Below is a rare glimpse into the world of Simon Sinek, the visionary thinker, entrepreneur, speaker and best-selling author.
Simon addressed his team in response to COVID-19, and shared his optimistic perspective of what the back end of the coronavirus will look like for many businesses.
Video Chat Transcript
I just did a podcast interview with some folks in Australia and they were pushing me very hard to try and explain how the infinite mindset helps in times like these. And I had a thought on that call that I wanted to share with everybody, which is… These are NOT unprecedented times. There are many cases, lists of cases where change or something unexpected has put many companies out of business and made other companies come out stronger or reinvent themselves. The invention of the internet. Put many, many companies out of business, the ones who could not reinvent their companies for the internet age, but rather double down on the old way they did business. Um, every video store is out of business because, uh, because of streaming and they couldn’t reinvent themselves. When Starbucks moved into neighborhoods, many, many companies went out of business.
Many coffee shops went out of business, not because of Starbucks, but because they refused to change the way they did business. They still had an old ripped up couch when you had a better product. Uber is putting taxi companies out of business, not because of Uber. It’s because the taxis refused to change. This is not unprecedented. The fact that something new and this is more sudden, absolutely, more shocking, absolutely, without a doubt. But this is not unprecedented in the business world. And so for us to say not “how do we do what we’re doing”, but rather “how will we do what we’re doing in a different world” and the world is different. And the thing that I said on this interview was “it’s the companies that had been investing in will and had and having an infinite mindset for a long time that will come out of this stronger” because they are prepared, many of them were saving money as opposed to giving out huge fat bonuses to everybody and spending all the money and the will of the people is high to figure out a way through it.
The ones that are struggling the most are the ones that spent all their money, saved nothing, appeased wall street, and the will of the people is low. That people are in survival mode rather than reinvention mode. It’s the companies that with an infinite mindset that are in reinvention mode. It’s the companies with the finite mindset that are in survival mode, regardless of how much money they have. It’s the mindset, “how are we going to get through this?” versus “how are we going to change to get through this?”
So I feel so optimistic because we’re thinking about the future. We’re in a dark tunnel, but there’s a light over there. I don’t know how far away that light is, but I can see it, but we’re in darkness now, but when we come out of there, we will have a better train, a different train. We will be a completely different business. Some of us will have different jobs by the we get out of this, and that’s our opportunity. The opportunity is what will we be, not how do we preserve what we had. That’s an infinite mindset and I’m so proud of this team because my attitude is this, not theoretically, but because I’m watching a team go through it right now, I’m watching people reinvent themselves. I’m watching people think about their jobs differently. I’m watching people think, how can I contribute in a new way? I’m watching people say, what could we be? How will we bring our message to people in a different way, in new ways that will last forever by the way, not just for now.
So proud of you guys, love you guys, because we are a living example of the stuff that I’m talking about out loud. I get to say, we are doing this. We’re not allowing Uber to put us out of business. We’re not allowing Starbucks to put us out of business. We’re not allowing the internet to put us out of business. We’ll reinvent ourselves. This is not unprecedented. This has happened many, many, many times in business. This one’s just a little more sudden.
Team Member #1:
By different jobs. You don’t mean different jobs out of this company, but reinvent yourself within this company.
That is the opportunity. So I know a company, it’s a fine dining restaurant in New York city. He’s figured out a way to become a delivery company. All of his people have kept their jobs because they have different jobs now. But if you think you’re going to do the same job and you’re waiting, like if you’re a public speaker who was waiting for this to get through so you can go stand on a stage. I got some bad news that that ship has sailed. We have to be a normal company now. We have to market ourselves and develop product.
This is a huge wake up call for us. We had the luxury of being lazy and I don’t mean that in a bad way. There was no reason to reinvent when when we’re drinking from a fire hose, but now the opportunity is magical. I’m thinking, how do I put myself out there without a stage? This is entirely new for me as well. This is entirely new for me, but I’m not worried about what I do. I’m worried about why I do it and I will find a job that helps me do that. I’ll make a job that helps me do that, and expect the same of everyone. And here’s the best thing, you don’t have to do it alone. We’ve got each other’s backs. We’ll help each other. Some of it will be easy. Some of it will be unbelievably difficult. This is a very, very magical team. We’re streamlined. Good. All right. I’ve got to go to the doctor.
Team Member #2:
Thank you, Simon.
All right. I love you guys.
Team Member #1:
Wash your hands!
I’m more worried about the doctor. Bye.
What a timely reminder that we, in fact, are not in unprecedented times. We’ve seen big shifts in the way we transact and do commerce before. We need to innovate, adapt and become different companies that can best service our customers.
Either that, or we go the way of Blockbuster, Kodak and thousands of Taxi companies!