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Leadership expert inspiring entrepreneurs to ‘start with why’



  • Simon Sinek’s 2009 TEDx Talk, “How great leaders inspire action,” has more than 47 million views on Sinek is a leadership expert with an academic background in ethnography, or the study of human social customs and structures.
  • His TEDx Talk and related book, “Start With Why,” illustrate the importance of focusing on why your business matters to people instead of the typical question of what your business does.
  • Leaders who can articulate a compelling “why” for their business stand a better chance at attracting the loyal team and customers that sustain long-term success.
  • Three takeaways from his 10-year-old message are more relevant than ever for small businesses and entrepreneurs in an increasingly competitive marketplace. 
  • Visit BI Prime for more stories.

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

I first heard those words in an interview I did with Patrice Banks, an entrepreneur who started a women-focused auto garage in Philadelphia.

Banks was quoting Simon Sinek, the leadership expert and author of “Start With Why,” a book that documents the mindset that enables great entrepreneurs and innovators to inspire others.

Sinek’s quote lingered in my mind for weeks, until one day I came across a copy of the book on a shelf in the Business Insider newsroom.

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I read the book, watched his 2009 TEDx talk, and found three takeaways for how entrepreneurs and small businesses can use Sinek’s advice to strengthen the loyalty of their team and customers.

‘The world’s simplest idea’

Sinek calls his concept “the world’s simplest idea,” and he illustrates it with a diagram of three concentric rings. Within each circle are the words “what,” “how,” and “why,” with “why” at the center.

Most businesses answer those questions from the outside in, starting with a description of their product or service. Some go a step further and explain how they deliver it, and few ever make a clear case for why they offer it.

Instead, Sinek says leaders should start from the inside out — starting with “why.” Citing examples like Apple and Martin Luther King, Jr., he shows that leaders who articulate a guiding philosophical principle for their actions forge stronger emotional bonds with their followers.

In short, “what” is about your results, but “why” is about your motivation.

(By the way, money and profit are results, not motivation, Sinek says. Another way to think about it is how your idea benefits others.)

Finding people who believe what you believe

Not everyone is a good fit for your business, whether they are partners, employees or even customers. Sinek says that putting your motivations front and center can help focus your efforts on the people that share your mission.

In his talk, Sinek quips that MLK’s famous speech was “I have a dream,” not “I have a plan.”

He attributes Apple’s commercial success to its clear messaging about its mission to “Think Different,” which invites people to identify personally with the brand and follow it into new directions. Apple and Dell both offered music players to the market, but only Apple’s iPod (and later iPhone) became social icons for consumers.

Sinek traces the connection to biological roots in our brains’ neocortex and limbic systems, which support the logical and emotional processing of what we call “gut feelings,” which we later rationalize with facts.

I asked my wife about this — she is a doctoral candidate in psychology and neuroscience at Princeton — and she says while Sinek’s characterization is broadly correct, it is important not to oversimplify this complex system in binary terms.

Our more primal and advanced processes are supported by different regions of the brain that work together and adapt to changes throughout our lives.

Regardless of how you understand the science, “why” can be a profoundly emotional question.

What about “how”?

If you regularly read Business Insider’s Strategy coverage, you may have noticed a bit of a theme: we spend a lot of time on the “how” in our stories.

In fact, Sinek’s explanation of the importance of “how” is what made the book such a compelling read for me.

“How” is the action piece of Sinek’s model, where a philosophy is transformed into a result. Transforming the “why” of your business into a successful “what” is fundamentally dependent on the “how.”

The “how” is a vitally important question. Without it, your “why” remains just a lofty idea.

Conversely, without a “why,” the “how” can become rote and uninspiring. At the end of the day, it’s all about where you start.

Articulating the “why” for your business can be a challenging exercise, but the long-term benefits of defining it could be instrumental to your success.

