WEC, Day One: Meet Simon Sinek

Simon SinekAside from a few logistical glitches from this planner's perspective, my first MPI meeting experience is going well, in a large part to the opening keynote speaker, Simon Sinek. I've been a member for MPI for over a decade and thanks to a scholarship this is the first time I've been able to afford to attend. MPI's World Education Conference is happening now in Orlando through Tuesday.

Simon, whom I've never heard of before, had the audience's attention from the moment he sauntered on stage, wearing a slightly wrinkled pink dress shirt and a pair of fashionable, low-rise jeans. (From the look of him, he can't be more than 37 or 38 years old.)

But he spoke with wisdom and even tied what he had to say into our industry. Turns out, he's an author, speaker and even a TED presenter.

He talked a lot about leadership, business success and why we do what we do when it comes to business. He talked about what makes one company a huge success, such as Apple, and why others just exist or fail.

After he discussed leadership and how true leaders inspire (not manipulate) their followers, he went on to talk about his Golden Circle and the three big elements of it: The Why, The How and The What.

Most companies, he claims, start with The What (a product or service) and The How but rarely get to The Why, that is, why do we do what we do? This applies to us as business people and as meeting planners.

Simon convinced us it was the other way around. If you start with The Why, then The How and The What will follow. We make connections with those with like beliefs. The goal, says Simon, is to do business with people who believe what you believe and that's all tied into The Why.

It's The Why that people are really buying, not The What. After all, you can understand why some one might get a Harley tattoo, but, as Simon says, you'll never see anyone with a Proctor & Gamble tattoo.
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