Before you start with Who…

Michel Bachmann

I recently wrote an article on “Start with Who” as a response to Simon Sinek’s popular TED talk “Start with Why”. There were two pieces of feedback that I’d like to include in the next iteration of the framework:

1. Place the Who within the context of Where & When

Herman Gyr pointed out that he usually starts with “where is the world going?” before diving into “who are we now and who do we want to become in that world”. That is, he suggests placing the Who within a coherent description of an emerging future to both ground and expand the awareness of what is possible.

I resonate with that view and would therefore suggest drawing a contextual frame with the Where & When around the Golden Spiral:

In other words, the Who is heavily influenced by the Where & When. And so is the Why, How and What. We don’t operate in a vacuum and need to be aware of the bigger context we are in before starting anything new.

2. Align the Who, Why, How and What so that it becomes a powerful vortex

The other piece of feedback that resonated came from Fabio Salvadori:

I wouldn’t say that the Who is more “important” than the Why, or How or What; they are all important and I think that, depending on the context, it may be effective to start from any one of them. But I think the Who is the purest and highest source of energy we can tap into.

No matter where you started from, the goal is to align all the layers. When they are all aligned we create a channel through which the full power of who we are flows, so that the why, how and what will become exponentially more powerful.

Torben Hansen made a similar comment:

The Why will only result in a desired outcome if it is aligned with the person who utters it. Put another way, the claim of “find a Why and act accordingly” turns into “find out Who you are and Who you can become, and find an according Why”.

I fully agree that the key is to align the various layers into a coherent whole and that it’s not about what’s more “important” but about recognizing the source energy and aligning everything from that place.

I will integrate those two pieces of feedback in the next iteration of the model and welcome any other thoughts you may have to add. Thank you!

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Michel Bachmann

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Exploring new ways of inter-being.

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