“You have to believe. Otherwise, it will never happen.”
― Neil Gaiman, Stardust.
Inspiration is the outrunner of revolutions. But where to find its source and make it efficient? According to the Golden Circle concept, the greatest motivations come from true belief in visions, the core ‘why” of their existence. Let’s figure out how this theory works and can be applied in ideas generation with Inite.
The Concept in Brief
In 2009 Simon Sinek, a British-American inspirational speaker, discovered that all great leaders think, act, and communicate like nobody else. Their exceptional reasoning is based on the Golden Circle model. It consists of three layers of questions: ‘’what’’ is on the outside, ‘’how’’ is in the middle, and ‘’why’’ at the circle’s core. The general public communicates starting with the “what” they do, then moves to “how” they do it and finishes with “why” they do what they do. As a result, they are not successful because people don’t buy “what” somebody does. They buy “why” this somebody does it. The idea, the purpose, the belief — that’s what leaders set in the first place. They are ruled by impulse, and that is how they hook others to follow them.
All about Biology
Though the Golden Circle provokes a strong psychological response, it is not about psychology only. The theory roots deeper and finds its explanation in biology or, to be more exact, in neuroscience.
The human brain, regarded from the top-down, is divided into three major parts that perfectly correlate with Sinek’s Golden Circle. First, our new Homo Sapien brain, or neocortex, is related to the “what” level. This part is responsible for the rational, including analytical thought and language. The middle two sections are our limbic brains. They are in charge of our emotions and feelings, embedding trust, affection, and loyalty. These parts of the brain account for human behavior and decision-making but have nothing to do with language.
Consequently, when people are provided with rational information, only the neocortex level is engaged, with no behavior to be provoked. The fact is that humans can be given detailed data and correct numbers, but they say they still don’t feel right because the language and the soulless evidence is not about the core. Alternatively, we directly influence their behavior when we apply the inside-out strategy and start with the “why”. For example, when somebody says he is moved by his heart, in reality, his decisions come from the central part of the brain.
Apple is one of the hundreds of computer companies that provide consumers with moderately good products. However, it is still the world’s largest technology company by revenue ( $274,5 billion in 2020) and the most praised brand with millions of loyal disciples. How has it become this successful? The magic lies in its “why” philosophy.
Sinek illustrates their marketing success by a reversal of logic. If Apple started with the conventional “what,” its promotion would sound: “We make great computers. They’re user-friendly, beautifully designed, and easy to use. Want to buy one?”
With facts put on a silver platter, don’t you find such an offer a slush?
Fortunately for their wealth and reputational health, Apple formed a message deriving from “why”: “With everything we do, we aim to challenge the status quo. We aim to think differently. Our products are user-friendly, beautifully designed, and easy to use. We happen to make great computers. Want to buy one?” Sounds alluring, don’t you think so?
Do you know the idiom ‘to buy into the idea”? It perfectly fits the Golden Circle concept. The goal of Apple was not just to sell people its products but to sell the idea. Though the conventional recipe of a commercial failure consists of the three aspects that include the lack of finances, wrong people, and bad marketing, the belief is what rules the world.
Well-funded companies with brilliant minds and nurture marketing conditions fall flat because they seek fame and fortune. They gain customers who want an ultimate result once and forever and, consequently, are lost in the pages of history. The possessed nutballs from garages, such as Apple and Google, work blood, sweat, and tears, not for the sake of cash, but to change the industry. They gain consumers who want to consume and preach their ideology, and, as a result, they become immortal.
The Vicious Circle
The Golden Circle concept is blamed for putting logic aside and setting passion as the core aspect of revolution. The real problem of the theory is that people widely misunderstand it, creating a “shared false-truth” that leads to the Dunning–Kruger effect, false confidence in overestimated abilities. With a simple recipe of success in their hands, the inspired followers of the concept set some fake rules concerning language, timing, and their final product.
