Why Together is Better with Simon Sinek

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Simon Sinek, author of Together is Better.

...accelerating value by proof analyticsis the podcast for marketing, communications, sales and operationsleaders who want to see their business value clearly and succeed, learn howleaders are closing the gap between creative work and business impactthrough raw conversations. Don't believe me. Check out the show foryourself from the CFO perspective it's value is what type of revenuegeneration earnings cash flow that is only adding to the growth of the of theenterprise. You know, another dimension would be how our margins performing arewe, you know, we're getting the right value by seeing margin expansion bycreating products services that are generating you know that incrementalvalue to the organization and I think from my lens, you know that it'smonetary in many dimensions, right? It's not you know, thinking about okaywhat say from an employee perspective, other perspectives, but as a leader, asthe finance leader, as you're looking to grow the revenue earnings and cashflow of an organization, it will only create more opportunities for youremployees, for your suppliers, for your customers based on those services thatyou're creating. So to me that's how I view to be value for more. Subscribe tothe show wherever you listen to podcasts, this is B two B growth. My name isBendy Block. Welcome back and today excited to bring you an old episode, aconversation that we had with Simon Sinek. Now you'll know Simon from bookslike start with Y or Leaders Eat last. Why together is better. That's actuallythe focal point of today's conversation. I'm bringing this episode back forseveral reasons. Simon hits on a number of things that I thought could behelpful. He talks about millennials in the workplace, he talks about leaderstaking on a student mentality. And so as we jump into this conversation, justbe thinking what are some of the things that the practical takeaways that Simongives us here, That we can apply as we go into 2022? I think you'll find thisconversation extremely insightful. So, let's jump in to our conversation withSimon Sinek, welcome back to the BBB Growth Show. We're here today withSimon Sinek, he is the best selling author of Start With Why and LeadersEat Last Simon, How you doing today? I'm well, thank you. So, Simon, you'vebeen all over the place lately. I've recently seen your viral video aboutmillennials in the workplace. Obviously your your ted talk about starting withWhy and your recent book together is better. A little book of inspiration issomething I dove into and I've already read through it twice. I've loved thisbook and that's what we're gonna be talking about in today's interview. Myfirst question Simon is around kind of, the structure of the book. You madesuch a unique book. It's similar to a Children's book and that there's only asentence or two on each page, It's beautifully illustrated and you eveninfused one of the pages in the book with the smell of optimism. Um so couldyou tell our listeners what inspired you to write a book like this? Sure, Iwanted to do something different. I wanted to do something that was adeparture for my for my usual work. And you know, I wanted to capture theessence that runs through the thread that runs through all my work, which iswhere social animals and we need each other. And instead of making a bigbiological sort of anthropological argument for it, which is what Iusually do. I took inspiration from, from Children's books. I have a youngniece and nephew, and I'm always struck by how well the Children's bookcommunicates, you know, a moral or value. And so even though it's foradults, I made it in the form of a Children's book, and it just capturesthat very simple message that we are better together and we need each other.And I also used the book as a way of saying thank you. You know, I recognizethat my own career, it wasn't because...

