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What does it mean to be a leader?

March 27, 2019

As a leader – a counsellor, supervisor and mentor – I like to learn what is the latest in best practice to be able to provide good service to others.

Over the past few weeks, being on holiday break and holiday mode, I decided to do some research further into current best-practice with leadership.

Through this research, I came across more of Simon Sinek’s work.

I have come across him before, though what I came across was a raft of business professionals using Simon Sinek’s work and research, as well as additional Youtube clips and the like.

Working with narratives in my work, I love his ability to impart his knowledge through storytelling.

Simon Sinek originally became of note due to his extraordinarily popular TED talk. His TED 2009 talk How great leaders inspire action (Start with why) has been viewed by over 29 million people and still remains one of the top 5 TED talks of all time.

His additional, and follow up TED talk, named Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe has 5 million views as well.

He suggests that the circle of safety needs to be extended beyond boardrooms and inner circles of leadership within organisations.

He also discusses the importance of fulfillment within our work or our lives comes down to our question of why – through his concept called The Golden Circle. This is about working out your why – what is your purpose, cause, or belief that inspires you everyday. In other words, why do you do what you do?

Why do some people feel unfulfilled in their work? Simon Sinek argues it’s because they’ve worked out their ‘what’ and ‘how’ from the golden circle, not their why.

A final talk of note for therapy, and leadership within the community, is his talk on Youtube titled: Why Leaders Eat Last. This speech is more in depth than the other TED talks and he discusses the importance of service and making good leadership decisions in service of others.

He finishes this longer presentation with the concept behind the AA 12th step, that the good feelings (and oxytocin) we experience from giving of service to others is imperative for good leadership.

If you are a leader, what are Simon Sinek’s rules for success?

His 10 rules for success are:
1. Break the rules
2. Train your mind
3. Be patient
4. Take accountability
5. Outdo yourself
6. Stack the deck (His term for keep following what you are good at.)
7. Be the last to speak (Listen first and speak later.)
8. Be authentic
9. Find your passion
10. Start with why (not how or what you do – ‘Why do you do what you do?’ ‘What is your purpose – and why?’)

I’d love to hear from you about your leadership challenges, journeys or your path to fulfillment – feel free to contact me if you’d like to know more.


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