In our annual publication TOKYO2019, we interviewed Simon Sinek, the author of the global bestseller Start With Why – How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action.

#2 of 4  Purpose Key Person Interview – Simon Sinek  (→ #1)

SMO: In the beginning of this year BlackRock’sCEO wrote a letter titled “A Sense of Purpose” stating the importance of companies serving a higher purpose. Also this year, WGSN, a leading trend forecasting company for the creative industry, announced purpose as one of the influential trends in 2019. The importance of purpose is seen in a wide range of sectors and industries. With that said, from your perspective, why is purpose so important today?

Simon:Authenticity is when you say and do the things you actually believe. Purpose is where authenticity lives. When you stand for something positive, just and good, and consistently take action to prove that belief, then people know who you are, what you stand for and trust emerges. Everyone wants to work for an authentic organization or leader. People prefer to buy from the authentic brand. Authenticity is where trust lives and authenticity breeds loyalty.
Another trend is that millennials are beginning to dominate the workforce, with Gen Z entering as well. By 2025, 75% of the workforce will be comprised of millennials. Millennialshave come of age in a time of climate change and accessibility to global news as local news. They are aware, informed and have an innate desire to do good by the world and people around them. This is a reason the current day employee and consumer wishes to find, experience and conduct themselves with organizations that have and live their purpose.
These generations have also come of age in a time where technology is at their fingertips. Instant gratification is a symptom of having constant access to technology – services fulfilled immediately at the push of a button. That’s all fine and well for ordering a taxi, food or finding a date. You cannot swipe right, however, for generating feelings of fulfillment, love or loyalty in one’s life or career. There ain’t no app for that. Love and fulfillment are human emotions that take time, investment, risk and patience.
It is the opportunity of leaders and organizations to create places to work that give employees a sense of belonging, identity and purpose. When we give people a reason to come to work, not simply a place to go to work, we gain from their loyalty and discretionary effort. We get better results for employees and customers alike. Knowing our purpose helps us find a place to belong and a place where we thrive. When individuals thrive, so does the organization.


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 TOKYO2019 including this interview page is available on our website. (Sorry, Japanese only)