...of me, it was because of all the peoplewho believed in me or took risks on me or introduced me to people who help meout. So it's my little way of saying thank you as well and recognizing allthe people who helped me along my journey. I love it, this is time. And Iwanted to tweet every single page in this book and obviously we can't gothrough the entire thing on this interview, but I love to touch on a fewof the just the incredible bits of wisdom that you shared in it. And thefirst one pretty early in the book, you ask a really bold question. It says, ifyou say your job is something you don't plan on doing forever, then why are youdoing it now? That is such, that's such a powerful question. Can you unpackthat idea for us? Well, you hear people say that all the time, you say you know,how is work? And they say it's fine, you know, you know, I don't plan ondoing this forever. You know, and at the end of the day, there's a finitenumber of years we're going to work. And you know, obviously I'm being sortof I'm sort of exaggerating the point in the quote, but you know, the goal isis to try and find work that we love to do the things that we love and there isa finite amount of time. So how long can we wait? And I appreciate thatpeople have responsibility and bills to pay in mouths to feed. I get all that,but why should we suffer or be working a job that we don't love simply because,you know, we've convinced ourselves that we can't find the thing that welove. That's all. And so do you think that's the crux of it really is thefear that we are going to be able to truly find something we love. I thinkit's a, it's a combination of many things for many people. As I saidbefore, I think some people give up on finding something they love becausethey give in to what they say is responsibility. I think some peoplebelieve there is nothing better out there. I think some people believe thatthe devil they know is better than the devil. They don't sometimes the unknownis scarier than the thing that you've got. There's any number of reasons,some of which are quite legitimate, but the goal is to find work we love andthat is possible. It is possible to find people with whom we want to, wewant to work with every single day. This next quote from the book, you saidsafe is good for sidewalks and swimming pools. Life requires risk if we are toget anywhere. Can you share just some, some examples of what his risk lookedlike for you kind of along your journey Simon I mean throughout my career, whenthings really started to get going, I would quit and go do something else,but you know, I, I like a challenge and not everything I've worked on, workedout well, you know, I quit a good job with a fast growing career to go workfor another company to work on something that was difficult and itfailed. It didn't do well and that's okay granted, I didn't have family, youknow, and I can, I was younger and I could afford to take those kinds ofrisks, but I like a challenge and I like, I like difficult things that Idon't necessarily know the answer to. And so I find that when my career sortof finds a pace, it gets, there's a boredom that sets in, you know what Imean? The challenge is the growth, but then there's a plateau where I sort ofpull my hair out and if I don't, if I don't make a change, I'll accidentallysabotage what I'm doing anyway, so I might as well make the change becauseI'm going to fail either way. Was that did that I noticed for me, I'm gonnafail you, I'm gonna definitely fail if I stay in what I'm doing, at least Irisk some new growth if I moved. That, that makes sense. That makes sense. Hasthat been a characteristic in you since you were really young? I noticed for methat I noticed that probably probably in my early twenties, but was thatsomething that that developed later in your career? Has it been that way sinceyou were young? Um Well, I mean, we grew up as a family traveling all overthe world, so every few years we would change countries and change schools andchange everything. So it was probably ingrained into me from a fairly youngage that it doesn't matter if you're happy at school and you've made goodfriends, you'll find happiness at another school and you make new friends,you know? Yeah, and so I think the ability to change from one to the other,you know, extreme, I probably find it a little less scary than some peoplebecause the way I grew up. Okay, so I mean, there's a section in the booktitled Find a Vision. Can you talk to...

...us about why this section wasn't named?Have a vision? Yeah, I mean, you hear this all the time, you know, you hear,you know, people like me and say things, you know, you gotta have a vision, youknow, and I think that's an unfair burden to put on people, like noteverybody is steve jobs, you know, but I do believe that we have to find avision. I believe that you can find a vision that somebody else hasarticulated whether it is steve jobs or martin Luther king or whatever it isand you believe in it. And that belief in their vision is so powerful, Youmake it your own and it becomes your vision, but that doesn't mean you haveto originate the vision. What it means is I do believe everybody has theresponsibility to find division. I don't believe everybody has theresponsibility to originate a vision to conceive a vision, right? But that, butculturally there's almost this assumption that each individual shouldhave their own vision and hearing all the time, All the time. What's yourvision? What's