Simon Sinek: CHANGE YOUR FUTURE – Life Changing Motivational Speech
So I had the chance to meet with some of the kids in the program today, where are you – scream out – there you go?
I love those kids and
So what I thought I would do
Because they gave me a little bit of time – um
To say whatever I want
is offer you a
little bit of
Some observations for your future. I have five little rules that you can follow as you
Find your spark and bring your spark to life
The first is to go after the things that you want. Let me tell you a story
So a friend of mine, and I – we went for a run in Central Park the Roadrunners organization
On the weekends they host races, and it’s very common at the end of the races –
They’ll have a sponsor who will give away something
Apples or bagels or something – and on this particular day when we got to the end of the run there were some free bagels and
Picnic tables set up and on one side was a group of volunteers – on the table were boxes of bagels and on the other side
was a long line of runners waiting to get their free bagel
So I said to my friend. Let’s let’s get a bagel and he looked at me and said
That lines too long and I said
And he said I don’t want to wait in line and I was like
And he says – ” Nah – it’s too long!” – and that’s when I realized that there’s two ways to see the world:
Some people see the thing that they want and some people see the thing that prevents them from getting the thing that they want.
I walked up to the line
I leaned in between two people
put my hand in the box and pulled out two bagels and
No one get mad at me because the rule is you can go after whatever you want you just cannot
deny anyone else to go after whatever they want. Now I had to sacrifice choice. I didn’t get to choose which bagel
I got, I got whatever I pulled out, but I didn’t have to wait in line
So the point is is you don’t have to wait in line
You don’t have to do it the way everybody else has done it, you can do it your way
You can break the rules you just can’t get in the way of somebody else getting what they want. That’s rule number one.
Rule number two.
I like this one
There was something that
spread across Europe, and eventually made its way to America called Puerperal fever
Also known as the Black Death of Childbed
Basically what was happening, is women were giving birth and
they would die within 48 hours after giving birth
This Black Death of childbirth was the ravage of Europe and it got worse and worse and worse
over the course of over a century in some hospitals
It was as high as 70% of women who gave birth who would die as a result of giving birth
But this was the Renaissance
this was the time of
empirical data and science and we had thrown away things like
tradition and mysticism – These were men of science these were doctors and these doctors and men of science
wanted to study and try and find the reason
for this black death of childbed and so they got to work studying, and they would study the corpses
of the of the women who had died and in the morning they would conduct autopsies and then in the afternoon
they would go and deliver babies and finish their rounds. And it wasn’t until somewhere in the mid 1800s that
Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, father of Supreme Court Justice. Oliver Wendell Holmes realized
That all of these doctors who conducting autopsies in the morning weren’t washing their hands
Before they delivered babies in the afternoon, and he pointed it out and said
“Guys, you’re the problem” and
they ignored him and called him crazy for 30 years until
finally somebody realized that if they simply washed their hands
It would go away.
And that’s exactly what happened. When they started sterilizing their instruments and washing their hands the black death of childbed disappeared.
My point is the lesson here is: sometimes, you’re the problem
We’ve seen this happen all too recently with our new men of science and empirical
studies and these men of
Who are smarter than the rest of us until the thing collapsed
And they blamed everything else except themselves – and my point is is: Take accountability for your actions.
You can take all the credit in the world for the things that you do right as long as you also take responsibility
for the things you do wrong. It must be a balanced equation.
You don’t get it one way and not the other. You get to take credit when you also take accountability.
That’s lesson 2.
Take care of each other.
The United States Navy SEALs are perhaps the most elite warriors in the world.
And one of the SEALs was asked who makes it through the selection process? Who is able
to become a SEAL. And his answer was I
“I can’t tell you the kind of person that becomes a seal. I can’t tell you the kind of person that makes it through BUDs.
But I can tell you the kind of people who don’t become Seals.
He says the guys that show up with huge bulging muscles covered in tattoos –
who want to prove to the world how tough they are. None of them make it through.
He said the preening leaders who like to delegate all their responsibility – and never do anything themselves – none of them make it through.
He said the star college athletes, who have never really been tested to the core of their being.
None of them make it through.
He says some of the guys that make it through were skinny and scrawny
He said some of the guys that make it through – you will see them shivering out of fear.
He says- “However, all the guys that make it through –
when they find themselves
emotionally spent – when they have nothing left to give physically or emotionally
Somehow someway, they are able to find the energy to dig down deep inside themselves
To find the energy to help the guy next to them
They become Seals he said. You want to be an elite warrior?
It’s not about how tough you are it’s not about how smart you are –
It’s not about how fast you are. If you want to be an elite warrior
You better get really really good at helping the person to the left of you and helping the person to the right of you.
Because that’s how people advance in the world.
The world is too dangerous, and the world is too difficult for you to think that you can do these things alone.
If you find your spark
I commend you: who you gonna ask for help? And when are you gonna accept help when it’s offered?
