Today, a friend directed me to a great blog post by Simon Sinek asking “Why does your company exist?“. In the post, Simon compares Sprint’s CEO Dan Hess, who appeared in commercials this year to broadcast the message “we’re cheaper”, to Nike’s founder, Phil Knight.
From Simon’s post:
Knight was the keynote speaker at a conference and, like the CEO of Sprint, he too made a case for why you should choose Nike over the competition. But Knight took a different approach. He didn’t say what Nike does or how they are better. And he certainly didn’t attempt to differentiate the company based on price. Instead, he told a story that explains why Nike exists.
Looking across the audience, Knight asked those who run to stand up. And a good percentage of the room stood up. Then he asked those who run three or more times a week to keep standing; everyone else was asked to sit down.
Looking out at the people left standing, Knight said, ”we are for you.”
“When you get up at 5 o’clock in the morning to go for a run,” he went on, “even if it’s cold and wet out, you go. And when you get to mile 4, we’re the one standing under the lamp post, out there in the cold and wet with you, cheering you on. We’re the inner athlete. We’re the inner champion.”
From Knight’s explanation, Nike has more than just a sales pitch – they have a cause. A reason to believe. This is what connects them to their customers and gives them purpose in their work.
I think this is a great reminder to us all to occasionally stop and think about why we’re in the business we are in. Sure, we all need to make a living, but there are lots of ways to do that. There’s more to the story than just making a living.
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Think about why you have chosen to make a living selling insurance. So tell me, why does your agency exist?