My dear friend Simon Sinek has a nose for good leadership. His simple and straightforward ideas about creating workplaces where people feel safe and fulfilled have been adapted by leaders and companies around the world. With two bestsellers, hundreds upon hundreds of speaking engagements, and the third most watched TED Talk on TED.com, Simon has become a premier voice about how leaders and companies can inspire people.
Now Simon has his nose – literally– in a new project, an inspirational quote book, Together is Better, and it is scented. That’s right, scented, as in, when you run your finger across the page, you release a fragrance that was custom-designed for Simon by 12.29, a company that specializes in enhancing a brand or experience by appealing to our sense of smell. For Simon and Together is Better, they created the scent of optimism.
Simon thinks it may be the first book of its kind that contains a custom-designed scent. The book also offers other unique features: beautiful hand-drawn illustrations by Ethan Aldridge and a song written about it by Grammy-nominated Aloe Blacc. Blacc’s lyrics are even written in his own handwriting in the back of the book. However, the motivation behind this one-of-a-kind book was not as a marketing gimmick to sell more books. Like everything Simon does, it had a very thoughtful “why.”
“I wanted to produce something that no digital format could reproduce…I wanted to create something that you had to physically engage with,” Simon said in a very insightful recent interview with Inside Quest.
Simon has been encouraging people to turn off their smart phones and start to engage more with the world and one another. Today’s rampant addiction to technology—cell phones, video screens, social media– is impacting our ability to connect with one another as human beings. It’s those human-to-human connections—not digital or virtual, but real, face-to-face, in-the-moment ones–that are critical to creating workplaces where people feel cared for and emotionally safe that lead to high levels of trust and collaboration. He is calling upon business leaders to help people—especially young people—find a better balance between life and technology.
Together is Better was conceived to be “given it as a gift to someone you want to say ‘thank you for inspiring me’ or to give it to someone you want to inspire.” It is a quick read full of Simon’s trademark thought-provoking quotes about leadership wrapped into a fable about working together to “build a world in which the vast majority of us wake up every single morning inspired to go to work.”
Whether a gift to a colleague, your team, or yourself, Together is Better will inspire readers to be part of the movement toward the world Simon imagines.
So turn off your phones and take time to smell the optimism.