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Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action | [Simon Sinek]

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their successes over and over? People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers might have little in common, but they all started with why.
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Publisher's Summary

Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their successes over and over? People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers might have little in common, but they all started with why. Their natural ability to start with why enabled them to inspire those around them and to achieve remarkable things. In studying the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world, Simon Sinek discovered that they all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way—and it’s the complete opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY. Any organization can explain what it does; some can explain how they do it; but very few can clearly articulate why. WHY is not money or profit—those are always results. Why does your organization exist? Why does it do the things it does? Why do customers really buy from one company or another? Why are people loyal to some leaders, but not others? Starting with WHY works in big business and small business, in the nonprofit world and in politics. Those who start with WHY never manipulate, they inspire. And people follow them not because they have to; they follow because they want to. Drawing on a wide range of real-life stories, Sinek weaves together a clear vision of what it truly takes to lead and inspire. This book is for anyone who wants to inspire others or who wants to find someone to inspire them.

©2009 Simon Sinek (P)2010 Gildan Media Corp

What the Critics Say

Start with Why is one of the most useful and powerful books I have read in years. Simple and elegant, it shows us how leaders should lead. Highly recommended!” (William Ury, co-author of Getting to Yes; cofounder of The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School)

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  •  
    Allan Mexico City, Mexico 11-22-11
    Allan Mexico City, Mexico 11-22-11
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    "Important Theme - Repetitive Presentation"

    I saw Simon's presentation on TED, and I think that the idea of Starting with Why is really good and important, but the book is too long and sometimes repetitive. The TED talk has it all.

    77 of 82 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe Sterling Heights, MI, United States 09-12-12
    Joe Sterling Heights, MI, United States 09-12-12 Member Since 2012
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    "good concepts, lacking examples"
    What was most disappointing about Simon Sinek’s story?

    continues to use Apple as a model to support his theory. would have liked to hear a contrasting viewpoint.


    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Yoshida 09-19-13
    A. Yoshida 09-19-13
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    "Inspire to find why you do what you do"

    The book is insightful about what drives customer loyalty and what makes employees dedicated to their work. The only problem is that the book uses some of the same examples over and over, primarily Apple and Martin Luther King. After the first few chapters, it is clear that Apple's core beliefs are about simplicity, design, and technology and pushing the envelop on those frontiers. The products are just results of what they are about. The author also uses Dr. King as an example of his "why" -- belief for equality for all people. The message was clear and it resonated with people. The march was a result of the people demonstrating their belief. If you're interested in the topic, you should first watch Simon Sinek's TED Talk. If you want more details, then read the book. The book doesn't provide any new information, just a lot of examples.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 11-07-11
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 11-07-11 Member Since 2002

    I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great ideas"

    I really enjoyed this book. I usually don???t go in much for ???business??? books, but the reviews on this one caught my eye. The book is single minded and does not really state the obvious, if you make stuff people don???t want, the why does not really matter and if you have a better mousetrap you don???t have to start with why to make lots of money. Nevertheless the Why does matter. I have thought about and discussed the ideas in this book quite a bit, which is about the best I can hope for in such a book.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Saporta Ocean Grove, NJ, United States 09-20-11
    Saporta Ocean Grove, NJ, United States 09-20-11
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    "Insightful & Painful"

    Insightfulness: 4/5 stars.
    Poor research and full-on-inaccuracies: -2/5 stars.


    Reading this book is like listening to your mechanic say:
    "People don't like horse manure, that's why the automobile succeeded in replacing the horse-drawn carriage." and: "Having a car allows you to get places faster. So without a car, you can’t get anywhere on time.”
    And then, the mechanic follows that up with very useful advice on how to maintain your car. You appreciate the useful advice, but you are blown away by some of the other comments. Oh, and the mechanic happens to be the friendliest person you know!

    The author comes across as an extremely kindhearted person, and so it pains me to write anything but the loveliest review. However, it also pains me to hear the author say:

    "A company is a culture. A group of people brought together around a common set of values and beliefs." Certainly, each person in the group has a reason (a “Why” as the author calls it) for being a part of the group, but those reasons are not necessarily *shared* amongst the group.

    The author makes a multitude of social, anthropological, technological and historical claims many of which are, to varying degrees, inaccurate and poorly researched. Other claims simply seem naïve of the author to make (eg. what were the Wright Brothers’ and Steve Jobs’ *true,* *deep-down internal* thought processes and motivations driving their achievements). And often times, the author exemplifies a misunderstanding of causality (akin to the horse manure/automobile logic above).

    Ironically, the skewed-logic and faulty claims are invoked to support what are otherwise insightful conclusions. (eg, it is beneficial to employees/ers to choose their respective association with each other based on a common set of values and beliefs).

    If you can make it through the frustrating distractions of repetitiveness and inaccuracies, this book does have useful tidbits.


    (he does do a good job with narration)

    65 of 74 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada 01-30-11
    Matt Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada 01-30-11
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    "Game changing"

    I saw Simon first doing a TED talk online. While the book is a bit repetitive, I think it might be by design. This concept is simple but VERY powerful. I constantly found myself talking about the concepts, which is always a good sign that the book is resonating with me. HIGHLY recommend it.

    31 of 35 people found this review helpful
  •  
    michael Brisbane, Australia 05-25-11
    michael Brisbane, Australia 05-25-11 Member Since 2010
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    "A book for business and life"

    Simon Sinek in his easy to listen to and thought provoking book explains how business' who describe or identify themselves by their process' or what it is they do rather then why they do it, find themselves directionless and floundering in their chosen field.

    By starting with why they exist, an organisation or individual can focusing on that purpose allowing clarity and congruency within their decision making. People are inspired and motivated by the why; it allows them to identify with the individual or organisation.

    Simon presents his thoughts in a logical and easy to follow manner. His voice is enjoyable, and he presents his material passionately and with conviction. I enjoyed his presentation thoroughly and recommend it highly to anyone interested in developing a why to their business or interests in life.

    18 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Machesney Park, IL, United States 01-28-11
    Andrew Machesney Park, IL, United States 01-28-11
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    "Fantastic book - so so quality."

    As far as the book goes, there's been very few idea books that have kept my attention this well through the whole book. The sound is a little tinny and I couldn't turn it up too much without some distortion and also, when playing it on my iPod, it would freeze whenever switching to a new chapter.

    22 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris SAN JOSE, CA, United States 03-28-11
    Chris SAN JOSE, CA, United States 03-28-11
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    "Why do we have emotions? Market to that"

    A retrospective on how we position and sell our thoughts, our passions – both in personal & in business life. Focused on the latter, “Start with Why” strips apart well-known businesses in an attempt to exemplify what works and why in regards to gaining both employee and customer loyalty. Understanding the reasons on why some initiatives are successful and others are not, from tangible as well as intangible, emotional points of view are well explained in Sinek’s book. Although repetitive at times, the overall concept with actionable takeaways makes this a recommended read.

    21 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew San Diego, CA, United States 03-13-11
    Matthew San Diego, CA, United States 03-13-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Amazing"

    This is one of the most inspiring books I've ever read/listened to. It not only offers insights into how to run a successful business, it also provides guidance on how to live a fulfilling life.

    20 of 23 people found this review helpful
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