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What is Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle?

Known for his TEDx conferences on motivation and management, Simon Sinek is the author of a bestseller. His book “Start With Why” continues to inspire people in the world of entrepreneurship and personal development. Through his numerous media interventions, he explains his theory on the secret of the success of multinationals and certain opinion leaders. Their real difference would lie in their way of communicating. Here is everything you need to know about Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle.

Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle is a way of communicating

Also called the theory of why, Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle is a way of communicating comparable to a sphere composed of 3 layers. From the inside out, there is the “why”, the “how” and the “what”. According to the American-British speaker, most organizations answer these questions from the outside in, whereas we should go the opposite way.

In his book “Start with Why,” he explains that the logic of his Golden Circle follows the natural functioning of the brain. Biologically, human beings seek above all to understand the reasons which pushed a brand to create a product before liking it or not. The relevance of a technological solution does not depend on technical specificities.

For example, when Steve Jobs, the former CEO of Apple, presents the iPod, he begins by saying that he wondered “why” jeans (denim) have a small additional pocket on the back. left part. He then states that he spent time thinking about “how” to use this accessory. It is only afterwards that the visionary entrepreneur indicates “what” he thought this pocket would be used for: to place the iPod, his compact MP4 player.

By starting by explaining their motivations or their founding values, companies capture the attention of consumers. His Golden Circle would bring a philosophical dimension to modern entrepreneurship. For him, many business models are limited to dryly presenting a product when a short speech would make it more relevant. What marketers call “story telling” makes it easier to build trust and sell more easily.

Examples of application of the golden circle

Otherwise, his theory is not limited to communication. It adapts to all facets of entrepreneurship and all sectors of activity. Here are several concrete examples:

A theory highly recommended for communications professionals

A content creator on the Web will be able to capture the attention of his followers by starting by saying that what he is going to develop throughout his video is important. He will explain why you should watch it until the end. The YouTuber should say this before even stating the theme of his podcast.

A website such as can use the “header” to talk about the reasons for the page, its founding values ​​that visitors can share. Then, the menu will discuss the different ways to explore them. Much further down the pages, the titles will finally get to the heart of the matter.

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A Web agency can apply the Golden Circle by avoiding listing its services in a long speech. Instead of talking directly about SEO, SEA, Google Ads, and other offers that mean nothing to an uninitiated public, it is better to explain why it is crucial to have support to gain visibility on the Web.

Other situations where we must focus on “why”

An accountant should also stop saying that he takes care of business creation, tax returns, payroll, etc. According to Simon Sinek’s theory, you must directly elucidate your core business. The firm can, for example, explain the good reasons for outsourcing accounting. Instead of using overly technical vocabulary, it is better to talk about saving time, reliability and efficiency.

For a job seeker, you should try to answer the question why he is applying to a company. In this way, he will be able to better face the recruiter during the interview. It’s also a way to find work that exactly meets your expectations. The candidate can then frankly indicate that he wants good remuneration. He can also express his desire to learn or evolve within a major brand.

A contemporary manager can better manage his team by avoiding giving orders. Instead, he can just express his opinion by explaining why he thinks it would be better to carry out the mission in this way. With good leadership, he will then unite his colleagues around his ideas. In any case, he will succeed in this task by developing the multiple advantages of his method. A general awareness in the team allows us to move forward better and consolidate cohesion.

The law of diffusion of innovation according to Simon Sinek

The Golden Circle would be closely linked to what is called “the law of diffusion of innovation”. According to the latter, when a new product hits the market, consumers fall into 5 distinct groups:

  • 2.5% innovators
  • 13.5% early adopters
  • 34% early majority
  • 34% late majority
  • 16% laggards.

For Simon Sinek, the majority (early and late) which makes up a third of the market is problematic. Consumers who fall into this category wait for the product to be tested by innovators and early adopters before adopting it. They pay attention to feedback, especially negative reviews.

Therefore, to successfully enter the market for a product, you must aim for a penetration rate of 16%. The first consumers buy out of conviction. The speaker indicates that it is not necessarily millennials, that is to say people who were born during and after the year 2000. Rather, he thinks that it is those who were born from 1984.

Next, he introduces his theory on the golden circle. For him, it is entirely possible to achieve a penetration rate of 16% thanks to a good approach. The Golden Circle works as much on Generation Y as their elders or their younger siblings. The success of the marketing exercise relies on words evoking the deep motivations of a company. It would also be better to start by appealing to emotion rather than logic.