Simon Sinek: “Tips for leaders”

Even in tough times, Simon Sinek is an optimist. “The biggest mistake leaders make is that they think they need to have all the answers.”says the author and business coach.

“Optimism is not a denial of the current state, it is a belief that the future is bright.”said the business coach and best-selling author Start With Why (2009), Leaders Eat Last (2014) and The Infinite Game (2019). ) to Managing Editor Lindsay Blakely at the virtual event Real Talk: Business Reboot. “I fundamentally believe that we will be better off because of this, not in spite of it.”.

During the hour-long conversation, Sinek explained how crisis is the “great revealer” and reaching out to employees is essential for leaders, as is listening and not always having all the answers.

A decade after Sinek published Start With Whystill advises his readers and clients that “why” should remain the foundation of their business.

“It is normal for crises to affect our confidence”says. “A crisis can throw us off course, but it doesn’t mean the ‘why’ has changed. It means we stop focusing on it.”

As many business owners have to pivot or adjust the way they do business amid Covid-19, Sinek advises you to remember that even if you’re changing what you do, you shouldn’t change why you do it.

In his role as a business coach, Sinek is often asked how leadership has changed during the multi-front crises of Covid-19, widespread unemployment and social unrest following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other Black Americans at the hands of police officers.

His answer is that good leadership doesn’t change, as the best leaders show up for their people, listen to their needs, and demonstrate courage, even if it’s the courage to admit they’re not sure what to do.

“The biggest mistake leaders make is that they think they need to have all the answers.”says Sinek.

Sinek advises managers or founders to keep an eye on their people, especially now. “Don’t send him an email saying, ‘I’m here if you want me.’Explain. ““Pick up the phone!”

He adds: «What would you do for a friend? Do it for your people. Listen. Make sure they feel heard. Take the time. You don’t have to do it every day, but check in on people every now and then. »

While your business has goals and objectives to achieve, a good leader understands that people have emotions. “There are human beings involved here”says. “And humans deal with trauma in different ways. There is no right or wrong here.”

And, as Sinek says, remember: “Leadership isn’t about being in charge, it’s about taking care of those in our charge.”

Sinek says he is grateful for the Black Lives Matter movement as it has challenged him to become a better listener. “If you can have an uncomfortable conversation about race, you can have a conversation about anything.”says.

For him, this moment has meant talking about racism with his Black friends and colleagues in ways they never have before. It also means sitting with the discomfort of really listening to their experiences under structural racism. As one of his friends told him, “Black Lives Matter is new to you. It’s not new to us.

Although he is an optimist, Simon Sinek is as uncertain about the future as many of us. «The world will be different», he says, noting how our grandparents’ experiences during World War II informed the rest of their lives and how our children’s experiences today will define theirs.
“I have some hopes, I have some fears. But it will be different.”