, you will know what to do, where to start, when to do it, why you must do it, and how everything can be done to achieve it.
It is therefore a worthwhile process to start knowing why you want to do what you want to do. Then communicate this to your people, and share your vision effectively.

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Mark Chew is the author of “Discover Your Leadership Style” and is a Business Developer, and Leadership Coach. Read more about his insights at You may also contact him at [email protected]

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