Simon Sinek on Leadership in Community Groups

This week, I was lucky enough to attend a seminar by Simon Sinek. For those of you who don’t know about him, Simon Sinek is a bit of a guru when it comes to all things Leadership. Here is a link to his renowned Ted talk or his talk on Millennials.

If you are a long-time reader, you will know that one of the ‘5 secrets to successful fundraisers’ I wrote about in my book is ‘Effective Leadership. While he did not speak specifically about leadership in community groups, I attended the seminar with my ‘volunteer hat’ on and found plenty of insights that will be very valuable to community groups.

I am pleased to share these handful of learnings from Simon Sinek:

  • Leadership: It’s not about taking charge, it’s about taking care of people in your charge.

Simon Sinek Community Leadership


  • We can give away our money, but it is our time and energy that is of the highest value. When someone gives us their time and focus, it makes us feel fantastic – connection is a part of the human condition.
  • We talk about getting the right people on the bus, but it’s not the people. It’s the bus!

Simon Sinek Community Leadership

  • We need metrics. Marathon runners would be unnerved and unmotivated if they did not have regular markers by which to track their progress. We all need to have markers. (In a fundraising sense, we are talking about the good, old fashioned thermometers – see our article here)
  • A leader needs to make their team feel safe and trusted. They need to say to them: ‘There is nothing you can break that I can’t help fix’.

Simon Sinek on Community Leadership

  • Look for opportunities to impact beyond what you can measure. This includes creating leaders who will go on and impact other areas.
  • When we are a leader, a whisper becomes a shout.

Simon Sinek community leader

  • Stories are king. Tell stories of real people – not numbers.
  • Measure ‘profit’ in a different way. If you are involved in cancer research, measure profit by how many lives you are saving.
  • ‘Don’t abandon the ship at the first storm. It doesn’t mean that the ship is unstable or the captain is incompetent. It means there’s a storm.’

Simon Sinek Quote


If you ever have a chance to see Simon Sinek live, I highly recommend it. For everyone else, take the time to go and watch his Ted talks.

Happy Fundraising!

xMandy aka the Fundraising Whisperer

Originally published 8 March, 2017

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