Language designates thinking, and here is the first problem. The blind disciples of the Golden Circle tend to feel safe and sound in every situation they can question with “why”. Meanwhile, Sinek writes that many of “why” questions start with “what”: “By “why,” I mean:
What’s your purpose? What’s your cause? What’s your belief? Why does your organization exist? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? And why should anyone care?” So, not to get trapped in the wrong meanings, you should follow the correct sense of a word.
The second problem is that people overplay their hands by making all their communications based on ‘’why’’. In reality, efficient orators and brands apply this pattern only in certain places and for specific events. For example, Apple, which Sinek widely uses to illustrate the efficiency of the Golden Circle, writes simple things on its homepage: ‘’Say hello to the future”. Communication should be balanced and follow the Pareto Principle with 80% of common sayings that make the space for the efficient ‘’why’’ 20% of statements. Otherwise, the magic of the word is lost.
The final problem is the lack of focus on product quality. People like visions, but this vision should be supported with a solution. Nobody will like a brand if it is just about flowery words with nothing significant to offer. If Apple made low-quality items, nobody would trust their innovative approach. What you do should prove what you believe.
So, to take the concept correctly and to make the most of it, you should dig into the core of ‘’why’’, apply it moderately, and have something marketable to advertise with your ‘’why’’. For this, you should learn to believe in your ideas and generate them efficiently.
The Art of Believing
To believe in your idea, you should generate a good-quality one. And this is the art you can learn via constant practice and tips Inite has prepared for you.
Idea generation is a creative process, but still, it requires selective consumption of data. For this, spend more time with people outside your circle, read blogs and books that are not planned.
Let the Weird in
Whenever you come across something strange, or you get an unusual thought, don’t let it go. Search for the information online to clarify the matter that accidentally intrigued you. Nothing comes from nothing, so a random association can boost your imagination for a big idea.
Don’t Stay Silent
Catch your inspiration and instantly speak it out on paper to structuralize and develop it later. Philosophers and linguists agree: ‘’The same thought can’t be born twice’’. If you dally keep your idea on ice, it changes. But who has said it can upgrade without your control?
Imply the Circle
Find the ‘’why’’ of your idea and develop it. Keep on asking yourself ‘’how’’ and ‘’what’’: a well-designed idea answers all the questions.
You shouldn’t carry your one and only ‘’precious’’ idea as Gollum. Share it with others and observe how they react. Regarding the practical aspect of ideation, external opinions and proposals will enable you to observe your concept from different points of view and make it 3D instead of 2D.
Concerning the inspirational part, try to put your concept in a motivational speech instead of a plan speech. Watch: are your listeners ready to follow you for themselves or for your offer? If they listen for the result only, you should master your idea and the way you explain it to others. Don’t forget that, as the market figures show, humans are divided into three categories of idea consumers: 2,5% are innovators, 13,5% are early adopters, 34% are the early majority, 34% are the late majority, 16% are laggards. So, before speaking to a big audience, find your focus group of innovators and early adopters who will be happy to listen to your concept.
Let yourself have your head in the clouds sometimes. Pipe dreams and crazy fantasies may look useless for your practical life. However, they are essential for the relaxation of your mind. Next, they are suitable for the development of your creative potential on the subconscious level. Last but not least, they build your self-confidence.
Stay Consistent with Inite
Keep on constantly generating ideas with different methods applied. For this, download Inite and enjoy daily tasks to shape your creativity and to boost your belief in the infinity of your mind. Use the app to dive into the world of inspiration. Here you will upgrade your critical and imaginative thinking, find kindred spirits, support, and motivation. Additionally, you can earn tokens: indeed, as Sinek has proven, money shouldn’t be the main engine of big ideas generation, but why not use them as an encouragement?
As Sinek claimed, “leaders are those who inspire”, so, to become successful, one has to radiate the light of belief. The belief in a unique and revolutionary idea which correctly corresponds to the Golden Circle. How to create one? Download Inite app and polish your creativity with daily tasks, tips, and treats.