your vision? What's your visual? I don't it's unbelievablystressful. I don't have one. Or then we end up articulating nonsense. You know,even entrepreneurs, like not every entrepreneurs to have a vision too, butthey do have to find one that they're willing to build their business aroundto advance. You know? So I think it alleviates the overwhelming andunnecessary stress of quote unquote having a vision. Yeah, I totally agree.This next quote from your book, Simon says, a team is not a group of peoplewho work together. A team is a group of people who trust each other. Can youshare maybe some practical ways that you've seen teams create a culture oftrust. Yeah, I mean the trust is a feeling and it's born out of theenvironment we're in. And so trust comes from good leadership. If there'sgood leadership, it doesn't necessarily mean the person in charge. That's notleadership is not necessarily rank. Authority comes with rank. Butleadership is the choice to take care of the people to the left and right ofme. And in a position of leadership, it affords you greater scale who takeresponsibility to the more people. But when there is a good leader on the team,what you'll find is an environment is created in which trust can thrive whenwe feel that our leaders care about us as human beings, the natural humanresponse, the biological responses? Trust and cooperation. when we do notfeel that our leaders care about us or that they care more about numbers, thenatural human responses, cynicism, paranoia, mistrust and self interest.You know, the thing to do is is to become a student leadership. That'swhere trust emerges. That makes perfect sense. So after I saw your millennialvideo, shortly after I watched a video from, from Gary Vaynerchuk and he's ahuge proponent of, he's even made the number two person in this organizationa Chief hard officer, He's huge proponent of culture and creating thattrust within his teams. And so that seemed to be a big part of the video,you know, about millennials in the workplace as well as they want thattrust that want to be trusted in their work environment. So it makes perfectsense that leadership, like studying leadership, becoming a better leaderyourself. We're talking to a lot of folks that lead marketing and salesteams on the show and the more you study leadership, ultimately, the morethat you're going to cultivate that trust in your organization. This nextone Simon that I want to talk about, you said leadership is an education andthe best leaders think of themselves as the students, not the teachers. Soobviously in your case, you know, you're writing books, you're on stagesin front of thousands of people, you're in viral videos all over the internet.It would be really easy for you to look at yourself kind of as a teacherinstead of a student, A lot of folks that are listening to this, Their chiefmarketing officers, They're, you know, they're leading big teams. It would bevery easy for them to see themselves as the teacher instead of the student.What are some ways that you position yourself as a student so that you, thisreally rings true for you? Well, it's easy. I don't see myself as an expertin my own subject. I mean, it's simple. I don't think I know everything. Ithink I have a lot more to learn and I see myself as a student of my ownsubject. I may be a more advanced student than some, but, but I'm astudent nonetheless, you know, and all...

...the best leaders that I've metthroughout my career, whether their business, military government, whereverthey're from. They all see themselves as students. They have a curious mindand some of them are super, super senior and yet they still read booksand still read articles and they still like having conversations with folkslike me about the subject and they like dissecting things and they have aninsatiable curiosity about the subject of leadership. I think that's one ofthe things that makes them good leaders. I'm very, very suspicious of anybodyregardless of how experienced they are, who say I know exactly what I'm doingand I'm exceptionally good leader, Thank you very much. I don't need yourhealth. You know, can you imagine a surgeon who thinks they know everythinglike that's scary. So how can we, if we wouldn't trust a surgeon who thinksthey know everything, why would you trust a leader who thinks they knoweverything, you know, regardless of their experience. So, I think it'sessential and it's not just words anybody can say it. You actually haveto, like, I love learning about this stuff, the reason I keep doing new workand having new ideas, because I'm talking about this stuff all the timewith people and I love learning from people and I love picking up littletidbits here and there and that's where I get all my stories and it's where Iwant, you know, it's it's people introduced me to people and and it'sfun and I travel around and have lunches and with people that I justwant to meet, you know, So I think you have to be a student of something ifyou want to advance in that in knowledge or practice. Yeah, I totallyagree. I love that. So, this last statement that I want to talk aboutfrom your book Simon before I I ask you a question about the video that'srecently gone viral about millennials. This quote says, it says when we areclose to ideas, what we hear is criticism, but when we're open tocriticism, what we get is advice. Can you unpack that for us? Look, there arepeople throughout our careers who want what's best for us and sometimes