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Non-surgical hair replacement – Business Insider



  •  There is no surgery involved with these hair replacements.
  • Hairstylist Phil Ring applies replacements that are made out of real human hair.
  • Replacements applied with adhesive can last three to four weeks, while ones applied with tape last one week.
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Top Netflix, streaming shows this week: ‘Mandalorian,’ ‘Dragon Prince’



  • Every week, Parrot Analytics provides Business Insider with a list of the nine most in-demand original TV shows on streaming services in the US.
  • This week includes Disney Plus’ “The Mandalorian” and Netflix’s “The Dragon Prince.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Disney Plus’ “The Mandalorian” continues to dominate streaming television, thanks in no small part to the popularity of Baby Yoda.

Every week, Parrot Analytics provides Business Insider with a list of the nine most in-demand TV shows on streaming services in the US. The data is based on “demand expressions,” Parrot Analytics’ globally standardized TV demand measurement unit. Audience demand reflects the desire, engagement, and viewership weighted by importance, so a stream or download is a higher expression of demand than a “like” or comment on social media, for instance.

New to this week’s list is Netflix’s animated fantasy series “The Dragon Prince,” which recently debuted its third season.

Below are this week’s nine most popular original shows on Netflix and other streaming services:

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Boris Johnson heading for victory due to Labour’s crumbling ‘red wall’



  • The Conservatives believe they are in course for a historic victory thanks to growing support in the North West of England.
  • Business Insider spoke to candidates and voters in the key election battleground of Cumbria.
  • Polls suggest they are both set to elect Conservative MPs at the December 12 election.
  • The Labour Party is fighting to keep hold of Workington and Barrow & Furness.
  • Brexit, the nuclear industry, and declining economies dominate doorstep conversation.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories. 

Boris Johnson’s Conservatives are increasingly confident that they are on course for a victory in next week’s general election thanks to growing discontent in former Labour-voting areas.

Business Insider visited the electoral battleground of Cumbria where the Conservatives have set their sights on two constituencies 50 miles apart in this rural county in the northwest of England: Workington and Barrow & Furness.

The Conservatives have never held both of these seats simultaneously. Indeed the Tory party has controlled Workington for just three of its 100 year history with the Labour Party holding the seat for the other 97.

However, polling suggests Cumbrians will make history when they go to the polls on Thursday.

Extensive polling by YouGov unveiled last week, suggested that these two Brexit-voting towns on the Cumbrian coast were set to elect Conservative MPs. In Workington, which is held by Shadow Environment Secretary Sue Hayman, the Conservatives were one percentage point ahead. In Barrow & Furness, the Conservative lead over Labour was 15%.

Simon Fell, the Conservative candidate in Barrow & Furness, told Business Insider that the ongoing Brexit stalemate had shifted voters away from Labour.

“It’s a strongly-Leave seat and people are very worried that Parliament has taken this long to get to not even a decision,” he said.

“What they’re seeing with Labour is a party which said they’d respect the result of the referendum but are not doing that.”

Conservative activists in Barrow & Furness believe two key factors are working in their favour.

Firstly, previous Liberal Democrat voters are not flocking to Labour like they did in 2017. And secondly, Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party is not attracting enough support to undermine Fell’s campaign, or indeed much support at all.

“All we’ve got is canvassing and to be honest with you we are getting very little Brexit Party support. I can probably count on two hands the number of Brexit Party supporters we have found,” Fell told Business Insider.

The campaigns of Fell and Workington’s Conservative candidate, Mark Jenkinson, have been boosted by high-profile visits from senior ministers in Johnson’s government, including Chancellor Sajid Javid and Education Secretary Gavin Williamson. Prime Minister Johnson is expected to visit the region before polling day next week.

Sajid Javid Simon Fell

Simon Fell (right) talks to Chancellor Sajid Javid and voters in Barrow & Furness.
Simon Fell

Britain’s neglected towns are key election battlegrounds

The Conservatives believe that the key to an election victory lies in winning over voters dubbed “The Workington Man.” According to conservative think tank Onward, these are working-class Leave-voters in rugby league-watching towns like Workington and Barrow. Others include Wigan and Warrington in nearby counties Lancashire and Cheshire.

