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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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  •  
    Susan BROWNSBURG, IN, United States 01-31-12
    Susan BROWNSBURG, IN, United States 01-31-12

    mom of 2 and marketing firm owner

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    "Overall Concept Sound But Didn't Live up"

    This book came highly recommended by some colleagues. Although I agree with the underlying principles of the book, the book spent too long building up to the reason we should start with why, and less about practical applications to our businesses and lives. I would have liked to see more thought-provoking questions to help leaders and business owners apply this to their own businesses.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin 12-21-11
    Justin 12-21-11 Member Since 2008
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    "Incredible + A Must Read!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Start with Why to be better than the print version?

    So the Audible version is awesome because Simon reads it himself. It's a nice carry over from his talk. I have the Kindle version of the book to but the audio is similar to listening to him in person (or like hanging out with him). His concepts are not only inspiring but have helped me shape the way I operate in the world.

    Incredible.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dee ALPINE, CA, United States 12-13-11
    Dee ALPINE, CA, United States 12-13-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This book is incredible!"
    If you could sum up Start with Why in three words, what would they be?

    Find Your Why


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Start with Why?

    The best thing is it helps you get all the way down deep into your why. I didn't know mine when I started, and I had never really thought about it. It was a game changer for me.


    Have you listened to any of Simon Sinek’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No I have not


    Any additional comments?

    I recommend this to anyone who wants to truly lead, or anyone who just wants to really find themselves. I know it sounds very touchy -feely, but it really was a huge personal and leadership game changer for me. I know exactly who I am, why I'm here, and where I'm going. I have always been a confident, self-assured person, but this book still made an amazing difference for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Dallas, Texas, United States 11-30-11
    Steve Dallas, Texas, United States 11-30-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Excellent choice for aligning your people"

    This is one of the best books on aligning your people with your values, mission and purpose. It is a must read for anyone who is looking to build a great culture

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leonardo Sao Paulo - SP, Brazil 11-29-11
    Leonardo Sao Paulo - SP, Brazil 11-29-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Great Book!"

    Do you have any doubt about What you and/or company are doing day by day. This book is for your. First asking "Why" is a good book to answer this question.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anaxamaxan Eugene, OR, United States 11-29-11
    Anaxamaxan Eugene, OR, United States 11-29-11 Member Since 2007

    Anaxamaxan

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    "Yep, a touch repetitive, but very worthwhile"

    Overall, this is a very good book. In audio form, it's occasionally obnoxious with its repetition. I'm guessing that in written form, there were pull quotes scattered throughout the text. The author just reads those, as if they were part of the text. A bit weird.

    On the other hand, the material is great. On the face of it, "start with why" is practically self-evident. Yet, as Sinek illustrates, many companies (and individuals!) forget their "why" and focus too much on the whats and hows of business.

    If you're not following this material closely, it might sound like just another business book making hay out of the obvious. Don't get stuck too much on his frequent use of Apple as an example -- it's just one that's easily accessible. However, I do think this would make a more compelling book if Sinek had chosen a better example for the corporate part, told their story, and then kept coming back to *that*. The MLK example was pretty good though.

    Other reviewers didn't like Sinek's reading. Aside from reading pullquotes, I think he did quite well. The sound quality isn't superb, but it was perfectly acceptable.

    This book has definitely influenced me personally and professionally. I am rethinking what the heck my business (and life!) is about.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anderberg Michael Stockholm, Sweden 11-12-11
    Anderberg Michael Stockholm, Sweden 11-12-11 Listener Since 2008
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    "This book changed my life!"

    I had the opportunity to see Mr. Sinek giving a live speech a few years ago and I was immediately thrilled with the concept of which he was speaking.

    Since then I've bought his book, both in paper form but also as an Audible book and this is one of the books that I've keep synced to my iPhone because I keep coming back to it, listening to it again and again.

    The concept of why is really very simple and once you start thinking about it - really very obvious, yet it took, at least for me, someone to write it on my nose before I saw it.

    I can only highly recommend it and the fact that it is narrated by Mr. Sinek himself, makes it just even better. Thank you Audible for releasing this title!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elaine Canada 09-26-11
    Elaine Canada 09-26-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Premise isn't perfect"

    Although it would be easy to argue against the premise, there is merit in some of the arguments presented by the author. Sometimes it is worth listening to a book because it provokes thought even if in the end you don't entirely agree. This is one of those books. Easy to listen to,, and if somewhat repetitive, not boring, and certainly thought-provoking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brett Renton, WA, United States 09-21-11
    Brett Renton, WA, United States 09-21-11
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    "Overall worthwhile. 5 star content/3 star format"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend it to all my friends who are contemplating the direction their career could take, but are unsure about which direction to go.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Start with Why?

    One of the big (only) takeaways for me was the simple thought of discovering my own "why", and using that as a reference point in career decisions. I've thought about this in terms of goals and passions before. But something about "discovering your own why" really resonated with me.


    Any additional comments?

    This book has some great concepts, but it feels like 20 minutes of good material crammed into 7 hours of audio book. I found the repeated example of Apple as a company that starts with why to be overkill. (Admittedly, my personal bias against Apple, and my disdain for the smug, pretentious Apple faithful probably clouds my judgement.)

    While I understand why Mr. Sinek dives into the connection between his theory and recent discoveries in neuroscience, it distracts from the content a bit for my taste.

