Let Go & Lead
Simon Mainwaring Brand Strategist
Social Entrepreneur & Bestselling Author

On moving from “me” to “we” (3:05)

I spent twelve months thinking through what my brand stood for. Anyone who followed my blog would have seen the tagline for the blog change every few weeks as I thought this through. Eventually I distilled it down to the business of social transformation. I am deeply passionate about the contribution that the private sector can make to social change. As a father and as a man, I think the world needs it right now. Eventually that distilled down even further to what I believe is a fundamental mind shift in thinking and behavior that is a counterpoint to what got us in trouble in some ways. This is this “we first” message where if we work together as employees, we can be more effective. If we work together as companies, we can solve bigger problems. If we work together as customers, we can amplify the message of a company, brand, product, or service so much more authentically. It is one-on-one relationships than traditional broadcast marketing. I am a big believer in what we can do together rather than what we can sort of tear down when we compete. Brand Simon is someone who is a big champion of collaboration, of creativity, and of cooperation.

Good. Your new book that is coming out is titled We First. What does that mean, “we first”?

We first” is a tonic to the “me first” mentality that is informed so much behavior in the last five or six decades. This is whether it is consumers and how much they consume, or customers and how much they consume. This is whether it is companies that were really putting for profit’s sake first. This is whether it is the way we treated the planet where we basically imagined it had infinite resources, and ultimately we have done a lot of damage. I think one thing that we have learned is that we are now an intimately connected, mutually dependent, global community. What happens here affects overseas. What happens overseas we know about in real time here.

In this case how do we expand our definition of self-interest? How do we best serve ourselves by helping others? That is when you make the shift from “me first” to “we first”. If you are a leader, how do I approach my company and my employee base in a “we first” way? If I am a brand, how do I approach my competitors in a “we first” way?”

If I am a nation, how do I solve some of the biggest problems facing the planet if we presume that we can work together? I think the challenges we face are finally of sufficient scale that we need to engage some solutions such as these.

We first” is a new way of looking at the world where we have our own best interests at heart, but they are achieved through serving the interests of others as well.