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Who Inspires Us: Simon Sinek

You've probably seen his TED Talk, so, in our last installment of the blog series "Who Inspires Us," we'll follow Simon Sinek.

Who is Simon Sinek?

Simon Sinek is a British American author and public speaker. He was born in 1973 in Wimbledon, London, England, but grew up all over the world. As a child he lived in South Africa, London, Hong Kong, and then moved to the United States. When he graduated high school, Sinek studied law at London's City University for two years before leaving law school to study advertising. He then received his bachelors in cultural anthropology from Brandeis University.

He began his career in a New York advertising agency. After his fourth year in business with his own advertising agency, he "fell out of love" with advertising. He launched his own business, Simon Sinek Inc., in 2007. Simon Sinek Inc. hopes to create a world where every day people feel inspired, safe, and fulfilled at work. Currently, Sinek is a professor at Columbia University for strategic communications.

What does he teach?

Simon Sinek focuses his lessons on four topics: WHY, culture, leadership, and the infinite game. Finding your "why" is about learning what is the one constant that guides and drives you towards fulfillment in work and life. Leadership, according to Sinek, is something that must be learned. A leader is always a student who puts people first, practices empathy, and takes care of those in charge. He highlights the importance of company culture because customers will only love a company when the employees love it, too. Companies must live their values to create safety, build relationships, and promote good work. In his most recent work, Sinek evaluates the infinite game. Many organizations struggle under leaders with a finite mindset. Leading with the infinite game promotes innovation, inspires employees, and sets up the organization for the future. A leader playing the infinite game finds a just cause, trusts their team, finds worthy rivals, remains flexible, and has the courage to lead.

Where can I learn more from him?

Sinek has five published books. His first book in 2009, Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, helps people become more inspired at work. He released Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together And Others Don't in 2014. He discusses how the greatest leaders sacrifice their own comfort for the good of the team to establish safety, security, trust and cooperation. Other books include Together is Better. His latest books are Find Your Why and The Infinite Game.

Sinek has the third most popular TED video of all time with 28 million views. You can also learn more through articles, podcasts, and videos.

"Let us all choose to be the leaders we wished we had."

- Simon Sinek


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References: Simon Sinek, Linkedin

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