If you aspire to be a leader, then Simon Sinek has some suggestions you may want to take on board. Sinek has made a career of breaking down how to become a person who inspires others, which is the topic of his speech “How Great Leaders Inspire Action.”
According to Sinek, there is one specific thing leaders have in common, a concept he explains by way of his golden circle. This circle is made up of three concentric rings◆. In the outermost◆ ring is “What.” In the middle, “How.” And in the center circle is the word “Why.” Sinek points out that by “why” he doesn’t mean a monetary agenda, but a deeper purpose. Most people and companies think from the outside of the circle and work their way inward, though they may not be able to explain why they are pursuing a certain goal. However, Sinek argues that leaders who inspire others, from the outset, begin thinking in the central ring and move outward. That is, they first determine why they do what they want to do.
As an example of this abstract concept, Sinek brings up the Wright brothers. Against all odds, broke and without college degrees, the two brothers were the first to achieve manned◆ mechanical flight. They succeeded because they believed in the future of flight. In contrast, Samuel Pierpont Langley received ample funding from the government and had graduates from Harvard working with him to build the first airplane. Yet, as Sinek states, Langley wanted to be first and become rich. His pursuit wasn’t rooted in any greater belief or cause. Thus, when he failed in the venture, he simply gave up.
As Sinek repeats throughout his talk, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”
◆ a concentric ring / circle 同心圓
concentric a. 同（圓）心的
◆ outermost a. 最外面的
innermost a. 最接近中心的；最深處的
◆ manned a. 載人的
1. inspiration n. 鼓舞；靈感
inspire vt. 鼓舞，激勵
inspire sb to V 鼓舞∕激勵某人（做）??
• The chief editor’s enthusiasm for her work has been an inspiration to us all.
• I couldn’t write anything because I was out of inspiration.
• My father inspired me to follow my dreams and become an actor.
2. aspire vi. 渴望
aspire to V 渴望要……
• James aspires to become a professional interpreter.
3. concept n. 概念
• It is sad that people nowadays still buy into the concept that being thin is beautiful.
＊buy into... 相信∕採納……（某觀點）
4. monetary a. 金錢（上）的
• People attach too much importance to monetary wealth.
5. agenda n. 議題；議程（表）
• The citizens were paying serious attention to the agenda discussed in the Congress.
• The next item on the agenda is annual performance review.
6. inward(s) adv. 向內地
outward(s) adv. 向外地
• After her husband’s death, Meg began to turn inwards in her quest for spiritual peace.
7. abstract a. 抽象的
• There are many abstract paintings in this museum.
8. ample a. 充足的
• There is ample evidence that climate patterns are changing.
9. pursuit n. 追求，追尋
in pursuit of... 追求∕追趕……
• Time and health are precious, but many people sacrifice them in pursuit of wealth and power.
10. venture n.（有風險的）事業
• This real estate venture is a profitable investment.
1. take... on board 採納∕接受……（建議等）
• Sophie hoped that her boss could take her idea on board.
2. have... in common 有……的共通點
• My girlfriend and I don’t have much in common, but we still get along really well.
3. by way of... 透過∕經由……
= via prep.
• The team of explorers reached the cave by way of a long passage.
4. from / at the outset 從一開始
= from / at the beginning
outset n. 開始
• The machine was malfunctioning from the outset.
＊malfunction vi. 故障
5. against all odds 克服重重困難
• Against all odds, the once paralyzed man could walk again.
6. In contrast, S + V 相較之下，……
= By contrast, S + V
• Nora is shy and conservative. In contrast, her sister Hannah is active and sociable.
7. be rooted in... 起源於∕源自於……
• Ron’s fear of spiders is deeply rooted in his childhood.
break down... / break... down
• The teacher broke down the formula to make it easier for students to understand.
以下介紹 break down 作及物片語動詞的其他意思和作不及物片語動詞的意思：
a. break down 亦常與介詞 into 並用，形成下列用法：
break down A into B 將 A 分成 B
• You can easily understand this English sentence by breaking it down into two parts.
• The acid in our stomachs helps break down the food we eat.
• The police had to break down the door in order to arrest the man.
break down the barrier 消除隔閡，打破藩籬
• Attempts must be made to break down the barriers of fear and hostility, which divide the two communities.
• Shelly’s car broke down on her way home.
• The elevator broke down, so we had to walk up to the 12th floor.
• Eve was under a lot of pressure and almost broke down.
Start With Why 鼓動行為的黃金圈