theyknow how to give us the council and sometimes they don't, but they want togive us counsel and if we aren't interested in hearing what others haveto say about us, then we're going to think the world is against us orthey're against us or they just don't understand us. But if we're open to thefact that there's always room for improvement, accepting that noteverybody's good at giving feedback, we become much more relaxed and able totry and discern and hear what they're trying to tell us rather than simplyattack or get defensive. And it's a skill, it's a learning skill. I haven'talways been good at it, I'm getting better at it, you know? But whensomebody sort of goes at me, I sort of really like if I've upset somebody orthey trying or even if I didn't upset somebody, somebody just wants to giveme feedback on how I did. You know, I try to be open to it so that they'llgive me more feedback. If I put up my defenses, then people are just going tostop giving me feedback and I'm going to stop learning and growing so it's myresponsibility to create an environment in which people feel that they canapproach me and then I am open to feedback so that they'll continue togive it to me Yeah, for me that's an ideal that I try to hold true to, butthe reality is when someone corrects me my natural, you know, I try to holdthis in and I try not to react out of this, but there's this feeling of why Iwant to justify what I did or I want to explain to them like oh well you butyou just have miss misunderstood, you know what that action was supposed todo or instead of just receiving it and allowing it to help me get better, Iwant to push back on it. What would you say to the like to folks that are kindof new to embracing this? You know, really accepting kind of criticalfeedback. Are there any like anything that you would say to the person thatis trying to embrace this, but they're just having a tough time with it. Thething is to is to have empathy which is to always walk into these situationswith the belief that what somebody has to tell you is worth hearing, right?And if you don't understand it or it's coming across as aggressive or personal,then try and defuse the situation yourself rather than inflame thesituation, right? It's good old fashioned empathy. I understand whatyou're saying, I hear, I hear that I've upset you let me try and understandwhat it is so I can take full responsibility, you know and understandthat sometimes we do say and do things...

...that affect other people and how theyfeel and we have to take responsibility even if it was unintentional. You knowit happens so often where somebody is upset and they sort of constructivelyconstructively try and tell us and we go well I didn't mean to do it so Idon't have to say I'm sorry you know and I was like well if you swing aroundand you accidentally hit the person next you with your bag you turn aroundand you say sorry you didn't mean to do it but you're not going to turn to, theperson said well I don't have to say sorry, I didn't mean to do it, you knowso you can still take accountability for your actions and words even even ifit is unintentional. Hey everybody Logan with sweet fish here, if you're aregular listener of GDP growth, you know that I'm one of the co hosts ofthe show but you may not know that. I also head up the sales team here atsweet fish. So for those of you in sales or sales ops I wanted to take asecond to share something that's made us insanely more efficient lately. Ourteam has been using lead I. Q. For the past few months and what used to takeUs four hours gathering contact data Now takes us only one where 75 percentmore efficient. We're able to move faster with outbound prospecting andorganizing our campaigns is so much easier than before. I'd highly suggestyou guys check out lead I. Q. As well. You can check them out at lead I. Q dotcom. That's L E A D I Q dot com. Alright, let's get back to the show. SoSimon obviously that the video that has recently gone viral millennials in theworkplace, a lot of the folks listening to this are managing teams ofmillennials and there are so many good pieces from that video for the you know,one or two people listening to this that have not already seen the video.Could you kind of share the overall thesis of of that interview that youdid and how what the the big takeaway that you wanted folks to have from thatpiece of content. So almost every single talker meeting I have invariablysomebody will ask me the millennial question. You know these are people andcompanies who are struggling to lead millennials and so when I show up theyasked me if I have an opinion and so I had to have an opinion. So I, you knowI asked around and made my own observations and I formed an opinion. Imade some observations and this group of people is accused of being entitledand narcissistic and a whole bunch of other things and I think some of it isI think it requires us to be a little empathetic and how they grew up, everygeneration has their issues. People who grew up in the depression or miserlypeople who grew up in the 19 seventies during Vietnam War and Richard Nixonmistrust authority. You know, it doesn't make them better or worse. Itjust means I have a little empathy for how they grew up. Well let's have alittle empathy for how this young generation of employees grew up also.They grew up in a world of instant gratification. You know, with amazonyou can get something the next day, you can log on stream a movie. They grew upin a