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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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  •  
    Shauna Pasadena, CA, United States 11-17-13
    Shauna Pasadena, CA, United States 11-17-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Start with Why"

    Because they have to or we wouldn't read them, business leadership books oversimplify very complex organizational dynamics. They also repeat themselves and rehash plowed ground. Start with Why is no exception. It relays success stories about Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Sam Walton, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and others--stories we have already heard. On the other hand, Mr. Sinek is the exception to the author-narrator stereotype; he is a very good narrator.

    Mr. Sinek does hammer home an important concept that I hadn't given enough thought to, and that's as the title says, Start with Why. This book will change the way I make presentations and work with my colleagues. So, to me, the key message was very valuable.

    Finally, and most importantly, the price was right. This was a daily deal. Thank you, Audible

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KSJ_007 09-18-13
    KSJ_007 09-18-13
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    "WHY am I giving this review?"
    Would you listen to Start with Why again? Why?

    ...It's insightful and has inspired me to look at things in a different way - that is, to always begin with asking "why". So, I will be listening to this book multiple times to make sure I understand the message.


    What does Simon Sinek bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Simon brought enthusiasm and passion, but a professional reader may have done a better job of narrating.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It is an "ear" opener. I've heard of the concept of having a purpose before, but this book really digs deep into the subject. It manages to maintain my attention most of the time.


    Any additional comments?

    Great book, powerful lessons that can be applied to any areas of life, maybe could improve with a professional reader. But well worth the credit spent on this one.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leon Velazquez, PMP McAllen 08-03-13
    Leon Velazquez, PMP McAllen 08-03-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Insightful"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this audiobook to entrepreneurs and employees who are struggle on boring jobs. This book can help them realize a that business should be about helping people.


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

    The case studies are very insightful.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Simon Sinek?

    Yes.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It makes you laugh sometimes, but it keeps you thinking all the time.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glenn Richmond Hill, ON, Canada 04-24-11
    Glenn Richmond Hill, ON, Canada 04-24-11 Member Since 2012
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    "Great book that delivers on its title."

    Great book that delivers on its title. To inspire we need to focus on why we do things and not what or how we do them. He claims this why focus can streamline communications inside and outside a company. It is what helps to make an emotional connection. Its not that you have never heard this kind of idea, however it is the way he presents and plays with this concept that that makes it worth reading.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lincoln Stepney, Australia 09-13-12
    Lincoln Stepney, Australia 09-13-12
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    "Snore"
    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    It's incumbent on a book titled "How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action" that the book itself should in someway inspire. I hardly made it into this before I felt compelled to listen to something else. Repetitive and un-inspirational. Maybe it was the read or the content. Regardless it was not for me.


    16 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia Monrovia, California, United States 07-12-14
    Cynthia Monrovia, California, United States 07-12-14 Member Since 2012

    Audible listener who's grateful for a long commute!

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    "Manipulate or Inspire?"

    Simon Sinek's 2009 "Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action" wasn't what I was expecting, but I hadn't really taken a good look at the summary. I thought I was getting a business process or procedures book that would help identify and design streamlined procedures. I thought I was getting case studies, like : "If a car maker has a goal to sell 100,000 of a certain model of cars in a year, what steps would be taken - and why? What good leaders have done this before? And are there more effective steps - for example, if the maker is selling hybrid cars, should the maker conduct its own survey of green consumers? Or would it be more efficient to buy a marketing list from Whole Foods?

    The book was much more interesting. Sinek, an eternal optimist whose name ironically sounds like 'cynic', isn't talking about that 'why'. His book is about why people and organizations do what they do when they aren't doing it just to make money and satisfy shareholders. Sinek discusses the dream of Sam Walton to bring affordable goods to rural America. That was his "why". Wal-Mart was, for a time, beloved - but Sam died and the corporation is canibalizing its own employees [my words, not Sinek's]. Probably a third of the book is about Apple and Steve Jobs. Jobs was alive when Sinek wrote "Start With Why". I'd agree with Sinek's proposition that Jobs/Apple wanted to change the world, and that was their "why." However, I read Walter Isaacson's authorized biography "Steve Jobs" (2011) and I'd go one step further: I think Jobs "why" was that wanted to control the world, and that Jobs did end up controlling a lot of it. Sam Walton definitely lead by inspiring. Jobs - well - sometimes he inspired, and often he scared people silly.

