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
“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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Blessed to bless
This will make the BEST out of anyone... It will challenge YOU not only to be a Leader or Company that inspires (NOT manipulate) others but to be that Parent, Child, Friend, Neighbour, Citizen that Inspires others without needing the help of the so many manipulative techniques in our day!
My plan is to listen to this at least once a month to keep my focus!!!!
I would not listen to Start with Why again because there is not that much factual content but Sinek offers his special opinion on marketing and entrepreneurship in general
Sinek tries to enchant the listener by a rater annoying alteration of tone and voice
It gave me the courage to pursuit values in business activities, and I find the thought persuasive that we are need to meaning into our companies
I am very disappointed with this book.
First, this book is mostly about marketing and business related topics. It talks about the obvious need to align business tactics (“what” ) to the overall strategy (“why”).
The book claims that success of companies such as Apple, Harley Davidson, South West Airlines, Costco, Toyota comes from knowing WHY they do WHAT they do, whereas failures of companies such as Microsoft, Walmart, GM comes from focusing on WHAT they do rather than WHY they do it. (The very selection of successful/failed companies shows clear bias).
The most absurd statement is that features, price, quality are actually a manipulation on the side of companies, whereas true loyalty is earned by sticking to underlying principals of WHY the business exists in the first place. So, basically, Apple’s claim that they “Think different” is the real thing, while PC’s superior features, price, quality are actually a manipulation.
IMO this is completely absurd. The book itself admits that people buy Macs because they want to make a claim about themselves. If that’s the case, then Apple/Steve Jobs cleverly positioned the company and created an aura around it, so that people could “feel different”. This is the supreme manipulation – to sell inferior products (price/value) under ideological slogans.
The only interesting part of the book, for me, was that people tend to rationalize their emotions rather than think logically. It just reinforces my suspicion that Apple’s gadgets are bought because they are “cool” and “prestigious” and make people “feel different”, rather than offering real rational benefits.
Overall, I did not find any convincing and realistic explanations of companies’ successes or failures.
I would not recommend this book to anybody, unless you have really too much time and money.
I find Simon Sinek to be a fascinating individual. I know that he is also an extremely intelligence person and I feel that he has similiar values and has written a fasctinating book. The real issue I have with the book is that he touts the mantra "start with why", and with about 2 hours left (about 3/4 through) I feel kind of cheated. I feel this way, because I know I must start with why, but I don't have any real way to FIND my why. What is my why? What motivates me? Have I lost it? I know this is not a self help book, I know this is a modern day "Profiles of Courage" kind of book, but I feel like Simon could have taught me something of how to find my why. Mabye it's in the last 2 hours. Mabye, I'll go back to fiction for my morning commute.
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