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Why ‘Why’ Will Win and Why ‘What’ Won’t

All of the great and inspiring leaders and organisations in the world think, act and communicate in the exact same way and it’s completely opposite to everyone else – Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King, the Wright Brothers, Barack Obama all have this in common.

What is it? They communicate from the inside out.

What does that mean? Communication from the inside out entails in communicating with emotion, passion and love first and then everything else second – you communicate WHY you’ve done what you’ve done, why you’ve made a difference, why you’ve challenged the status quo – then drop that all important question – Wanna buy one?

As humans, we are hard wired to respond better to emotion, passion and feeling more than technical or soft details of a product – you could call it “instinct”, I guess. Here’s an example.

We’ve made the best machine possible by thinking differently, challenging the status quo and designing something we want to use. Wanna buy one?
vs
We have leather seats, air conditioning, four wheel drive and great suspension, all at an affordable price. Wanna buy one?

Obviously the tone in which it is communicated will make a difference but you get the point.

Simon (the speaker) talks further about how our brains are structured to respond to this type of communication – he talks about the two parts to our brain in particular, (1) the neo-cortex corresponding with the ‘what’ level responsible for our analytical and rational thought and our (2) Limbic system (or Paleomammalian brain) corresponding with the ‘how’ and ‘why’ levels, responsible for all of our feelings like trust and loyalty. Ultimately, the limbic system is also responsible and forms the basis of all behaviour and decision making. The limbic system does not have capacity for language however – our neo-cortex deals with that.

As our Limbic system has no capacity for language, if your limbic system is not comfortable with something, you will get that gut feeling that something is not right – you have no idea why or a good reason to communicate, it just doesnt feel right – that is where that comes from. Our neo-cortex comes to a conclusion or decision based on the information it receives – it analyses it and responds accordingly with sound reasoning – the limbic system doesn’t because it responds to feelings and by inspiring such feelings we can communicate directly with the part of the brain that makes the decision.

After watching the video and some reflection on Steve Jobs, Apple, Barack’s ‘Yes We Can’ campaign and Dr King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech, it does make sense – I definitely agree. Perhaps this is why UK Politicians get limited public support – they’re too busy trying to make friends with the media or plotting on how to tackle the opposition rather than communicating why they are doing what they are doing – maybe this is what they need. Check out the video below.

By Naj Hassan

Hey, i'm Naj. Thanks for reading. Please feel free to contact me via the about page.