Simon Sinek believes that inspiring leaders make the difference between success and failure. He asserts that all successful organizations adhere to a certain pattern that differentiates them from the competition. Their company leaders communicate in reverse or from the inside-out. Sinek asserts that such leaders start with the ‘why’ and not the ‘what’ of business communication. Businesses can communicate on the basis of ‘why’, ‘what’ or ‘how’. Usually, many leaders will tell the market what they can do for them and not why they do what they do. Successful companies like Apple have garnered a cult-like following because they have convinced people to believe in what they believe. They have defined the ‘why’ in their organization through their missions, purpose, and calling. People do not buy things because of what the product does but they do it because of why a company is making the product. Such leaders are also intelligent enough to hire people who believe in what they believe. This is the only way they can garner the loyalty of their employers. Unlike typical workers who focus on taking a company’s money, inspired employees dwell on making a difference just like their leaders.
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The assertions made by Sinek seem extraordinary but they are quite practical. His theory is effective in understanding why certain organizations seem to have all the ingredients required to become successful but they never quite make it. The speaker’s use of real and diverse examples is indicative of the universality of these principles. For instance, Samuel Laing was supposed to have discovered the first aircraft. Market conditions appeared to favor his company. Additionally, he was well-capitalized and also had a strong human resource team. However, Samuel never made the discovery because he only focused on tangibles or the ‘what’ of his business. Conversely, the Wright Brothers were motivated by the ‘why’ of their ventures. They believed in changing the world and surrounded themselves with people who did the same. It is leaders like these who cause others to follow them and become better.
Daniel Goleman, on the other hand, affirms that social intelligence is the key to successful leadership. It is the ability to understand other people’s emotions, feelings, or drives and applying this knowledge to communicate with them. Socially intelligent people know how to read others. They are also quite good listeners and very sociable. Companies have now realized the usefulness of social intelligence and are merging it into their human resource function. For instance, they are hiring people who are socially intelligent. Additionally, many organizations are promoting workers with such qualities. Because of this increase in demand for such qualities, many people are looking to improve their social intelligence. Goleman recommends a series of steps that one may follow in order to increase social intelligence. First, one must establish an interest in the parameter and genuinely care about improving it. Thereafter, one should get feedback from other people concerning one’s social intelligence. Goleman believes that other people are the best assessors of one’s social intelligence. Thereafter, one must identify one’s strengths and weaknesses. These should be followed by practical improvements. The subject should revisit these steps to keep taking corrective action. Organizations often assess one’s intelligence by their rapport and how effectively they relate with others. Mastering social interactions can lead to highly successful careers and effective leadership.