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Simon Sinek on the 10 rules for achieving greatness

There are two types of people – those that see what they want, and those that see what stands in the way of what they want. Which type of person are you?

This is just one of the questions that leadership expert Simon Sinek challenges you to get real about. Because when it comes to making real change in your life, you have to start with yourself. Why do you get up in the morning? How do you embody the vision you have for your life? And what value are you bringing to the table?

In this episode of the Tony Robbins Podcast, Editorial Director Ana Yoerg sits down with Simon Sinek to break down his 10 rules for Success.

Who is Simon Sinek?

Simon Sinek is the author of four best-selling books: Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action; Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t; Together is Better: A Little Book of Inspiration; and Find Your Why: A Practical Guide to Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team. His Ted Talk on How Great Leaders Inspire Action has become the third most-watched talk of all time on, gathering more than 35 million views. And his unconventional and innovative views on business and leadership have enabled him to work closely with a range of clients, from the military to massive international conglomerates to members of Congress.

In this episode, Simon dishes out the practical advice and philosophical teachings that will get you to think, act and communicate like a leader. Because real transformation starts with you. It’s about knowing when to break the rules, stacking the deck in your favor, bringing your most authentic self to the table, learning how to be the last to speak and always striving to embody the values that you set out for others to follow.

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Simon Sinek Podcast Show Notes

[00:55] Introduction
[02:45] Welcome Simon
[02:50] Simon’s 10 rules for success
[03:30] Spreading his message organically
[04:10] Simon’s millennial talk goes viral
[04:40] When you know your “why” your responsibility is to preach
[04:45] Those that are selfish end up stifling their message
[05:05] Breaking the rules
[05:50] The U.S. air force example
[07:10] Know the purpose, cause or belief that drives you
[07:30] Pre-framing your audience with your “why”
[07:40] How Simon starts every meeting
[08:20] There is always a context, and it’s important to be selfish about it
[08:50] Honesty about context gives you permission to break rules
[09:00] The importance of a mission statement
[09:40] When Simon lost passion for his own work
[10:20] Guidelines for finding your “why”
[10:40] “Why are we friends?”
[12:30] Your “why” is the value you bring to the world
[13:20] What did you want to be when you grow up?
[14:50] What did you want to be when you were a teenager?
[16:10] What did you want to be in your early to mid-20’s?
[18:00] Be patient and be the last to speak
[18:40] How Nelson Mandela became a great leader
[19:20] Becoming a better listener by becoming the last to speak
[20:20] Surround yourself with the right people
[20:40] How do you “stack the deck”?
[21:10] Putting yourself in a position of natural strength
[21:40] Find the early adopters of your ideas
[22:20] Hire for culture, not just for skills
[23:50] What it really mean to be authentic
[24:50] The truth must be constructive, but not mean
[26:10] Accountability
[27:20] When leaders fail to take accountability
[28:50] The power of humility
[30:20] The movement to reject old school business priorities
[31:20] Allowing room for mistakes
[31:50] The filter we implement on social media
[32:15] Don’t use others as a benchmark for your success
[32:35] There’s no such thing as winning in business
[33:35] The best way to beat your competition is to beat yourself
[34:20] Constantly strive to improve your systems
[35:50] The trickle down effect of leading your company towards self-improvement
[37:00] Stress is the achiever’s word for fear
[37:20] To manage stress, train your mind
[37:50] The stronger our relationships, the better able we are to deal with stress
[38:50] What is a real work-life balance
[39:20] People that have balance have great personal and professional relationships
[40:40] Excitement vs. Nervousness
[41:00] Reframing the symptoms and experiences you have
[42:00] Creating meaningful relationships at work
[42:50] Culture building and cultivating healthy environments in the workplace
[43:20] Intensity and consistency
[45:40] LIttle things on a daily basis create trust and unity
[47:00] The 2mm shifts you can make now for a long term impact
[47:20] Doing the hard work to take care of your customers
[48:50] Focus on sustainability rather than the quick fix
[50:30] Where to learn more about Simon Sinek
[51:05] Simon’s new book Find Your Why

Deconstructing a generation

The Simon Sinek “Millennials in the Workplace” video deconstructed the millennial generation and their desire to make an impact on the world. He suggested that due to the way they were raised and their dependence on technology and social media, they don’t know how to make that impact. This has led to an ongoing struggle with their own worth and what they can offer to the world. 

“Millennials in the Workplace” stirred up a great deal of conversation and amassed millions of views. Simon was pleased to see it go viral, though he emphasizes that its success was thanks to others listening to it, finding something they believed in and passing it on. 

The need for fulfillment 

When answering the question, “Who is Simon Sinek?” you’re likely to think of “the why guy.” The “why” is your purpose, your cause and your vision. It’s the thing that brings you the most fulfillment. 

“Your why,” Simon says, “is the thing you do to the world, and the value you offer.”

A person without a why – and a business without a why – is adrift without a compass.

Simon brings his “why” to everything he does, and in return, everything he does must align with his “why.” At every meeting he attends, he states why he’s there and why this meeting will help him accomplish his goals. This is how he ensures every meeting he attends lines up with his why and what matters to him

Start with why

He describes his own “why” as creating a world where, “The vast majority of people wake up in the morning inspired to go to work, feel safe while they’re there and return home fulfilled at the end of the day.” Everything he accomplishes in a day, from meetings to emails, needs to contribute to his vision in some way and help him build the extraordinary world he wants to see

His famous TED Talk, “Start With Why,” drives the point home even further. Not only should you know your why, but you should only do business with people who believe what you believe. All of you need to be rowing in the same general direction, working toward what matters to you as individuals and as a company. When the entire group has the same purpose, you can accomplish remarkable things.


How do you see the world? – Learn how you sort, learn and understand information and discover if you are a matcher or a mismatcher.

How to steal the show – Public speaking expert Michael Port explains what you can do to develop your communication skills and leverage them to make real strides in your personal and your professional life.

The power of mental conditioning – With imagery training, you can learn how to create absolute certainty within yourself, and fill yourself with the belief that you will accomplish what you set out to.

Team Tony

Team Tony cultivates, curates and shares Tony Robbins’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.

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