TED Talk To Inspire Action

By: Karsyn Scherer

Feb. 13, 2017

Simon Sinek did a TED Talk that cuts to the core of what makes a leader. His analysis of what differentiates leaders from followers was simple yet effective. He created the Golden Circle which consisted of why, how and what. He said most people go from the outside in, but leaders who inspire action go from the inside out. Instead of starting with the “what”, start with the “why”. His philosophy behind this was that “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it,” (Sinek).

To inspire action, you must do business with people who believe what you believe. Sinek used many examples of businesses to explain his theory, but my favorite example was the Wright brothers. In this example he explained how they wanted to discover flight because they believed in the good and change that it would bring about. However, Samuel Pierpont Langley wanted to discover flight in hopes of becoming rich and famous. Langley had the brightest minds, media, and money at his disposal; the Wright brothers had none of that. However, they discovered flight not Langley. Sinek accredited this to the fact that the Wright brothers were in it for the “why”, but Langley was in it simply for “what” he could get out of it.

Trendkite rated Simon Sinek’s talk in the top five PR related TED Talks. “This talk is a must see for PR pros who are thinking about how to tell the story of their brand” (Trendkite). I agree with Trendkite and am in awe of the way Sinek uses this technique to market brands. He gave several examples of a marketing pitch for different brands. He would start by marketing the brand from the “what” position, and alter it to market it from the “why” position. Without fail, every single time the “why” position was much more intriguing.


The Golden Circle is Pictured Above. Credit to douglasgould



 “5 Outstanding PR Related TED Talks.” Trendkite: PR Analytics That Show PR’s True Business Impact. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2017

“Five Ted Talks to inspire Do-Gooders.” DG+CO. N.p., 27 May 2015. Web. 06 Feb. 2017.

Sinek, Simon. “How Great Leaders Inspire Action.” Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action. TED Talk. TED.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2017.

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UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism