Simon Sinek on How TED Talk Accelerates Career and Raises Aspirations

In Chapter 1 of 20 in his 2011 Capture Your Flag interview with host Erik Michielsen, author and leadership expert Simon Sinek shares how the positive response from his 2009 TEDx talk has changed his life. In the fall of 2009, Sinek released his first book and did the TED talk. The TED website promoted the talk and it went on to become one of the most favorited talks of all time. As the talk reached global audiences, Sinek's reach also increased. The experience validated Sinek's concept and increased his expectations and aspirations to affect positive change globally. 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: What has the positive response to your TED talk done to influence your plans for what comes next?

Simon Sinek: The TED talk completely changed my life I'd say. You know, I was on this nice path, sharing this thing called "The Why" and was very excited when I got an opportunity to write a book. But it was the opportunity, to not only do a TED X, but the fact that TED put it on the main website - I only found out about it the morning it happened - that things started moving much quicker.  

It was one of the most favorited talks of all time, which was pretty humbling, and what started to happen was people who I never imagined that I could reach or get to - internationally even - started to hear this message. And lots of other people started talking about it and sharing it. And it was quite fun and quite remarkable that people knew about this thing called "The Why" but they didn't know me. Prior to that, it was really only people who knew me or had a couple of degrees of separation, and so the ability for TED to reach - just such a remarkable number, and it sounds hackneyed, you know, the power they have, but they have remarkable power so that was very exciting.