By Theo Winter
Sometimes I just want to post a short video on this blog and shout "HEY, A VIDEO I LIKE!" but I don't think my boss will let me get away with so little context (or shouting at our customers), so here are some words to go with (*softly and politely*) a short video I like.
You may know Simon Sinek as the best-selling author of Start With Why (2009), Leaders Eat Last (2014), and The Infinite Game (2019), or from one of his many viral speaking clips, who came to the world’s attention with his TED Talk on the Golden Circle concept (currently listed #3 on TED’s list of all-time most popular talks). Sinek is my favourite leadership speaker with stacks of great video content to choose from, but I was really struck by his response in this particular video.
Sinek has spent a lot of time analysing the U.S. military in how they build strong yet supportive cultures and how we might bring some of those lessons across to other areas including the corporate space. When asked how office workers might come to develop an “I’ll put my life on the line for you" kind of camaraderie in a matter of weeks or months and form the kinds of powerful and rare bonds found in certain military units, Sinek gives an answer that I've been thinking about ever since.
“And you're asking me a question like, 'How do we [build trust] in weeks and months?'… these are human beings we’re talking about, so that’s like asking me, ‘Can I give you advice so you can fall in love in a matter of weeks instead of having to do this whole getting to know them, being vulnerable?' — I got no app for that. It’s a slow, ploddy process. Sometimes you get lucky and you get a meeting of the minds and you have shared values and it goes a little quicker… so what I do know is that the way you build trust inside an organisation is the exact same way you fall in love, right, which is you devote yourself to the care of another human being, sometimes at the sacrifice of your own interests. It means when the person you love comes home from work and they said ‘I had a terrible day’, and you had an amazing day, you don’t say a word about your amazing day at all and you sit there and listen with love and empathy to their horrible day, as opposed to waiting for your turn to speak."