Embracing Purpose: A Communication Leader's Insight - Sarah Spence

07th Mar 2024

Our Marketing Manager, Sarah Spence, embraces World Book Day and shares her insights into reading "Start with Why" by Simon Sinek. She tells us how it has inspired her to read more and reinvigorated her sense of purpose in the fundamental role communications play in creating a positive and thriving organisational culture.

As a communications leader, I am constantly seeking to invest in my professional development, learn new things, and inspire my growing comms team here at RTC North. My latest investment was reading Simon Sinek's "Start with Why." I’d heard great things about this book and thought I’d check it out for myself. As communications practitioners, working with our colleagues to understand the purpose of what they are delivering or what they are trying to achieve is central to successful communications and a phrase I often use. For me, this book is really special because it goes beyond standard leadership insights and instead, teaches us how to motivate people to do great things and create a feeling of meaning and importance in groups of people who work together. There is no doubt that RTC North is a purpose led organisation, its why I love working there - our WHY creates a motivational force that connects and aligns the team in a way that you don't get in many organisations, but as we grow and scale, it's important I do the same, and this book certainly challenged my thinking.

At its core, "Start with Why" challenges traditional leadership by urging individuals and organisations to delve deep into the fundamental question of 'why' they do what they do. I loved how Sinek used real-world examples ranging from Apple to Martin Luther King Jr., and the messages about how to powerfully cultivate authentic connections and drive meaningful change really resonated with me.

One of the most compelling aspects of Sinek's philosophy is his emphasis on the importance of purpose-driven leadership. He champions that great leaders don't simply focus on what they do or how they do it; instead, they are driven by a compelling 'why' they do it. As a communications professional, it really got me thinking about how this emphasises the importance of crafting narratives that resonate with the core values and aspirations of our audiences, and these narratives are a crucial part of how we communicate why we do what we do!

Sinek's concept of the "Golden Circle" gave a practical framework for aligning organisational messaging with its underlying purpose. By prioritising 'why' over 'what' and 'how,' leaders can foster genuine engagement and loyalty among stakeholders, whether they be employees, customers, or partners. Again, this resonates deeply for me as it reinforces the importance of authenticity and clarity in our messaging strategies.

Not only has "Start with Why" really got me thinking, but it's also offered me invaluable guidance on cultivating a culture of trust and collaboration within teams, emphasising the significance of fostering a sense of belonging and shared purpose, which are essential ingredients for unleashing the full potential of individuals and driving collective success.

My team is amazing, but I want to develop a culture where learning is implicit to our practices, and "Start with Why" has reinvigorated my appetite to read and solidified my aspiration to nurture a cohesive and high-performing team that is motivated by a common vision and empowered to innovate fearlessly, ultimately aligned to RTC’s values.

For me, "Start with Why" is a must-read for any communications leader seeking to elevate their professional development and inspire positive change within their organisation. Simon Sinek not only challenges conventional wisdom but also provides a roadmap for cultivating purpose-driven leadership and fostering authentic connections in an increasingly complex world. Give it a go, people!

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