Simon Sinek with Arthur Brooks: Leading with Purpose

Our country is facing a crisis of moral leadership. From political polarization to falling private-sector dynamism, a lack of inspirational leadership is slowing our progress and making it more difficult to lift up the vulnerable. Bestselling authors Simon Sinek, TED Celebrity and Optimist, and Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, are among the country’s foremost leadership experts. Together, they will share the advice they offer leading policymakers and executives, and explain why uncovering our “why” is the key to greater effectiveness and personal happiness.


now my name is Joni I’m thinking about
your comment or your wife’s comment at
least we know he he’s not cheating there
statistics data shows us the 70% of
students are cheating now parents are
cheating they’re writing their papers
they’re editing their papers so much for
that parents are saying we we finished
our applications we did this we did that
this issue of integrity I think which
cuts through the why yeah how do you
apply the golden to issues
so for example if you’re running an
organization or I run a school and I see
integrity as a driving issue yeah that
impacts everything that this school is
doing and the leaders are not yeah
facing this how do you apply this to
issues yeah you want to take a crack
well I want to hear what you have to say
but I think it’s actually worth pointing
out that every single one of us can be
more honest give me more every single
one of us shades the truth all the time
and there are lots of reasons to do it
one of these to protect ourselves from
harm one of the reasons that we do it is
to get ahead and what it’s just to say
to protect your reputation and sometimes
is to protect other’s feelings those are
like kind of the three canonical reasons
for shading the truth right there’s a
lot of research on lying actually and
lying is common and is becoming more
common and particularly among young
people that we find the interesting and
the alarming thing as they tend to
justify lying as if they were protecting
others when in point of fact they are
protecting themselves so well here’s
what I recommended to all of us we’re
talking about cheating but thinking
about any dishonesty thinking about
something where you’re bending the rules
when you’ve done that why did you do
that and be honest with yourself even
before you’re honest with others never
shade the truth to protect yourself and
now here’s the gist goal go an hour
without doing it and then go a whole day
without doing it and you’re gonna pay a
cost by the way you’re gonna pay a cost
when somebody asks you a difficult
question and you don’t want to give the
answer and you pretend that you’re
protecting somebody’s feelings but
you’re actually trying to protect
yourself and your own reputation but the
dividends are huge with respect to your
own integrity because the smart person
who is more integrated is happier is
more joyful has clearer vision Simon
Simon what do you think of my answer so
it’s more about integrity
it goes to finite an infinite right
which is which is I’m playing by finite
rules my kid has to get into this school
my kid has to get this job my kid has to
get this my kid has to get that and I’ll
do whatever it takes to get them there
and that’s their playing by a plank
they’re living life and manage worse
they’re managing their kids lives based
on the finite rules and the problem is
there is no winning exactly and and that
we have this twisted concept in how
we’re managing our lives and helping our
kids in terms of wins and losses the
short term it’s the short term and and
and we said it’s pervasive it’s been
building and building since the 80s and
90s is pervasive to the point now it’s
affecting parenting exactly so so so so
bye so if somebody learns leadership at
work right and I did we I’m actually not
a business guy but but like during the
Great Depression the unemployment rate
was 25% during the last recession it was
9 or 10 right good stable unemployment
is 4 4 so what I hear is even when 25
percent I don’t have jobs 75 percent do
so if you want to get two people get
them at work and it’s too hard to go to
everybody’s home and say let’s learn
leadership but if I can get companies to
teach leadership lots of people who work
in companies are parents and you learn
skills like conflict resolution you
weren’t you learn things like effective
communication you learn things like
effective confrontation
these are all skills that are parenting
skills so the belief is that if we build
leaders in the most efficient way
possible which is at work they become
better parents that’s the belief we’re
not teaching leadership at all there’s a
book that just came out called the end
of loyalty where companies are no longer
loyal to people and people are no longer
loyal to companies everything is about
short term short term short term and
unfortunately that mentality now
pervades parenting so we have to do the
hard work we’ve probably lost a
generation but we have to do the hard
work of going back to what
– to be a parent which doesn’t mean
necessarily helping your kid get the job
at any expense or get into the school at
any cost we’ve run out of our formal
time but she’s gonna be outside is
actually yeah because your babysitter is
has to leave we go a little but we can’t
tell you what we’re gonna do we’re going
to retire to the festival but I want to
do one thing before we do I want to sum
up I want to sum up three big lessons
that we’ve learned here from talking to
Simon okay number one lesson number one

The Republican Waterloo

Conservatives once warned that Obamacare would produce the Democratic Waterloo. Their inability to accept the principle of universal coverage has, instead, led to their own defeat.

