What made ordinary people like Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King, etc the GREATEST leaders of all time?
How do leaders like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, etc can inspire their employees to build successful businesses?
Simon Sinek has answers to ALL those questions in his TED talk “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” which has been viewed by over 62 million people so far.
If you haven’t watched it yet, you should probably watch it.
If you’re looking for Simon Sinek’s quotes on leadership and work – you’re in the right place.
In this post, you’ll discover;
- Simon Sinek’s motivational quotes
- Key lessons we can all learn from each of those quotes and more
Are you ready? Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
15 Most Famous Simon Sinek Quotes on Leadership, Business & Life
1. “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.”
Takeaway: Simon believes that great leaders like Martin Luther King, Steve Jobs, etc have created a HUGE impact because they know their “WHY” (or purpose). When people can connect with a company’s “WHY” or its purpose, they are more likely to become customers.
Start by asking yourself, “What do I want to do with my company?, What is our mission? What are our values?”, etc, to define your WHY. That’s how you can create something more likely to become profitable in the long run.
2. “If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood, sweat, and tears.”
Takeaway: Sinek always talks about “training people for ideas and values.” Yes, you can get things done by offering incentives, money, etc., but people will NEVER give their 100%.
If they believe in your mission, they’ll do whatever it takes to make your company successful. So create a unique and memorable mission to help it stand out from the competition.
3. “Great companies don’t hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire already motivated people and inspire them.”
Takeaway: This quote makes so much sense because motivated people are MORE engaged with their work. They will also often come up with new creative ideas to help your business succeed.
So before hiring anyone in your team or company, look for people passionate about their work and willing to go the extra mile to get things done.
4. “Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress: Working hard for something we love is called passion.”
Takeaway: Do you know the MAIN difference between stress and passion in work? Stress is often filled with negative emotions and can have a negative impact, whereas passion is filled with positive emotions, ultimately leading to a POSITIVE impact in work and life.
So it’s extremely important to LOVE your work or do what you love, as it can generate positive results in the long run. If you’re constantly stressed about your work, it will negatively impact your work and your health. Be passionate about your work!
5. “Value is not determined by those who set the price. Value is determined by those who choose to pay it.”
Takeaway: “Price” is always subjective. It’s a perception. People love to spend on expensive things if they value those products. That’s how Apple products, including iPhones, Macbooks, etc., are sold at premium prices than the competition.
The price becomes irrelevant if people see “value” in something (be it a product or service).
For example, if Apple prices a product 10x higher than what customers are willing to pay, the item may not sell well. Similarly, if people value the product, they’ll buy it at any price.
6. “A boss wants to pay for results, an employee wants recognition for effort. If a boss recognizes effort, they will get even better results.”
Takeaway: In most businesses, the boss OFTEN ignores the efforts given by their employees. He only cares about paying for results. That’s why it often becomes difficult to get BETTER results consistently.
Instead, if a boss focuses on recognizing the efforts put in by their employees, they’ll do more, give positive feedback and provide better results in the long run.
That’s why recognition plays a HUGE role in motivating your employees. You’ll get mediocre results as long as you ignore their efforts.
7. “Passion alone can’t cut it. For passion to survive, it needs structure. A WHY without HOW has little probability of success.”
Takeaway: Passion is just ONE part of success. You must create a structure that lasts forever to build a successful business.
If you only care about the “How” part (such as how to get things done) instead of focusing on the “WHY” part, you’ll have little chance of succeeding.
8. “A leader’s job is not to do the work for others, it’s to help others figure out how to do it themselves, to get things done, and to succeed beyond what they thought possible.”
Takeaway: Leaders don’t do the work for others simply means that they don’t necessarily take all the responsibility themselves. Instead, they inspire or guide people to get the best out of them.
But the leaders DO suppor their team or employees, create a great environment, provide all the tools they need to finish their tasks.
9. “The role of a leader is not to come up with all the great ideas. The role of a leader is to create an environment in which great ideas can happen.”
Takeaway: Yes, leaders like Steve Jobs or Elon Musk can come up with great ideas but it doesn’t mean they’re the one’s who’s responsible for all the ideas in their companies.