Sue Hayman, who is fighting to keep Workington in Labour’s hands, told Business Insider that she had received “quite a lot of complaints from people saying they felt belittled and patronised” by the label.

“There was a feeling of who is this bloke from down south looking down his nose at Northerners and thinking he can chuck us into one basket,” Hayman said. 

Evidence suggests seats like Workington and Barrow & Furness are slowly slipping through Labour’s grasp. The Centre For Towns think tank last month published polling suggesting the Conservatives led Labour in every category of town it had devised. Their lead was 22% in coastal towns, where Workington and Barrow-in-Furness fall, up 4% on 2017. 

Towns, with ageing and less diverse populations, are generally more socially conservative than metropolitan areas. As a result Labour’s support has dropped in many parts of North England and the Midlands. 

The think tank’s Professor Will Jennings said that Barrow and Workington, like other towns across the country, share a negative “economic trajectory” dating back decades, defined by a loss of jobs, capital, and industry.

“These are places that have sustained a loss of their economic heartbeat. And that’s over a very long period dating back certainly back to Thatcher, and potentially before,” Jennings told Business Insider.

Workington and Barrow are at opposite ends of the beautiful but remote Cumbrian coast. Underserved by shoddy public transport and local infrastructure, both experience “relative geographical isolation” which leaves inhabitants feeling “disconnected from wider parts of the country,” Jennings said.

Both towns depend on the nuclear industry. This is particularly tricky for Labour in Barrow, where Conservative activists claim Labour leader Corbyn’s lifelong opposition to nuclear weapons is a threat to the town’s largest employer, BAE Systems, which employs thousands to develop the Trident nuclear defence system. Labour activists point out that the party’s manifesto commits to renewing the Trident nuclear weapons system.

Labour is hopeful of clinging on

Chris Altree Barrow-in-Furness

Chris Altree, Labour’s candidate in Barrow & Furness.
Chris Altree

Hayman was quietly confident that Labour’s vote would hold up, telling Business Insider “it feels ok on the doorstep.”

Chris Altree, Labour’s candidate in Barrow & Furness, agreed with Hayman. He told Business Insider: “I don’t think Labour’s vote is necessarily drifting in a way that the Conservatives like to pretend it is.”

He said: “The thing I’m telling people is your vote really counts in this constituency. Some people are put off voting Labour by the last MP we had [John Woodcock.] He didn’t endear himself to a lot of people.

“So it’s a change and a fresh start.”

Woodcock quit the Labour Party in 2018 in protest against Corbyn’s leadership. He has urged voters in Barrow to support the Conservatives, describing Corbyn as a threat to national security.

Altree works on the local railways having previously served in Afghanistan. He said both professions exposed him to the effects of austerity. Particularly the army, which he said was “decimated” by Conservative government cuts.

“I hate this myth that the Conservatives are strong on defence and that they’ll look after your boys. They really don’t.”

He said a Conservative MP would be an “absolute disaster” for Barrow.

“I just look at how much they [Conservatives] have cut from the councils over the last ten years. Barrow just needs to look at when it last had a Conservative MP — we lost ten thousand or so jobs from the shipyard.”

Hayman said she was desperate for Labour to win the election and implement its manifesto, as its plans to build a green economy includes a new recycling steel plant in Workington, which she said would “affect this area hugely.”

Sue Hayman Campaign Workington

Shadow Environment Secretary Sue Hayman and Labour Party activists in Workington.
Sue Hayman

Both Hayman and Altree acknowledged that they had fight on their hands.

The Labour Party knows it must narrow the polling gap between itself and the Conservatives in the days ahead if it is to keep hold of even just one of these seats.

However, Fell was optimistic that he will become Barrow’s first Conservative MP in nearly 30 years on December 12. It is his third attempt to win the seat after narrowly losing out two years ago. 

He compared Barrow with nearby Copeland, the Cumbrian constituency that borders Workington, which in a 2017 by-election elected its first Conservative MP in well over 20 years.

“There is clearly a direction of travel here and it is people wanting a change from the Labour establishment who have sat here for a long time,” he said.

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