Legitimate Leadership provides a leadership perspective that is the opposite to the conventional view – that is, the view held and practised by the vast majority of organisations today. I once met an MD who said to me, “I have run my business very successfully for 30 years through micromanagement and I intend to continue to do so”. I replied, “We are definitely not for you”, shook his hand and wished him well. The Legitimate Leadership framework is being applied by pioneers, brave men and woman who believe that there is a better option than the conventional command and control approach. I feel grateful to be working with these people. I am convinced that what is still the exception will one day become the norm.
OUR SUMMARY OF THIS VIDEO: My (Simon Sinek’s) goal is to not do business with everybody that needs what I have; my goal is to do business with people who believe what I believe.
People say, “That may be nice emotionally, but practically, can I really be that picky in business? Is it that easy that I can just do business with people that believe what I believe?”
Yes I believe that to the core of my being – that we should work very, very hard to only do business with people who believe what we believe and reject business from people who don’t believe what we believe.
I’m sometimes accused of being naive and I have been told, “Yes, but you can afford to do that Simon; you know I can’t afford to do that.”
The answer is that I’ve been doing this from the beginning. When I didn’t have two pennies to rub together I would turn down business. Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard and sometimes you do have to take the business because you have bills to pay.
Back in the early days I had an experience of somebody who’d heard about my work and who called me and said, “I’ve heard good things about you. Convince me why I should hire you.”
My answer was “Don’t”.
The reason is simple: anybody who says “convince me” is not somebody who believes what I believe.
The ones that I would say yes to are people who came to me and said, “You know, your stuff is interesting. I don’t think it’s all right, I think some things you got wrong, but I think it’s really, really interesting. I think we could do something together.”
Those are the people I want to work with.
There’s an old Zen Buddhist saying, “How you do anything is how you do everything”. So if somebody is going to force me to convince them why I should work with them then on every piece of advice I give them they’re going to force me to convince them why I am making this recommendation. Where does trust come in?
Whereas when there’s a shared set of values and beliefs, trust builds deeper so that when I say I think you should try this they say, “If you say so”. So there is trust.
It also keeps me to a high standard because I know this person does trust me.
Not to mention that those people are just more fun to work with. I work with fantastic people because I chose to work with fantastic people. I don’t have any clients that suck the life out of me because I said no right from the get-go.
And finally: you don’t have to do this. I’m not saying everybody has to do this. It’s simply a choice. If you want to say yes to everything, it’s not my business; it’s your business and do what you want with what I have said. This is how I’ve chosen to live my life and run my business.