As a curious bunch we’re always excited to expand our minds and on Tuesday we delved into the world of Simon Sinek, a author, speaker and consultant whose 2009 TED talk has been viewed over 27 million times and whose books, 'Start with Why’ and 'Leaders Eat Last' are on every business graduates reading list. Tuesday’s subject was the power of collaboration, something we wholeheartedly embrace here at HA and the subject of Sinek’s new book, ‘Together is better’.
Sinek believes people need to feel protected at work and the perennial work life balance struggle is more to do with people feeling safe and comfortable at home and not in the workplace. The business strategies of many big businesses are throwbacks from the hedonistic 80’s and 90’s and those times are long gone. Sinek argues this focus on shareholders and profit at the expense of taking care of our employees is a short term strategy not built to last. We have become addicted to bonuses and pay rises and the little hit of dopamine when we receive these is akin to the buzz of alcohol and drugs, the culture of being out for ourselves and having no qualms about stabbing each other in the bag is in fact bad for business.
Sinek comments leaders in organisations are not always the people most trusted and great leadership has nothing to do with rank. Empathy he suggests is paramount to connecting on a human level, and empathy is a muscle that can be exercised daily. Too often he argues we avoid asking for help when we need it or refuse to accept it when its offered. We often keep self doubt to ourselves instead of turning to someone we trust for inspiration. When actually its OK to be vulnerable to tell our bosses, I’m worried, I’m scared, I don’t know what I’m doing. This vulnerability doesn’t make us weak, it makes us human. However we sometimes need to be reminded its also lonely at the top, and can be an uphill battle with no checklist.
But here’s for the good news, we can build our businesses by making our employees the number 1 priority and if we take care of our people at work, they in turn will take care of the people at home. By changing the culture of the companies we work in, we can change the system from the inside out. Business may be the new tribe but people have the power.
So inspiring words and if by something as seemingly easy as taking care of one another, we can change the way the world does business, lets hope this catches on.