    When I started listening last week, I wasn't necessarily looking for any insights into my career, nor was I hopeful this book would help in any real way. This was just another book to listen to while I walked my dog in the morning. It ended up being time well spent, and I found myself listening to some of the chapters a couple times to get the main points.

    Overall this has some good content, but could be reduced down to 30-40 minutes and achieve the same impact.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Engelbrecht Westgate, South Africa 09-15-11
    Engelbrecht Westgate, South Africa 09-15-11 Member Since 2006
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    "Valuable lesson"

    This book contains a valuable concept, and the writer manage to bring the message in a clear and concise way. I really enjoyed the book and I am already applying the princi[les in my company. It will take time to instill this philosophy in the workplace, but it is very important. I highly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 141-150 of 154 results PREVIOUS1141516NEXT
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  • Ian
    Broadway, United Kingdom
    5/26/11
    Overall
    "Why Read This Book?"

    This book has changed the way I talk about our business. Not only does Simon Sinek have me communicating differently, he's also got me thinking differently. By stripping back the commonality of what and how, understanding and rediscovering the WHY has reinvigorated my passion for what I do. I believe that if you read this book, like me, you'll never look at the world in the same way again. If this review encourages just 1 person to read/listen to this and it has the same positive effect on them that it's had on me then this review will have been worthwhile. That's why I've been tapping away at my keyboard for the last 5 minutes.!

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Mat
    LeicesterUnited Kingdom
    2/17/11
    Overall
    "Superb!"

    This is definitely one of the best books I have read/heard, period. The core concept that runs through the book is clear from the outset, but Simon Sineks incredible way of allowing the reader/listener to understand the concept is brilliant. I have not stopped talking about this book to everyone I meet, as it rings true not just in the business world, but also in the real world. I found it incredibly inspirational when it comes to being a leader as well as understanding my own life decisions.

    It was so good that I have actually purchased the physical book after listening to this audio version.

    A Must listen/read!

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Malcolm
    Wiltshire, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Lest we forget"

    Let's face it, management theory is for the few not the many. Its all about how we can do what we do better, with more intelligence or emotion or flair. And to me it has its limits. But this book is a real exception. Simon Sinek is not much interested in what we do, or how we do it. He wants us to go back to the "Why". For me, in a significant public sector role in a service which had lost its way, this book accompanied me on a 40 minute drive to work every day, and still does some days. Sinek talks a lot about Apple and other companies which do things differently, and comes back time and time again to the why as the thing that matters, not the what or the how. If you are a half decent manager, particularly in the UK public sector, you probably need no reminders of what and how, but the system conspires to make us lose sight of why. This book readdresses that and is well worth the read/listen.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Ralph
    Bexleyheath, United Kingdom
    8/11/11
    Overall
    "Inspiring"

    I found this book immensely inspiring. I am thinking up ways to differentiate myself, form differentiating organisations and inspire others.

    The criticism given by others on this book, that the anecdotes and examples become repetitive are valid; and this loses a star. However the book is really good and well worth a read/reread. I will be following up on this with some of these lectures on the “golden circle" which are available on YouTube.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    LONDON, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "An absolute essential for everyone"

    This is the most powerful audio book I have ever listened to. This will open your mind to the reasons why you do what you do and if you were unclear beforehand this will certainly help connect with your reasons for doing what you do :)

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • simon
    Esher, United Kingdom
    5/4/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "superb!"

    This really is a book to inspire you, Infact the best business related book I have heard.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • sophie
    HALIFAX, United Kingdom
    12/24/12
    Overall
    "A must read for any business owner"

    A very informative book on how to build a long term following for your brand. This book takes you away from traditional marketing to help you build core long term company values that are reflected in every step of the decision making process. Highly recommended!!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Phil
    Totnes, United Kingdom
    11/8/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The whole book is in the title"
    What disappointed you about Start with Why?

    This entire book is in the title - the rest is tediously repetitive anecdotes and padding, mostly about how wonderful Apple is.


    What could Simon Sinek have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Add some meaningful content.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Simon Sinek’s performances?

    No thanks.


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It was nicely read.


    Any additional comments?

    I would like a refund.

    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Leticia
    5/15/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awesome concept"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    If your smart enough to grasp the concept in the first chapter the book becomes a little boring. It is sooooo repetitive!! The case studies are bad however I think it could have been 200 pages shorter. Life changing - YES! But I really didn't need to hear why I should find the why more than 100 times. His youtube videos are far more engaging.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Simon Sinek again?

    Yes


    What about Simon Sinek’s performance did you like?

    Well read


    If this book were a film would you go see it?

    Yes


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Adrian
    Northbridge, Australia
    3/24/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent - packs a huge punch"
    What made the experience of listening to Start with Why the most enjoyable?

    This books starts slowly, I though it was a Gladwell or Pink clone and, quite honestly, I nearly gave up. But I was on a long walk with my dogs and I had an hour of listening to do. Then it starts to heat up in chapter two. Each chapter from then on is clear, crisp and compelling.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The essence of the book, namely 'asking WHY, before jumping into HOW and WHAT' is applicable on an incredibly personal level, as well as applying to business and leadership. The message is authentic and honest. I initially thought 'here we go, another book referring to Apple and SWA' but actually ... this book does a better job than most explaining the success of those companies, despite the flaws of their founders. Excellent piece of research and something I will use


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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