Jun 14th, 2020

Be Known (or be Nothing)

A few days ago, at a Learning Exchange we did with a client, one of the participants mentioned a video from Simon Sinek (of “Start With Why”-fame) to me. It is a recording of an internal team meeting where he talks about “These Are Not Unprecedented Times”. It’s a good prep talk. But that is not my point.

Watch the video and you will see him talk repeatedly about “the infinite mindset” (a concept from his new book). It’s a powerful demonstration of a concept which most of us understand but seldom practice:

You have to be known for something or you are nothing.

And you typically can only be known for one thing (at a time). Which might be the exact reason Simon talks about the infinite mindset and not about starting with why or how leaders eat last (his other books, in case you are wondering).

Additionally you do well by repeating your message, in the exact same words, over and over again — until you truly become known for it. Many of us try to say things in different words, as we believe it helps people “get” the message (if they don’t understand X, they might understand Y). In reality, for most of your audience, X and Y become two messages. Which brings me back to my earlier point (and repeated here solely for making a point): You have to be known for something. You can only be known for one thing. And you have to repeat your message in the exact same words again and again.

All the reasons why Simon (i) only talks about the Infinite mindset, (ii) repeats it over and over again, and (iii) uses the exact same words – and not, for example, the “abundance” mindset or the “growth” mindset (which might be used to describe the same concept).

What is the one thing you are known for?

P.S. We are doing a Learning Exchange about “Managing Polarities” on June 30th 2020. Sign up here — it’s a great session by my friend and be radical-collaborator Jeffrey Rogers.

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