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I have honestly never read such overwhelmingly good content like this. I agree with your points and your ideas. This info is really great. Thanks.



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I honor your decision and find your honesty and sharing such a breath of fresh air. Those who commented about growth and facing adversity - making it sound as though you somehow took the easy way out - sound as though they are rationalizing or justifying their own compromise of their own values and principles over the years. It takes immense courage for a deeply caring person to "not care" enough to go back. To understand that, you simply have to be at a whole other level of life experience. Reading your blog and seeing/feeling the world through your eyes gives me hope for the future... In looking forward to the tipping point in new paradigm experience, you are one of those leading the way. Thank you for all of your openness, vulnerability and beingness.

Hyacinth Lea Monrou

In business, we give bonuses to those who are willing to sacrifice others so that we may gain. We’ve got it backwards.


Monica Lawfield

Hi Simon - saw you at the GAMA conference, I am the one who wanted the picture with you. I thought you were and are brilliant. like any industry financial services is made up of many kinds of people, those who care, don't care, focused on results or focused on the critical needs of those we serve. Your message speaks to core of who we want to be as human beings, connected, inspired and believers! I am positive that you gave a voice to people in that organization who did not feel safe to speak... March on and regardless of who offers you a platform - take it and give them your kool-aid!

Jackie Regan

I'm reminded of what the Christian Bible says about Jesus-that he came to be with people who needed him, not with people who didn't.

Whether you are religious or, think of the analogy-as an innovator (2.5%) your calling is to lead people to the thoughts & places they do not yet have the vision to see- not take care of the early adopters who will follow you anyway...I would gently suggest that you would not want to miss a chance to do that.


The bad news is that there are still people, out there, that don't "get" your message... The good news is that there are still people, out there, that don't "get" your message. Inspire on!

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The short answer to this blog post is "no."

The long answer is this:

You screwed up, yes. But you screwed up when you decided to not go back for talk #2. Nothing, not a single thing, that is worth doing is easy, fast, or cheap. It's pretty easy to go do another TED talk, because you're preaching to the converted. The circumstances surrounding the military make being there extremely hard, but other than that, you're dealing with people who are already serving others. They have their "why," and they're living it. So while being there is incredibly, monumentally hard, you're surrounded by your own people in an environment that's supportive. Remember that trip to Afghanistan? Crying was OK, encouraged, and safe? Yeah, that.

Walking onto a stage in front of hundreds of financial advisers at a company that is basically ripping off their clients is hard. It's the definition of "hard" for someone like you. It's also where your services are desperately needed. They're one of the audiences out there that desperately needs to hear what you have to say. If all you did was cause 1 person to rethink their employment, or had 1 person start asking questions and start doing their work a bit differently, even if it meant less in bonuses and salary, then you earned that speaker's fee, and some. You may not like where it's coming from, and if you feel that bad about it, don't cash the cheque. But not going back for round 2? Bad move. Wanna give them a real lesson? Go back for round 2… for free. And tell them all exactly why you're back. Sometimes you need to fight for it, and this seems like one of those times.

Or you can rationalize the decision to not go by saying you're protecting your principles and purpose. Thing is, in this case it doesn't work and you're leaving people who really do need to hear what you have to say on their own, without the help you could be providing them. Not only that, but you're leaving your principles and purpose wide open to attack.

That's no way to serve anyone. Not you, not your team, and especially not the audience.

Bill Giruzzi

I've been waiting (not knowing I was waiting) for someone to say what you said here. Kudos for breaking the paradigm of making ourselves feel better or justifying when we compromise our values. You looked right at it and told the truth as it is for you. Thank you for doing that.

Love your book

Gregory Moulinet

Dear Mr Sinek,

I concur with most commentators. This audience, was the very audience you needed and need to talk to in the future.

What you probably feel ashamed about is to receive their money...

Well... I think it's already an opportunity however uncomfortable to be placed for 60mn with a microphone in front of these people and since they only respect money, consider it the only way to get their initial attention and hope to resonate with at least 1 person.

So... please... continue the good work.
Waiting for your next book!



I agree with you Jeanne, not all the time money is powerful. There was a times that we need to pay it by other means so that we learn a lesson towards it.


I enjoy reading your blog but with caution. It is the types of blog whereby you can get a moral lesson on it.

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You no need ashamed as long as you are true in yourself it is good enough. Thanks.


I am totally agree with your opinion.this blog post is very encouraging to people who want to know these topics.


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You are a good writer who could start by soul. Like what your sharing. And i really like what your words, it is amazing.

