Golden Circle Translation

Tijmen Rümke
2 min readFeb 5, 2021

When talking to Tom about Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle of Why-How-What, his take on the model seemed different. I always read it as: The is your purpose or mission. The are your principles/ values or your unique qualities. And the is your concept or product.

Tom explained his take as: Your is the surrounding where you feel at your best and that is what you want to give the world. Your is how you are when you are truly yourself. And your is the role or service that fits that. How to connect these two?

The Why in my reading is external and future focused (rational and “heady” as I am). But, the fuel for the desire to go out and change something in the world is always based on something internal. Namely, the values you’ve developed in your past. You value something because it has made you feel good in the past. You always want to live in line with your values because that is when you feel best.

The word surrounding doesn’t only mean your physical surrounding. It also refers to the way we act amongst each other. Living whole, creating space for one another, calmness, honesty, or cheerfulness. And since values are by definition important to you, you know how important it can be for people who value the same things. It’s natural to want to help others to live in line with these.

From this perspective, the How and What are really the same in both takes. That is, when we act authentically. Which is both a beautiful and smarter way to go about live and business anyway. So, they may seem different, but turns out, it’s merely a different and very tangible focus. One that speaks volumes about the beautiful outlook on life Tom has.

Listen to my interview with Tom Elffers on De Gebakken Peren Podcast. We talk about his journey in self-development after his depression; his process of his discovery that coach is the thing he wants to be for others; and how he has developed his clientele over the years.

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Originally published at on February 5, 2021.



Tijmen Rümke

Empowering creatives to gain clarity on purpose and get business savvy. Trainer and Podcast Host by day, know-it-all by night.