They often create an environment, where people feel safe to share their ideas, experiment with new things and encouraged to come up with creative ideas. A leader’s job is to create such friendly environment where anyone can pitch their ideas.
10. “There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.”
Takeaway: You can manipulate people by offering special incentives, money, etc but it’s a short-term strategy. If you want to train the best people with your work, you’ve to inspire them.
If you value people’s ideas and create a space to execute their ideas, you’ll be inspiring them to do work that often creates a long-term impact.
11. “It doesn’t matter how much we know; what matters is how clearly others can understand what we know.”
Takeaway: This quote by Sinek tells you the importance of effective communication. No matter what industry you’re in and how much expertise you’ve, if you can’t communicate properly, it’s almost impossible to build a successful business (or team).
If you’ve enough expertise and ideas to communicate easily with others, you can create a huge impact in your industry.
12. “The leaders who get the most out of their people are the leaders who care most about their people.”
Takeaway: Whether you’re running a company or team, focus on giving the #1 priority to the well-being of your team members (or employees). As long as you focus on what they want, you’ll get excellent results.
That’s why Sinek believes that great leaders like Steve Jobs or Elon Musk often get the BEST of their team members, as they genuinely care about their people.
13. “When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.”
Takeaway: Financial investment is not always the best way to motivate people. When you motivate people emotionally to invest in something, they are not looking for a return or money. They are simply looking to add value to what they believe in.
14. “Leadership is not about being in charge. It is about taking care of those in your charge.”
Takeaway: Leadership is NOT about taking control over people. It’s ALL about creating an environment where people think freely without restrictions, take new actions, experiment, and win.
True leadership is always about supporting the people, nurturing their skills, and giving proper guidance to get the best results. In short, being a leader is less about the title and more about the goal. If you’re focused on helping your team members to achieve their goals without interfering much, you’ll get better output.
15. “Some see risk as a reason not to try. Some see it as an obstacle to overcome. The risk is the same; to try or not depends on your perspective.”
Takeaway: This quote is about the importance of taking risks. If you want to create a better future and create an impact with your work, you need to start taking risks today.
Sinek believes that people who see risk as a reason NOT to try new things out are often afraid of failure. Those who see it as an opportunity often succeed no matter their industry.
10 BEST Simon Sinek Quotes on Leadership
Looking for exclusive leadership quotes from Simon Sinek? Here’s a handpicked list of 10 quotes on leadership.
1. “When we tell people to do their jobs, we get workers. When we trust people to get the job done, we get leaders.”
2. “Leaders are the ones who have the courage to go first, to put themselves at personal risk to open a path for others to follow.”
3. “A star wants to see herself rise to the top. A leader wants to see those around her become stars.”
4. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
5. “Too many people confuse being rich or famous with being a leader. Wealth and fame are byproducts not qualifications to lead.”
6. “Under poor leaders we feel like we work for the company. With good leaders we feel like we work for each other.”
7. “Bad leaders care about who’s right. Good leaders care about what’s right.”
8. “If you want to feel happy, do something for yourself. If you want to feel fulfilled, do something for someone else.”
9. “The quality of a leader cannot be judged by the answers he gives, but by the questions he asks.”
10. “You don’t hire for skills, you hire for attitude. You can always teach skills.”
FAQs | Simon Sinek motivational quotes
Here are some FAQs about Simon Sinek and his famous quotes.
Simon Sinek is an American best-selling author, speaker and motivator who has been featured on The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Time magazine, etc.
“The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.”
“Leadership requires two things: a vision of the world that does not yet exist and the ability to communicate it.”
“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” is one of the famous quotes from Simon Sinek’s book “Start With Why”. This quote talks about the framework “Golden Circle”, which gives you an understanding about human behavior.
Simon has published five books so far, including;
– Start with WHY
– Leaders Eat Last
– Together is Better
– The Infinite Game
– Find Your WHY
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Final thoughts on Simon Sinek quotes
Simon Sinek’s work has inspired millions of people around the world.
His talks on “WHY” helped hundreds of companies to train better leaders, get more productivity from their teams, and get BEST results.
What are your thoughts on the quotes by Simon Sinek? Did you find them helpful? What’s your favorite quote from Sinek? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.