A powerful model for inspirational leadership – starting with the question “Why”?

In other words, when we communicate from the outside in, people can understand large quantities of complicated information like features and figures. It just doesn’t drive behaviour. When we communicate from the inside out, we’re talking directly to the part of the brain that controls behaviour, and then we allow people to rationalise it with the tangible things we say and do. The goal is not just to sell to people who need what you have; the goal is to sell to people who believe what you believe. In much the same way, the goal is not just to hire people who need a job; it’s to hire people who believe what you believe.

?But why is it important to attract those who believe what you believe?” he asked. “It’s because of something called the law of diffusion of innovation. The first 2.5 per cent of our population are innovators. The next 13.5 per cent are early adopters, while 34 per cent are early majority, your late majority and laggards. We all sit at various places at various times on this scale, but what the law of diffusion of innovation tells us is that if you want mass-market success or mass-market acceptance of an idea, you cannot have it until you achieve this tipping point between 15 and 18 per cent market penetration, and then the system tips.

?I love asking bosses, ‘What’s your conversion on new business?’ They love to tell you, ‘It’s about ten per cent,’ proudly. Well, you can trip over ten per cent of the customers. We all have about ten per cent who just ‘get it.’ The problem is: How do you find the ones that get it before doing business versus the ones who don’t? It is this gap that you have to close because the early majority will not try something until someone else has tried it first.

“Just listen to politicians now, with their comprehensive 12-point plans. They’re not inspiring anybody. Because there are leaders and there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of power or authority, but those who lead inspire us. Whether they’re individuals or organisations, we follow those who lead, not because we have to, but because we want to. We follow those who lead, not for them, but for ourselves. And it’s those who start with ‘why’ that have the ability to inspire those around them or find others who inspire them.”

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