People Don't Buy What You Do...
Our Inside Axon blog series is updated every Wednesday and features letters from executives within Axon. This week's post was written by Matt Spencer, Axon's Managing Director of EMEA & UK. Check again next week for more experiences and insight from Axon leaders.
A few years ago I was working for a different organisation and struggling to stay engaged in my average work day. I knew the company’s 30 years of history, yet I still failed to buy into its mission, and, in turn, my purpose within its huge organisation. It wasn't the first time I thought that something was missing in the purpose of my work, and it might not have been the last, until someone told me about a TED talk called ‘How Great Leaders Inspire Action’ by a guy called Simon Sinek.
In his presentation, Sinek talks about inspirational companies and leaders, explaining his concept of the Golden Circles and what he refers to as the What, the How and the Why and the fact that inspirational companies have an extraordinary sense of ‘why’ that their customers connect to. He states, ‘People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.’ This single sentence struck a real chord in me. Sinek talks about how inspirational companies like Apple connect to their customers by clearly articulating their Purpose, their Cause, their Belief. They start with the why and not with the what or how. And it is this approach that has set them apart. Today his TED Talk has been viewed over 31 million times.
The Sinek presentation made me start to re-evaluate my purpose at work and the company I was working for. I realised that I struggled to connect with my company’s why, and his concept of the Golden Circles brought all my thoughts and feelings together to provide the clarity I needed to make a change. A change that has changed my working life significantly.
I joined Axon because I connected with the why. I believe what Axon believes. I have always had a strong sense of justice, so the mission to protect human life by using less-lethal technology really resonated within me. The purpose of using technology to preserve the truth both excited and spoke to me to the point where I was called to action. I thought to myself, ‘If this company is going to change the world of public safety, I want to be part of it.’
And after joining forces with Axon, I was able to be a part of that change, helping steer the UK team to introduce body-worn video and cloud-based digital evidence management to the largest police forces in the U.K. (London Met, West Midlands, Greater Manchester). I’ve been fortunate to meet with agencies across the world to understand their needs, and I’m proud to have helped integrate the first cloud-based platform of its kind to allow police forces to share evidence digitally with the courts as part of the solution. Law enforcement agencies across the world are undergoing a tech revolution, and Axon is introducing more body-worn camera and CEW technology into international policing than they have seen in policing history, even catalysing the creation of new laws.
Into the Future
As Axon employees, it is our responsibility to always keep our why at the heart of everything we do from recruiting people to developing new products. Axon has grown in the last 23 years because our customers have connected with our why; they believe what we believe: That we have a responsibility to protect every human life where possible. And this responsibility will be the same for Axon in the decades to come.
‘People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.’