Discover Your “Team Why” Workshop (inspired by Simon Sinek’s book"Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action")

Discover Your “Team Why” Workshop

(inspired by Simon Sinek’s book "Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action")

Read time: 4 minutes

"Start with Why" by Simon Sinek is a fantastic resource for understanding the power of purpose-driven leadership.

It emphasizes that great leaders and successful organizations often communicate from the inside out, starting with a clear understanding of their purpose (or their "Why").

Sinek introduces the Golden Circle framework, which consists of three concentric circles: Why (the purpose), How (the process), and What (the result).

Start With Why Golden Circle for Teams

Start With Why Golden Circle for Teams

He argues that while most people focus on the What, the most influential leaders inspire action by articulating their Why first—their deeper reason for existence.

By communicating Why they do what they do, they attract like-minded individuals who share their values and beliefs.

Sinek illustrates his points with compelling examples, demonstrating how companies like Apple and individuals like Martin Luther King Jr. achieved remarkable success by leading with Why.

"Start with Why" encourages you to identify your own purpose and use it as a guiding principle for decision-making and leadership.

While focussed on leaders and their organizations, it’s just as important for a team to know, understand and articulate their Why.

Here's a simple 3-step workshop based on insights from the book you can run with any team or organization to help them get there:


To help participants understand the concept of purpose-driven leadership, uncover their personal WHY, and develop strategies for applying their purpose in their personal and professional lives.

Step 1: Understanding the Concept of "Why"

Objective: Develop Awareness of Purpose-Driven Leadership

In this step participants gain an understanding of the significance of purpose-driven leadership and its impact on motivation and success in both personal and professional contexts.

  • Start the workshop by introducing Simon Sinek's concept of the Golden Circle: Why, How, What. Explain that great leaders and organizations start with WHY, the purpose, cause, or belief that drives them. Use examples from the book to illustrate this concept.
  • Engage participants in a discussion about the importance of purpose in leadership and how it differs from traditional approaches focused solely on what or how.
  • Encourage participants to reflect on their own experiences with leaders or organizations that inspired them and discuss what made those experiences meaningful.

Step 2: Discovering Personal Why

Objective: Uncover Personal Motivations and Values

In this step participants engage in reflective exercises to uncover their personal motivations, values, and passions, gaining clarity on their individual purpose and direction.

  • Guide participants through a series of exercises aimed at uncovering their personal WHY in the context of the team. This could include:
  • Reflective writing prompts: Ask participants to journal about their passions, values, and what drives them.
  • Group discussions: Facilitate conversations where participants share stories about moments when they felt most fulfilled or engaged.
  • Visualization exercises: Lead participants through a guided visualization to imagine their ideal future and the impact they want to have on the world.
  • Use tools and frameworks, such as the "Five Whys" exercise (also in the book) or the “Fishbone Diagram”, to help participants dig deeper into their motivations and uncover underlying themes.

Step 3: Creating the Team Why

Objective: Translate Purpose into a Team Manifesto

In this step participants learn to translate their personal WHY into an actionable team manifesto, empowering them to align their actions with their purpose and make meaningful contributions in their work.

  • Challenge participants to translate their personal WHY into actionable goals and behaviors for the team. Discuss how understanding their WHY can inform their choices, leadership style, and decision-making.
  • Split participants into smaller groups of 4 and ask them to create a team manifesto that articulates their WHY, how they plan to bring it to life, and what specific actions they will take to align with it.
  • Encourage the groups to share their manifestos with the others and offer feedback and support to one another.
  • Challenge the group to create 1 manifesto for the team that cherry picks the best ideas from the smaller groups.
  • Conclude the workshop by emphasizing the importance of regularly revisiting and refining one's WHY, as it can evolve over time, and encourage participants to continue exploring and living their purpose.

Tip: Throughout the workshop, create a supportive and collaborative environment where participants feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and experiences.

Encourage active participation, and don’t shy away from providing opportunities for self-reflection and group discussion.

This is supposed to challenge them and the discussions will likely reflect that.


I promise that if you run this workshop and help your team understand their WHY, they will not only work better with each other but their relationship with other teams and departments will also improve.

You’ll then have the nice problem to have of being asked to roll it out across the organization.

I hope you give it a try!

See you next week.

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About the Author

Nick Martin helps leaders & consultants improve team results with resources, advice & coaching through