world of where many of them were over coddled by their parents. I hearstories of this is a true story. Kid comes to to work late and apologizesthat he's late because his parents didn't wake him. Apparently has awebcam, he's in college and he's a webcam in his dorm room and his parentscheck and make sure he's awake at the right time and if he's not up they callhim call him call him until he wakes up. But you have to be kidding me, You knowum I don't mean he's not overly coddled and unfortunately these stories that wehear, although anecdotal are not onesies and twosies, there's anoverwhelming number of these stories that we hear. I've heard stories ofparents who call employers and follow are following up on the on the jobinterview for their kids, you know, and it goes on. So I think to some degreethese kids are subject have been subjected to parenting techniques andstrategies that may not benefit them as adults. And it's starting to show upnow that they're in the workforce. The thing that I pulled away. I mean thatthat I love so much about what you said is Yeah, that's the reality and we caneither complain about it Or we can...

...adjust our our leadership to adjust toit and to help. I'm tired of hearing people complain about millennials andat the end of the day have a little empathy for how they grew up and at theend of the day, companies have to adjust the way they do business. It's100% true. Which is if we have a more insecure or impatient or technologyaddicted group of people working for us whether we like it or not, those areour employees and that extends beyond the one generation by the way. But wehave a responsibility to build work environments in which they can learnpatients, they can learn how to build strong lasting relationships where weteach them and help them build their self confidence. We have no choice. Butunfortunately, too many companies are built on theories. Leftovers from theeighties and nineties where you do rank and yank and we have annual layoffs tobalance the books. We use human beings to balance books. In other words, we'reasking people to work in environments where they don't feel safe and theydon't feel like they can be themselves and they don't feel like they can askfor help and then we complain that their narcissistic and entitled, Ithink it's a bit of a backwards logic. What has been the biggest or maybe asurprising response that you've heard Simon since obviously this video hit sobig. What's the pushback been? Or you know, just been a lot of folks praisingit. What's, what's that been like? Overall people have been verycomplimentary, which is nice. The pushback has come in sort of twodistinct buckets. one is from older people who think that I'm lettingmillennials off the hook and saying they have to take responsibility forthemselves and that's not what I said. Of course they take responsibility forthemselves. What I'm saying is have a little empathy for the situation thatthey're in and maybe we can help them out. You know, uh you know, people gotsome people that really irate when I said that it's a company'sresponsibility. Well, who else is responsibilities? I mean it's yourcompany. I mean that's and their point is they have to fix themselves andthat's like just telling an alcoholic you do it. You know, it's like you getover your alcoholism. It's like, well, yes, that's true. But how about somehelp, You know, that's why we have organizations like alcoholics anonymousbecause it's too hard to do alone. That's why we ask for help. So that'sthe point there. And the other bucket of criticism I get is from somemillennials who get very upset when I do air quotes around impact. And mypoint there was that millennials say they won't have an impact, but they'renot specific about the kind of impact that would happen if they don't knowand you kind of have to know the impact you want to have in the world, right?Do you want to, you want to fix the migration patterns of european swallows?Is that the impact you want to have? You know, is it environmental, is itpoverty? Is it is it happiness is a joy. Like what impact in the world you wantto kind of every impact and not every impact will inspire you. Some peopleare inspired by saving polar bears and some people aren't, you know, and soit's the generic have impact that that is not helpful. But overall the thingthat I'm most excited about is the number of millennials and parents ofmillennials who really took what I said to heart and it helped them feel thatit wasn't them. Lots of millennials have written to us and come to me andsaid thank you, I thought it was me, thank you. I thought I was the one, Ithought I was insecure and I was struggling and I didn't and I thoughtit was me and it's a huge weight off their back that allows them to now askfor help and address the challenge, which is which is huge. Which is huge.You know, and I keep hearing, you know, unfortunately suicide is on the riseamongst this young generation and I've had 33 experiences of suicides aroundme from just a few days ago, the son of a close friend of one of our colleagues,somebody on our team committed suicide. And I've heard I've heard thisunfortunately too many times, which is nobody saw it coming. They thought hewas a happy kid. Everything on his social media made him look happy. Hepresented himself as happy that literally no one saw any signs and thenhe killed himself. And I've heard that multiple times. I've heard thatmultiple times that it's happening with...

