Simon Sinek on How Teaching Others Builds Your Knowledge

In Chapter 12 of 16 of his 2009 Capture Your Flag interview with host Erik Michielsen, while teaching marketing at Columbia University, Simon Sinek learns to better organize the pieces into course material and classroom discussion. Teaching forces "Start With Why" author Sinek to more deeply understand his own knowledge and challenges him to learn by breaking down his knowledge into smaller components.

Simon Sinek is a trained ethnographer who applies his curiosity around why people do what they do to teach leaders and companies how to inspire people. He is the author of "Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action". Sinek holds a BA degree in cultural anthropology from Brandeis University.


Erik Michielsen: For a number of years you have taught a class at Columbia University.  What has surprised you most about that teaching experience?

Simon Sinek: You don`t know anything unless you are able to teach it to somebody else.  It is amazing how much we think we know, competence in something, until the job is not just to show it to someone else but to show it to them in a way they can understand it and do it as well or better than you.  Do you know how to ride a bicycle?  Yes I do.  Go teach somebody how to do it.  Teaching forces you to do is break down your knowledge into components that give you a deeper understanding of your own knowledge.  I love teaching because I learn more every time I teach.