Learn that skill.
Learn by practicing helping each other. It’ll be the single most valuable thing you ever learn in your entire life
To accept help when it’s offered and to ask for it when you know that you can’t do it.
The amazing thing is when you learn to ask for help, you’ll discover that there are people all around you
who’ve always wanted to help you. They just didn’t think you needed it because you kept pretending that you had everything under control.
And the minute you say: I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m stuck. I’m scared.
I don’t think I can do this. You will find that lots of people who love you will rush in and take care of you.
But that’ll only happen if you learn to take care of them first.
Nelson Mandela is a
particularly special case study in the leadership world because he is universally regarded as a great leader.
You can take other personalities and depending on the nation you go to we have different opinions about other personalities
But Nelson Mandela across the world is universally regarded as a great leader.
He was actually the son of a tribal chief, and he was asked one day –
“How did you learn to be a great leader?” and he responded that he would go with his father
to tribal meetings, and he remembers two things when his father would meet with other elders – One:
They would always
sit in a circle.
And two: His father was always the last to speak.
You will be told your whole life that you need to learn to listen.
I would say that you need to learn to be the last to speak.
I see it in boardrooms every day of the week.
Even people who consider themselves good leaders who may actually be decent leaders will walk into a room and say:
Here’s the problem, here’s what I think but I’m interested in your opinion. Let’s go around the room. It’s too late.
The skill to hold your opinions to yourself until everyone has spoken does two things. One:
It gives everybody else the feeling that they have been heard.
It gives everyone else the ability to feel that they have contributed, and
two: you get the benefit of hearing what everybody else has to think before you render your opinion.
The skill is really to keep your opinions to yourself. If you agree with somebody don’t nod “yes”.
If you disagree with somebody don’t nod “no”.
Simply sit there, take it all in and the only thing you’re allowed to do is ask questions
So that you can understand what they mean and why they have the opinion that they have. You must
understand from where they are speaking why they have the opinion they have not just what they are saying and
at the end
You will get your turn
It sounds easy. It’s not.
Practice being the last to speak that’s what Nelson Mandela did.
Number three number five – this Monty Python.
One – two- five – three !
For all the other nerds in the audience
My favorite one of all.
There was a former
Undersecretary of Defense who was invited to give a speech at a large conference, about a thousand people
And he was standing on the stage with his cup of coffee in a styrofoam cup
Giving his prepared remarks with his PowerPoint behind him, and he took a sip of his coffee, and he smiled,
And he looked down at the coffee, and then he went off-script
And he said “you know last year, I spoke at this exact same conference.
Last year, I was still the undersecretary and
when I spoke here last year they flew me here business class and when I arrived at the airport,
there was somebody waiting for me to take me to my hotel. And they took me to my hotel,
and they had already checked me in, and they just took me up to my room. And the next morning I came
downstairs, and there was someone waiting in the lobby to greet me, and they drove me to this here same venue.
They took me through the back entrance and took me into the green room and handed me a cup of coffee in a beautiful
beautiful ceramic cup.
He says I’m no longer the undersecretary.
I flew here coach
I took a taxi to my hotel and I checked myself in. When I came down the lobby this morning
I took another taxi to this venue
I came in the front door and found my way backstage
And when I asked someone “do you have any coffee?” he pointed to the coffee machine in the corner
And I poured myself a cup of coffee into this here
He says the lesson is the ceramic cup was never meant for me. It was meant for the position I held.
I deserve a styrofoam cup
Remember this as you gain fame, as you gain fortune, as you gain position and seniority,
People will treat you better. They will hold doors open for you,
they will get you a cup of tea and coffee without you even asking they will call you sir and ma’am
And they will give you stuff.
None of that stuff is meant for you
That stuff is meant for the position you hold
It is meant for the level that you have achieved of leader or success or whatever you want to call it, but you will always
deserve a styrofoam cup
Remember that lesson of humility and gratitude. You can accept all the free stuff, you can accept all the perks
Absolutely. You can enjoy them, but just be grateful for them, and know that they’re not for you.
I remember getting off
The Acela, I took the Acela from New York to Washington DC
And I got off the train like everybody else, and I was walking down the platform like everyone else, and I walked past
general Norty Schwartz who used to be the chief of staff of the United States Air Force, the Head of the Air Force – and
Here, I did you see a guy in a suit
Shlepping his own suitcase down the platform. Just like me – and just a couple months ago
He was flying on private jets and he had an entourage and other people carried his luggage.
But he no longer held the position and so now he got to drag his own suitcase, and
never did it sort of remind me more that none of us deserve the perks that we get we all deserve a styrofoam cup
It was a pleasure meeting you guys this afternoon
I was blown away by your honesty and your curiosity and your poise and
I am confident that the future is bright despite the fact that America looks like an absolute mess right now.
I am confident that the future is bright for one reason and one reason only – because you will grow up, and you will be our future
Thank you very very much guys