...people that you just were not expectingit. And the point is this is a Snapchat, instagram world of a generation that'sreally good at filtering and curating the way they want to be seen and so wecannot get away with simply saying, you know, anyway, I'm really proud thatthis group of the people who resonated with the millennia that resonated withfeel that they can now speak up and say I'm struggling or I need help. They'renot compartmentalizing it and hiding it. I'm really, I'm inspired by that. Yeah,it seems like you look at that problem of corporate cultures not adapting toor being empathetic and it seems like for the leaders listening to this seemslike it could very easily be taken as well. That's that's not something youknow, I can really have an impact on but I think it absolutely can be in theteams that you're leading. Maybe you're not in a position to shape the entireculture of the entire organization, maybe you're not the ceo but in theteam that you're leading with the millennials that you are that you'releading, you can have empathy for the 10 15 20 folks that you're leading andI think the results of of what that empathy is gonna bring will bringresults that other folks leading teams will want to see and they're gonnastart asking you, what the heck are you doing? Like how are you getting resultsfrom this? You know, group of folks that a group of quote unquote kids thatthey're not seeing results from. So I loved that video. If you're listeningto this and you have not already watched millennials in the workplace,make sure to do that. Also go pick up together is better. You can buy itanywhere. Books are sold seriously. I wanted to tweet every single page inthis book. You are going to love it. Simon if there's someone listening andthey want to stay connected with all the things that you've got going on,where's the best place for them to do that. I mean all the usual places, youknow, twitter instagram facebook linkedin, you know, wherever you liketo get your fix love, it's all the usual places has been fantastic. I'vereally enjoyed this conversation and kind of just giving light to, to yourbook and the heartbeat behind it. I think it's going to, to use your airquotes around impact. I think it's actually going to impact a ton ofleaders. So I really appreciate you writing it and I appreciate your timethis morning. Thanks James, I really appreciate it. I love the wide rangingvariety that happens in this conversation. There's so many differentavenues that James and Simon go down here. One of the main takeaways that Ifound from this episode is this idea that Simon still views himself, eventhough many would look at him as an expert, he still views himself as astudent, not a teacher now, he said I might be down the road a little bit inmy journey right in my area of expertise, but I still view myself as astudent. I'm still studying my content and for us we need to take on thatmentality as leaders in our space is if we can be students were going to be farbetter off and it positions us to take, continue to learn And to continue togrow and evolve and that's always needed. So hey, thanks for listening tothis episode of B2B growth. If you're not yet subscribed, please do so onwhatever platform you prefer and that way you'll never miss the content thatwe're putting out. We have so much coming up in 2022 and we can't wait toshare all of it with you. In the meantime, I'd love to connect with you.You can connect with me on linkedin. Just search Benji block and we'll talkagain soon. Remember keep doing the work that matters. Is the decision maker for your productor service at BBB marketer, Are you looking to reach those buyers throughthe medium of podcasting? Consider becoming a co host of GDP growth. Thisshow is consistently ranked as a top 100 podcast in the marketing categoryof Apple podcasts and the show gets more than 130,000 downloads each month.We've already done the work of building the audience so you can focus ondelivering incredible content to our...

...listeners if you're interested, emailLogan at sweet fish Media dot com.

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