Stephen Shedletzky (@SteveShed)

'One of our greatest friends in growth is discontent' - John C. Maxwell.

Simon - thank you for sharing.
Your self-awareness, learning, team accountability and action are beautiful and admirable.


What?? Simon,I completely disagree with you. If you have something to complain against this company, do your next speech or free, but don't give up. Just because the audience or your host make you feel uncomfortable are you going to quit?? Think a little in cases of "Peace talks and Peace negotiations" Do you think these are easy situations?? Don't you think that you are looking only for audiences that make you feel comfortable?? What is your purpose? To impact in people minds? Or to look cool on stage? What is all involve? Help to others or your image and ego? I think if you want to give them a lesson do it for free. I don't think that giving up is the solution. And probably, "do not give up" is one of your more precious values.

Ken Pickard

It's not always fun or comfortable when we stick with our values and sense of purpose. But if we don't show people where we stand how can they respect us...or really...how can we respect ourselves. I am all for helping others to find their center and core values as I believe that is where true happiness is. And your story hits that perfectly.

Thank you for being transparent and sharing your story.

Ken Pickard
The Network Dad


At some point in life these things do happen and I do agree that purpose cannot be rationalized as do other things in this life. Thanks for the article.

Nicolas Stampf

Hi Simon,
I have to disagree with you: I think you did stand up for your values and did a wonderful job.

I mean, what's the point of giving your usual talk to people who already like what you do? What's the added value?

In that company, that day, you probably did your most excellent speech, in terms of added value. Surely, I understand it was difficult, but I think it's part of the job (again, I don't see the point of selling ideas to people that already bought them). These people at that company probably needed your speech (though management probably didn't knew it and wouldn't have invited you if they understood that).

Moreover, their customers and society as a whole, needed your speech to them.


Hi Simon, thanks for your gift to the world. We need you.

I guess, you probably feel ashamed that you didn't stick to your original purpose and instead did the talk anyway.

And to associate with people whose values do not align with yours is Maybe the reason this all feels so not RIGHT to you?

I don't believe you should fee ashamed. This is punishment of yourself. And how can you truly give your gift to the world if you are telling yourself and your team that you SHOULD feel ashamed?

Shame is one of the most painful and destructive of human emotions. Our parents ingrain it in to us. SCHOOLS ingrain it in to us.

But, I believe, it does us no good to inflict that suffering upon ourselves.

It only restricts our true gift and purpose, and doesn't allow is to flourish.

Regardless, Thanks Simon, I get a massive "life lesson" out of every single post that you write. It's amazing the depth of your posts. A rare find.

Hopefully one day I can hear you speak live.


Hi Simon,

You continue to inspire me. I have a question for YOU though. Why wasn't your purpose in that instance to make an impact on the audience, even if it didn't fit with the management's mindset? Maybe the employees needed inspiration and to open their minds and maybe they were thirsty for what you had to say, especially if they worked in an organization that was close-minded? I am confident you made an impact on people in the audience and it seems to me that you WERE living your purpose - to help others learn how to put people first in business or in life. Maybe some of the room didn't want to hear it, but you most certainly inspired some of those that heard you. And that, seems true to your values and purpose.

That audience probably needed your words, thoughts, and ideas the most.

Keep doing what you do and keep wearing blue jeans :)

Jeff Willener

Mr. Sinek,

I'm a follower of your posts, video's and whatever else is publicly available. And, like everyone else for a reason.

This is my first comment as I don't like to blend in nor reiterate opinions or stories. However, as I'm sharing this with others I believe there is one point which is overlooked. I don't believe there was any shame, personal sacrifice nor selling yourself out in what occurred.

Those moments are when we are at our finest. And, I’m sure you were. With our convictions challenged and our discomfort at its highest we forget why we are there, why you were there. Isn’t the mission or goal to employ change for what we believe is right? I think you have plenty of followers whom confirm “right.” What a perfect opportunity and it appears you seized it. Certainly I don’t think you had become discouraged with anything other than the situation. Simon, I say great job. Mission accomplished. Change is uncomfortable for both sides and in those moments change, in my opinion, is most prevalent. It’s a matter of who can see it through.

So listen, great job and keep it up. I’ve been there and I promise, given the opportunity I would be the first to stand up and second your opinion in any setting.

Sincerely my best…


Agreed. I felt this way at a company I worked @ for a very short while. I finally realized that "Purpose Cannot Be Rationalized" - although I certainly didn't call it that. Thank you for this post and for the Ted video I just watched. I've just discovered you; will be following you; recommending you. Brilliant is good....but I have to say I believe you're "Better than Brilliant." :)

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