In Chapter 8 of 16 in his 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, author and public speaker Simon Sinek answers "When Are You at Your Best?" Sinek reaches his personal best by putting himself in a position of strength, namely surrounding himself with support. Sinek notes he is able to "stack the deck" by being around people who want him there and who he wants to be around. Simon Sinek teaches leaders and organizations how to inspire people. His goal is to "inspire people to do the things that inspire them" and help others find fulfillment in their work. Sinek is the author of "Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action". He works regularly with the United States Military, United States Congress, and many organizations, agencies and entrepreneurs. Sinek is an adjunct professor at Columbia University and an adjunct staff member at the think tank RAND Corporation. Sinek earned a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Brandeis University.
Erik Michielsen: When are you at your best?
Simon Sinek: I’m at my best when I’m around people who believe what I believe. I know it seems silly but I try very, very hard to sort of stack the deck, you know, to put myself in a position of strength. So for example, you know, somebody asked me just yesterday, have you ever had sort of a bad, you know, engagement. I was thinking to myself, I’m like, not really. But it’s not because I’m some sort of genius or anything like that. It’s because I stack the deck. It’s because I want to be there—I wanna be around people who want me there. In other words, if I’m somebody’s 10th choice, and like, you know, I’ll probably turn it down. Whereas if I’m their first choice, they really want me there, and so I’m more likely to have a good engagement. They’re supportive of me, I’m supportive of them. And so—yeah, I’m at my best when I stack the deck. When I choose to be in an environment where my strengths are there.