Simon Sinek on Performance and Trust
Simon Sinek, may be best known for popularizing the concept of WHY, (The Golden Circle on “inspiration) which he described in his first TED Talk in 2009 has been described as “a visionary thinker with a rare intellect”. He devotes his professional life to help advance a vision of the world that does not yet exist; a world in which the vast majority of people wake up every single morning inspired, feel safe wherever they are, and end the day fulfilled by the work that they do. He is the author of multiple best-selling books including Start With Why, Leaders Eat Last, Together is Better, Find Your Why, and The Infinite Game. In his series of podcasts “A Bit of Optimism” he interviews well-known and lesser-known people, always with a focus on optimism and inspires people to do the things that inspire them so that, together, each of us can change our world for the better.
In the above short presentation – often distributed on the internet – Simon Sinek sets out, in plain and easy to understand terms, the importance of trust using Navy Seals as an example. This advanced military group completely depends on the trust among themselves and the people they work with to do their job. Yet high performance but low trust would end up being a disaster for this organization.
Likewise, performing well is important for any organization, yet a lack of trust disqualifies the employee or colleague. However, too many companies aiming high on “corporate culture”, reward performance but undervalue the importance of trust. A high performer with little trust (the “asshole” in the organization) may reach outstanding results, but if there is a lack of trust, you might not want to keep him/her in your organization. Rather, people who might be much lower in terms of performance, but are highly trusted, are the gems to keep and cherish.