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How do you inspire people to take action?

Let’s start by acknowledging this is the wrong question to ask. It should not be how, but instead we should be asking why.Why do you want to inspire people to

take action?

Much better! Let’s explore why.

Simon Sinek, speaker and author of “It Starts With Why,” has developed a simple and powerful model for how great leaders can inspire others to take action.

Watch Simon Sinek's TEDx Talk, “How great leaders inspire action.” 

The model is simple, Simon believes the most inspirational leaders know how to communicate by explaining the “Why?” of what they do.  In comparison, many other leaders will talk about what or how they are going to do something.

Here is my own example for Power to Define, pay attention to each of the following sentences:

What? – I'm a motivational speaker, I facilitate workshops and do consulting work. 

How? – My approach is to work with students and educators through design thinking and experiential learning. 

Why? – I believe every student deserves and excellent education and I'm committed to educational equity.

Now, which one sounds more inspiring?

Inspirational leaders know how to communicate from the inside out. They’ll start out by communicating their beliefs before they tell you their plan. As Simon says it: “people don’t buy what you do, but why you do it.”

There are “leaders” who will only attempt to tell us what to do or how to do it. This is not inspiring. In the other hand, there are leaders who inspire us to believe in ourselves and in our own dreams. When you communicate with your beliefs you inspire people to follow their own.

At the end of the day, when you are leading and inspiring people to take action you don’t want them to do it because of you. You want them to do it for themselves and because they believe it is the right thing to do.

So before you start leading, ask your self this simple and powerful question: Why?

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