A lot of people don’t realize that I actually hated reading for the majority of my life. By the time I was 18, I don’t think I had really read a single book unless it was part of an assignment and I was just forced to do it.
But ever since I went to first grade, my teachers constantly tried to inspire me to read, and it never worked.
It just made me hate it even more. And then finally when I was about 18 or so, I started to find mentors, most of them online, and they were able to inspire me to read almost instantly, and now I can’t even imagine a life where I don’t read.
So what was the difference between my teachers who tried to inspire me to read for 12 years and failed constantly and my mentors who were able to do it in basically no time?
Well here it is in the context of the golden circle.
My teachers started with the “what.” You have to read this classic.
This is a great book! You have to! Then they sometimes went to the “how,” and said, this is how you read it. But that was it, there was no “why.” The funny thing is, if I had asked, “why should I read it,” they would probably get angry and start yelling.
How could you ask a stupid question like that? What do you mean why should you read a classic?!
And that anger would mostly come from the fact, that they haven’t really thought about the “why,” so they can’t really clearly articulate it. Most people and even most organizations don’t really know why they do what they do.
But how were my mentors different from my teachers at school?
They had successful relationships. They had success in their businesses.
And they said, “Look, do you want your girlfriend to be attracted to you?” “Do you want to build a successful business?”
“Do you want to create powerful relationships instead of always getting your emails ignored just like everyone else?” And I was like, “Yeah, that’s exactly what I want.” And they were like, Okay… Good. Then pick up a book.
Oh and by the way, How to Win Friends and Influence People is a great book, and so is The Way of the Superior Man.
And I picked up both of those books and read them, and now reading is an inseparable part of my life.
That is how great leaders inspire action. Everybody starts from the what, and most people never even get to the why. Most people create a product and they want to tell you about all the amazing features and specifications.
They want to tell you about how these features work so well.
But the truth is, most people don’t care about your “what” and “how.” Most people don’t want to be told the exact measurements of your CPU, they don’t want to be told how the little chips interact with each other so amazingly, they want to be told something like this…
We value effeciency just like you do. Here’s how we can help you be more efficient.
And here’s a product that will help you achieve exactly that.
And that’s exactly what I want to buy. If you tell me my company’s going to be more efficient, I want to know more.
If you tell me how great your newest chip is, I don’t really care.
So again, most people start from the “what” and never even get to the why. You’re not going to make that mistake.
You’re going to know your why and you’re going to start with it because you realize that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.