“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” These are powerful words coming from inspirational speaker and author Simon Sinek, whom you may have encountered featuring other quotes in your social media accounts.
He is known for his heartfelt words. Notably, his speech entitled “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” is currently within the top 5 most viewed Ted Talks of all time, with over 50 million views.
Sinek’s mind is a fountain of knowledge and wisdom, particularly in the areas of leadership and how organizations can prosper as a professional community. Many companies use their mission, vision, and objectives to steer everyone in the same direction, but Sinek may have something a lot simpler, yet impactful.
Let’s explore Sinek’s Golden Circle Theory—why it is a straightforward path to round up what your company believes in—and what it wants to impart to the world more than just its services.
Is providing jobs all there is to it, or do you think there is a greater need out there that your company can contribute to?
Let the Golden Circle Theory help you answer these questions.
What is the Golden Circle Theory?
Why? How? What? These are the three main questions that encompass the Golden Circle Theory. “What” is the products and services they offer, “how” is the means they deliver their goods, and “why” is the reason the company is doing business.1
For many consumers, companies are more focused on profiting through their “what” and the “why” is more of an afterthought. Sinek thinks otherwise.
In his book, Start with Why, he mentions that there are only two means to influence human behavior—inspiration or manipulation.2 Let’s face it: “Please buy our products” isn’t exactly an appealing marketing tactic. Many of these said tactics have a hint of manipulation in them—choosing the right colors, appealing to emotions, and so on.
Sinek believes that there is more to inviting consumers than just the usual advertising methods and gimmicks. Successful companies go beyond the practicality and rationale on why a person needs to own their products. These companies communicate that what they offer serves a higher calling, and this is where the inspiration starts.
There are many benefits to why the Golden Circle Theory is a great way to ground your staffing agency on what it truly wants to do, beyond providing jobs. Not aligning your company to a cause beyond the service you offer or a misalignment in the essence of your brand, has its consequences especially in the modern era:
Woke culture is real.
Consumers are spending their cash on where they see their values are reflected, and they are putting time into evaluating companies more than the quality of what they offer. 3 The Golden Circle Theory is far from the outdated “mission-vision-objective” route of explaining the company’s bottom line, which tends to separate the three together.
This theory creates a bridge between the company’s values and products to make sure the former is represented through the latter. Today’s consumers love a company that stands for something.
Products change while values last forever.
Many companies see deciding on their values like they would a marketing campaign launch. What matters is the overall perception, not the authenticity.4 As long as consumers go “wow” and “aww” to the values the company presents, and it makes a sale, that’s good enough.
Deciding on values means adhering to them. It also means calling out to your own company if these values are not met, even though consumers are the ones who notice it. Strictly adhering to company values puts more ease with making decisions, which trickles down to how your services are represented.
When there are necessary changes to be made for your recruiter brand, the Golden Circle Theory provides clarity on how these changes will reflect to the consumers. There is no need to change values just to satisfy momentary shifts in the market or client behavior. Your “why” will suffice.
More on Authenticity: How To Reach Top Talent Without Giving Up Your Authenticity
Your “why” and your brand must align.
Your recruiter brand is what dictates everything about your company—how your daily operations run, how you approach your clients and how you present to the world. But shouldn’t the purpose of your values be noticeable as well?
While values are more internal and your brand is external, anchoring everything on values just makes sense for your recruiter identity. The Golden Circle Theory streamlines this “anchoring”, so to speak.
How do you apply the Golden Circle Theory?
As Sinek instructs, start with the “why”. It is the root of your staffing agency’s efforts on why you do what you do.
- What makes your recruiters enthusiastic about helping job hunters move forward in their career?
- Why does it make you feel satisfied when clients welcome new hires?
Beyond doing your work, reflect on why it matters to you and the agency’s stakeholders.
Looking at Tesla.
Tesla is a proponent of sustainable energy, which is the reason their “why” is centered on accelerating the worlds transition to sustainably energy.5
Move on to the “how”. The “how” is basically what connects the “why” to the “what”, or what your company is offering. Include in the “how” unique means and processes that your staffing agency does.
How does Tesla do this? By pushing all their efforts to research on cheaper and more accessible alternatives to energy.
The “what” is of course your agency’s services. Tesla sells electronic vehicles, but we all know that based on their “why”, they are on the lookout to present more means to make transportation more impactful to the community yet with less impact on the environment.
Looking at Spotify.
The streaming service’s “why” is centered on unleashing what human creativity can do, by providing a platform for millions of artists to express their art. What’s good about Spotify is while listeners get to enjoy the creativity of various artists, these artists are also directly supported.
No wonder the streaming service now has 70 million songs and podcasts to offer, because it stays true to its “why”.
Looking at Apple.
Sinek makes Apple an example of the Golden Circle Theory in his famous TED Talk. Apple’s “why” is all about challenging the status quo and thinking differently. This explains why Apple designs stand out in the market, and a lot of their products are able to do what regular computers or gadgets can’t.
Staying true to their “why” has made them a household name.
Looking at Home Depot.
“Atlanta’s Do-It-Yourself Warehouse.” This used to be the home improvement retail company’s tagline. In a book about their humble beginnings, co-founder Bernie Marcus explained how Home Depot has always been “in the people business” at the end of the day, which is basically their company’s “why”.
Aside from becoming a well-trusted brand for home improvement, the Home Depot Foundation also helps in housing for veterans and funding for those affected by natural disasters. Home Depot is an example of staying true to their “why”, and how it encompasses from its products to company efforts outside of their stores.
LET ALLIED INSIGHT BE YOUR PARTNER IN MEETING YOUR STAFFING AGENCY’S GOALS
Beyond theories and recommendations, Allied Insight is your partner in building a brand that is consistent and recognizable within the industry. Together, let’s achieve brand continuity for your staffing agency, and attract further business opportunities as you solidify your presence in the ever-changing market.
You are unique, and let’s tell the world! Contact Allied Insight now.
1. Cole, Robert. “The Golden Circle Theory: Find your Brand’s Why, How, and What.” Constant Contact. https://www.constantcontact.com/blog/golden-circle-theory/. Published last 22 June 2022. Accessed last 9 November 2022.
2. Davies, Samuel Thomas. “Start with Why by Simon Sinek.” Sam T. Davies Blog. https://www.samuelthomasdavies.com/book-summaries/business/start-with-why/. No publish date. Accessed last 9 November 2022.
3. Talavera, Andres. “’Woke’ Culture and Consumerism.” Ad Forum. https://www.adforum.com/tribune/woke-culture-and-consumerism. Published last 7 August 2020. Accessed last 9 November 2022.
4. Leoncini, Patrick. “Make your Values Mean Something.” Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2002/07/make-your-values-mean-something. Published last July 2020. Accessed last 9 November 2022.
5. Wooll, Maggie. “How the Golden Circle sheds light in a world full of noise.” BetterUp. https://www.betterup.com/blog/the-golden-circle. Published last 4 August 2021. Accessed last 9 November 2022.