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Simon Sinek: If You Don’t Understand People, You Don’t Understand Business

About this talk

In this wide-ranging talk, ethnographer and leadership expert Simon Sinek discusses the importance of trust, authenticity, and meaning. Sinek argues that as individuals and companies, everything that we say and do is a symbol of who we are. And it is only when we communicate our beliefs authentically that we can attract others to our cause, and form the bonds that will empower us to achieve truly great things.

Simon Sinek, Leadership Expert & Author

A trained ethnographer and the author of Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, Simon Sinek has held a life-long curiosity for why people and organizations do the things they do. Studying the leaders and companies that make the greatest impact in the world and achieve a more lasting success than others, he discovered the formula that explains how they do it. Sinek’s amazingly simple idea, The Golden Circle, is grounded in the biology of human decision-making and is changing how leaders and companies think and act. His innovative views on business and leadership have earned him invitations to meet with an array of leaders and organizations, including Microsoft, Dell, SAP, Intel, Chanel, Members of the United States Congress, and the Ambassadors of Bahrain and Iraq.

Sinek recently became an adjunct staff member of the RAND Corporation, one of the most highly regarded think tanks in the world.  He also works with the non-profit Education for Employment Foundation to help create opportunities for young men and women in the Middle East region. He lives in New York, where he teaches graduate level strategic communications at Columbia University.

Comments (111)
  • greenpoison

    Let it cool. While it’s tempting to use your book bag right away, let it
    cool for a full 24 hours before using it.Show it off. After your book
    bag has cooled, take it for a spin! Show off your hard work and tell
    your friends how they can make one of their own

  • Rickobryan

    Couldn’t agree more Monica.  He then talks about generosity as “doing something for someone else without expecting anything in return”…..only, his seat-mate had already given him nothing and he judges her for it, and not only resisted his impulse to take down her carry-on, but included his judgement of her in this talk about authenticity, trust and generosity, thus violating the very concepts he’s trying to share!!!!      

  • msh345

    I love this part of the talk:
    [9:30] “Organizations should say and do the things they actually believe and they will attract people who believe what they believe. Or they can choose to lie. And at the slightest hint that they might be lying, cynicism sets in. And people start saying, ‘I’m not sure I can trust these guys because there’s not a lot of consistency in all the things they say and do. Which means they can’t have a very strong belief set, or they are lying to me.’ And we call it inauthentic.”

  • Kesean Kenton

    Another awesome presentation by Simon. This is great.He really has a knack for communication and understanding how we as people can better convey our message effectively.

  • pikaname

    mediocre speaker dressed like a douche trying to repeat a few admittedly very good ideas. look for the original phrasing, it’s always better

  • Jennifer Dryden

    I’d be happy to fulfill Simon’s airplane girlfriend fantasy. Anytime.

  • Jennifer Dryden

    Ready and willing to fulfill Simon’s airplane girlfriend fantasy. #swoon

  • Sam Bridges

    a young, slightly more coherent, Chip Kidd.

  • Omogo / ResQ Records

    Awesome presentation SIMON.

  • Hitein Patel

    Wow! Mindset changing presentation! U changed the definitions of Happiness and Relations in my dictionary.

  • se3

    Dumb ass

  • Infographic Modeling

    This was the BEST talk I have ever seen on 99%.I had seen his earlier TED talk on “Start with WHY” but this one is goes many miles beyond.

  • Jordan

    Watch his ted talk on He talks a lot about this on there as well. Brilliant man.

  • Leah

    aww this is one of the best speech ever. Thanks for inspiring me to think of how I can help others. 🙂

  • Susanna Halonen

    The basis of the talk was great – completely agree on the generosity aspect and how businesses should learn to understand people and “live their why”.
    On the other hand, I was disappointed to hear he wasn’t ready to inspire generosity to those who needed it most (in the airplane) labelling them with “hate” & “horrible” after one interaction.
    I’m also a big fan of the self-help movement because it makes psychology & self-development accessible to more people. For example it helped me overcome my challenges & now I’m confident enough to help others through Happyologist.
    At the end of the day, it’s important to be generous and kind to others as well as yourself as that will bring out the best in everyone.

  • jacinto ela

    Congrats for this post! He explained the feeling we need to have everyday at work and life. Everything you do has to be good for someone and for you too.

  • Donna Robinson

    I love your stuff! You get. You put it in words and make me laugh while I’m learning.

  • Lisa

    I heart Simon!!!

  • Ramesh Nair

    It is just superb. Simon hits it bang on the head. Really Fantastic.

  • frank katzer

    so good. so true. watch it if you did not yet.

  • Asmita Attharkar

    So powerful and humble at the same time!

  • Jantje Bartels

    Two years down the road after this talk, especially trust and authenticity is lacking in so many companies. And I continue to wonder when people stop blaming the bad economic situation for downturns. I will share this great talk!

  • Goran Ostojic Vid


  • Paul Jun

    This talk left goosebumps.

  • levia jack

    Fully appreciable! Sussex Pest Control

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