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Start With Who, Not Why | Issue #183

Why Simon Sinek is fundamentally wrong

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have heard of author Simon Sinek. He took the business world by storm in 2009 with his lecture, ‘How Great Leaders Inspire Action’. This became the 3rd most-watched TED talk of all time. In it, he unveiled his ‘Golden Circle’ with ‘Why’ at its heart. Sinek’s book Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action became a best-seller and his views were widely accepted by companies across the globe.  An obsession with ‘Purpose’ began. 

It is now a mainstream belief that businesses with a strong purpose grow faster. Other writers have developed this concept, such as David Hieatt in his book ‘Do Purpose – Why Brands with a Purpose Do Better and Matter More’. (I had David on The Melting Pot here). This is a belief I share. There’s no arguing the importance of purpose for developing business culture. I have seen with my own eyes the difference it can make to a business.

But where I disagree fundamentally with Simon Sinek is his central message of ‘starting with why’. I don’t believe this isn’t where you should start at all.

How to Set Up Your Business To Be Acquired with Robert Belgrave

If you’re thinking of selling your business, or you’re wanting to create value to make your business more attractive to potential acquirers, then don’t miss Robert Belgrave, CEO EMEA for Pax8 and co-founder of Ecologi, on this week’s The Melting Pot. 

Having founded Wirehive in 2012, with a vision to create the sort of business they themselves wanted to be a part of, Wirehive was subsequently acquired by Pax8 in 2021. 

So how can you replicate their success and set up your business for a future sale? To make it attractive to potential buyers? 

In this latest episode, Rob shares how they set Wirehive up to be acquired – the specific decisions they made to enable success, how they chose who they wanted to acquire them, how they triggered the process without a formal advisor to help them, and what (if anything) he might have done differently. 

If this all sounds like something you’re going through or are about to go through, download and listen today.

WorkLife with Adam Grant

You spend a quarter of your life at work. You should enjoy it! Organizational psychologist Adam Grant takes you inside the minds of some of the world’s most unusual professionals to discover the keys to a better work life. From learning how to love your rivals to harnessing the power of frustration, one thing’s for sure: You’ll never see your job the same way again.

Stop Wasting People’s Time with Meetings

At their best, meetings are purposeful, inclusive (of the people who actually need to be there), and participatory. Nevertheless, some leaders don’t pay much attention to their own contributions. At a time where there’s more focus on the quality of meetings, it pays to take the opportunity to showcase your best self to your colleagues and make sure you’re spending your time and energy wisely. The author presents five strategies to help you do that.

Rethinking total reward strategies

Pay, incentives, and benefits haven’t significantly changed for decades, but people’s preferences have. Employee compensation needs a rethink if companies are to attract and retain talent.

The bullies are back

Reams of evidence—both lived and scientific—underscore that people are less likely to self-censor some behavior when in online spaces, a phenomenon known as online disinhibition. Though this effect is most evident when people are anonymous, many of the conditions that enable it, such as asynchronous communication and the propensity toward cyber-incivility, exist in remote work as well.

Competing in the new world of work by Keith Ferrazzi, Kian Gohar and Noel Weyrich

You’ve shed antiquated systems and processes. You went all-in on digital. Your teams settled into new, often better, ways of doing things. But did your organization change enough to stay competitive in the post-pandemic world? Did you fully leverage the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to leap forward and grow stronger? Are you shaping the new environment to your advantage? If not, it’s not too late to learn from the best. New York Times #1 bestselling author Keith Ferrazzi, along with coauthors Kian Gohar and Noel Weyrich, shows leaders how to shape their organizations and practices to remain competitive in a new, post-pandemic context.

Eat, Sleep, Innovate by Scott D. Anthony

Leaders have experimented with open innovation programs, corporate accelerators, venture capital arms, skunkworks, and innovation contests. They’ve trekked to Silicon Valley, Shenzhen, and Tel Aviv to learn from today’s hottest, most successful tech companies. Yet most would admit they’ve failed to create truly innovative cultures. There’s a better way. And it all starts with the power of habit. In Eat, Sleep, Innovate, innovation expert Scott Anthony and his impressive team of coauthors use groundbreaking research in behavioral science to provide a first-of-its-kind playbook for empowering individuals and teams to be their most curious and creative—every single day. Throughout the book, the authors reveal a collection of BEANs—behavior enablers, artifacts, and nudges—they’ve collected from workplaces across the globe that will unleash the natural innovator inside everyone.

News from the farm

Scaling Up Virtual Course

Bring up to 8 team members of your team to get private coaching with Dominic Monkhouse, Philip Rose and Karol Popa, as you implement an industry-leading strategy, build stronger alignment, and build cash conversion cycles that give you the ability to scale.

CEO Bootcamp with Verne Harnish and Dominic Monkhouse

“Without question, best executive education investment we’ve ever made!”- John Allen, President, Brown Haven Homes

“We have uncovered a market segment that 1. is extremely profitable, 2. is completely overlooked by the industry, and 3. breaks an industry constraint. We wouldn’t have been even thinking about it if it weren’t for the Boot camp” – Tom Bemiller, CEO, The Aureus Group

What are the constraints in your business? What’s keeping you from scaling?

This September, Verne Harnish is coming to the first CEO Bootcamp in the UK to spend time with you and 9 other business leaders and their #2’s in a 4-day reinvigorating experience.  

You will work closely with Verne and Dominic to address your more pressing challenges and uncover those opportunities you’re overlooking and that will truly help you move the needle in your business.

Apply today to join Verne and Dominic at Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, near Bath (UK).

Monday 12th, September – Thursday 15th, September

Register Here


Is your business recession-proof?

According to the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, if energy prices remain at current levels, Britain is heading for a recession in the second half of the year. Google search volumes – hence inbound activity – have been negatively impacted for many of our clients by the war in Ukraine. That’s why now is the time to dust off your cash flow forecast and review what your business’ day of death is? Do you have enough cash to run your business for 180 days or more? If not, think about what actions you need to take today to future proof your business.

Upcoming events

Scaling Up Workshop with Dominic Monkhouse – 23rd June

Are you on your way to achieving the goals to set up for this year? Is your team aligned and rowing in the same direction to execute your vision? If your answer is no, or if you hesitated, we can help. Join Dominic Monkhouse on a half-day practical session, to get away from the uproar of the everyday commercial world and look at your business afresh – to recognise your strengths, your weaknesses and your opportunities.

Quote of the week

“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.”

Simon Sinek

Dominic Monkhouse

Dominic offers business coaching and management development, strategy planning and organisational change, using tried and tested methods to launch your organisation onto an unparalleled growth trajectory. His programme is a function of his broad experience, his deep expertise and a proven process used by over 2,700 firms worldwide.

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    Sign up today and get your copy of F**K PLAN B: How to scale your technology business faster and achieve Plan A, the book that will change your business and your life.

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