Start With Why – A TED Talk

TEDx LogoMy friend Andy Crestodina recommended that I watch a 2009 TEDx Talk given by Simon Sinek. I kept putting off watching the video because it was almost twenty minutes long and I usually only consume short videos online. But after I finally decided to view the talk I wished I had not waited so long.

Focus On Why

The main point of Simon’s talk is that great leaders inspire action by focusing on the “why.” Simon repeatedly states that people don’t buy WHAT you are doing, they buy WHY you are doing it.

It’s an interesting theory and he makes a lot of good points. And you can hardly ever go wrong by using Apple as an example of how to inspire followers.

But while Simon may be vastly oversimplifying how great leaders inspire action, I do believe understanding WHY you do what you do is a very important first step when trying to attract and/or inspire followers to your cause.

Watch the video and let me know what you think.

What I’m Reading: 10 Things I’ve Learned From Pre-Commerce (So Far)

Pre Commerce BookI read a lot of books written by people a lot smarter than me. Unfortunately, I don’t always remember the great lessons I learn after I have completed a book.

To help fix that problem I decided to start jotting down the things that I find particularly memorable.

So now I’m taking notes as I read. And every so often I feel I should share with you the things that interest me the most.

This is not meant to be a book review.  It’s just a list of some easy to digest nuggets that I pulled from the book I’m reading. I hope that you find some of them useful.

The Book

I’m currently reading a book by Bob Pearson, Chief Technology  & Media Officer for WCG, called Pre-Commerce: How Companies and Customers Are Transforming Business Together.

I’m halfway through the book, and here are the tidbits that I felt I needed to highlight.

NOTE: The items in quotes are taken verbatim from the book. The items without quotes are my interpretations of ideas from the book.

  • “The Pre-Commerce world demands a new interpretation of the Four Ps.”  The new model consists of the Four As – awareness, assessment, action, and ambassadors.
  • “The web is the greatest research tool ever built.”
  • “Your story is no longer the most important message. What matters is how your audience discusses and validates your story.”
  • The 80/20 rule, where 20% of the people do 80% of the work, does not apply online. On the internet, roughly 1% of the people are original content producers, about 9% of the people are the content distributors, and the remaining 90% are the lurk-and-learn crowd.
  • “The topic is more important than the brand.”
  • “Customers don’t care about your carefully crafted story; they care about the one piece of it that interests them. The topic is where influence happens.”
  • “Your customers live in a meme-driven world. If you don’t identify and research your own brand memes, you’ll never know who’s influencing your customers and how.”
  • “Your company needs to capture more than content; it needs to navigate the entire river of influence.”
  • When researching content producers in your industry or product space, you should “track their reach, relevance, and ability to syndicate content on a particular topic.”
  • “Conversations end due to a lack of content, not a lack of passion.”

Final Thoughts

Did any of these resonate with you? I really love that last one about why conversations end.

Oh and I definitely plan on sharing more insights from the second half of the book once I have finished reading it.

Before I go, I have to ask…what are you reading?

Being Nice

“It’s nice to be important…but it’s more important to be nice.”

My dad said that often when I was growing up. I think about that idea a lot, especially as it relates to the business world. But it should not matter just in the business world. It should be applied to all aspects of our lives.

Smiling Tennis Balls

Just. Be. Nice.

Does your business have a people strategy?

It should.  And being nice needs to be at the core of that strategy.

Be Nice to Everyone

Be nice to your family. Be nice to your friends. Be nice to your co-workers. Be nice to your customers. Treat everyone you encounter with respect, even if they don’t deserve it. I know, I know, easier said than done. I agree, but try it anyway.

You Can’t Pick and Choose

However, I’m not in favor of  choosing when to be nice and who to be nice to. Being nice only when it is convenient or benefits you, tells me a lot about the kind of person you choose to be. It tells me that ultimately everything is about YOU.

In the end that kind of thinking does not pay off, in business or in life.

Be nice. It’s not that hard. And it’s so much better than…you know…NOT being nice.

Image by: SeanbJack via Creative Commons License