.. At precisely the moment we were urging the GOP to march in one direction, the great mass of conservatives and Republicans had turned on the double in the other, toward an ever more wild and even paranoid extremism. Those were the days of Glenn Beck’s 5 o’clock Fox News conspiracy rants, of Sarah Palin’s “death panels,” of Orly Taitz and her fellow Birthers, of Tea Party rallies at which men openly brandished assault rifles.

.. AEI would provide a home for the emerging “reform conservative” tendency. Its president, Arthur Brooks, would speak eloquently of the need for conservatives to show concern for the poor and the hard-pressed working class.

.. The mood then was that supporters and opponents of the Obama administration were engaged in a furious battle over whether the United States would remain a capitalist economy at all.

.. it was precisely because I appreciated its unwelcomeness where I worked that I had launched an independent blog in the first place.
.. I fruitlessly argued through 2009 and 2010 that Republicans should do business with President Obama on health-care reform.
.. It seemed to me that Obama’s adoption of ideas developed at the Heritage Foundation in the early 1990s—and then enacted into state law in Massachusetts by Governor Mitt Romney—offered the best near-term hope to control the federal health-care spending that would otherwise devour the defense budget and force taxes upward.
.. I suggested that universal coverage was a worthy goal, and one that would hugely relieve the anxieties of working-class and middle-class Americans who had suffered so much in the Great Recession.
.. They had the votes this time to pass something. They surely would do so—and so the practical question facing Republicans was whether it would not be better to negotiate to shape that “something” in ways that would be less expensive, less regulatory, and less redistributive.
.. Increasingly isolated and frustrated, I watched with dismay as people I’d known for years and decades incited each other to jump together over the same cliff.

.. There were leaders who knew better, who would have liked to deal. But they were trapped. Conservative talkers on Fox and talk radio had whipped the Republican voting base into such a frenzy that deal-making was rendered impossible. How do you negotiate with somebody who wants to murder your grandmother? Or—more exactly—with somebody whom your voters have been persuaded to believe wants to murder their grandmother?I’ve been on a soapbox for months now about the harm that our overheated talk is doing to us. Yes it mobilizes supporters—but by mobilizing them with hysterical accusations and pseudo-information, overheated talk has made it impossible for representatives to represent and elected leaders to lead. The real leaders are on TV and radio, and they have very different imperatives from people in government. Talk radio thrives on confrontation and recrimination. When Rush Limbaugh said that he wanted President Obama to fail, he was intelligently explaining his own interests. What he omitted to say—but what is equally true—is that he also wants Republicans to fail. If Republicans succeed—if they govern successfully in office and negotiate attractive compromises out of office—Rush’s listeners get less angry. And if they are less angry, they listen to the radio less, and hear fewer ads for Sleepnumber beds.

So today’s defeat for free-market economics and Republican values is a huge win for the conservative entertainment industry. Their listeners and viewers will now be even more enraged, even more frustrated, even more disappointed in everybody except the responsibility-free talkers on television and radio. For them, it’s mission accomplished. For the cause they purport to represent, it’s Waterloo all right: ours.

.. Over the next seven years, Republicans would vote again and again to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Total and permanent opposition to the law would become the absolute touchstone of Republican loyalty. Even Donald Trump, who dissented from so much of the old orthodoxy, retained this piece of the doxology.

.. Some of the conservatives who voted “no” to the House leadership’s version of repeal may yet imagine that they will have some other opportunity to void the law. They are again deluding themselves.

.. Too many people benefit from the law—and the Republican alternatives thus far offer too little to compensate for the loss of those benefits.

.. America committed itself for the first time to the principle of universal (or near universal) health-care coverage. That principle has had seven years to work its way into American life and into the public sense of right and wrong. It’s not yet unanimously accepted. But it’s accepted by enough voters—and especially by enough Republican voters—to render impossible the seven-year Republican vision of removing that coverage from those who have gained it under the Affordable Care Act.

.. Paul Ryan still upholds the right of Americans to “choose” to go uninsured if they cannot afford to pay the cost of their insurance on their own. His country no longer agrees.

.. Health care may not be a human right, but the lack of universal health coverage in a wealthy democracy is a severe, unjustifiable, and unnecessary human wrong.

.. As Americans lift this worry from their fellow citizens, they’ll discover that they have addressed some other important problems too. They’ll find that they have removed one of the most important barriers to entrepreneurship, because people with bright ideas will fear less to quit the jobs through which they get their health care.

.. They’ll find they have improved the troubled lives of the white working class succumbing at earlier ages from preventable deaths of despair.

.. What I would urge is that those conservatives and Republicans who were wrong about the evolution of this debate please consider why they were wrong: Consider the destructive effect of ideological conformity, of ignorance of the experience of comparable countries, and of a conservative political culture that incentivizes

  • intransigence,
  • radicalism, and
  • anger over
  • prudence,
  • moderation, and
  • compassion.