    I did find it curious that Sinek didn't mention Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, or its portfolio of successful companies. I don't think Buffet fits Sinek's model, but Buffett is one of the wealthiest, most admired and philanthropical businessmen of our time. The Oracle of Omaha doesn't have the technical know-how of Microsoft's Bill Gates or the artistic genius of Walt Disney, but Buffett is, in a very quiet way, trying to change our world by eliminating income inequality.

    Sinek argues that inspirational leaders are reaching to their limbic brains. I'm sure that is true, but I think that's a vast oversimplification of where inspiration comes from. That particular brain system is so large and so complex, it's like arguing that water comes from the ocean. He's developed a theory of "The Golden Circle" to describe the core of motivation. I'm not sure it's as all encompassing as Sinek believes, but it's a good seed for additional research.

    Sinek did the audible narration himself, and had an interesting accent. He'd be going along, and all of the sudden, an East Coast accent would pop up for a word, and disappear. The answer was he lived all over the place growing up - including New Jersey. The audible could have used an Audible proof. There were a couple of places where a some lines repeated.

    [If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

    22 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark 08-03-13
    Mark 08-03-13

    Discovering Audible opened a whole new world!

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    "Watch Simon Sinek on TED and then listen to this"
    What did you love best about Start with Why?

    In life and in business we often forget about WHY we do what we do. After you listen to this book you may decide to change what you do so you can be happy with the WHY you wake up every day to do what you do.


    What other book might you compare Start with Why to and why?

    I think the book "Enchantment" by Guy Kawasaki is a complimentary book. He is also another great story teller.


    Which character – as performed by Simon Sinek – was your favorite?

    Of course "Simon" who actually reads his book. He is a great story teller.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    This could only become a documentary on change management and I would use the tag line - Time to Re-Think "WHY"!


    Any additional comments?

    This book helped me as a manager to re-evaluate day to day decisions based on "why" I enjoy what I do and "why" I think the company I work for is in business. If there is a disagreement between your "why" and the company's "why" it is time for you to quit and choose a new career path.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Oliver Copenhagen 03-27-13
    Oliver Copenhagen 03-27-13

    I teach WordPress web design online, focusing on the *design* part - and fun:) I love learning new concepts, hence all these audiobooks;)

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    "Boring beyond belief."
    What would have made Start with Why better?

    While I agree with the basic message, which can be comprehensively articulated in full, on a napkin, I find this book to be extremely trite and boring.

    As if the words themselves aren't boring enough, Simon's narration is so slow that even when listening to it at 2x speed on my iPhone; it still sounds as if he is half asleep!


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

    He could have come up with some ways to find your own "why". And he could have skipped all the trite Apple references. Yes, Apple are cool, I've been a user since 1997 but hey, these Apple examples have been repeated ad nauseam in countless books for years and years.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Poorly. Very.


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

    Nope.


    Any additional comments?

    Boring, overhyped and highly overrated.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vicky 02-11-13
    Vicky 02-11-13
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    "what you've been looking for"

    If you have ever worked with your passion, this book will put into words what it was that you tried to explain about "why." Highly recommended for anyone who has become disconnected from their original "why" or who is looking for a way to inspire.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean KNOXVILLE, TN, United States 12-10-12
    Sean KNOXVILLE, TN, United States 12-10-12 Member Since 2012

    Award-winning direct response copywriter and lover of all things non-fiction.

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    "Great principle but..."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    This book is written around a great principle: Start with Why. The problem is after the first chapter or two the whole book tend s to sound the same with the same examples being stated over and over and over and over again.

    No need to waste your time with this book. You can easily just search online for Simon Sinek and watch his TedTalk and get the gist of this book in 18 minutes -and save your self 7 hours.


    What was most disappointing about Simon Sinek’s story?

    Too much of the same stuff repeated over and over.


    What aspect of Simon Sinek’s performance would you have changed?

    Read faster. I had to play it at twice speed to get through it.


    What did you take away from Start with Why that you can apply to your work?

    To build your sales and marketing message around why you do what you do instead of just what you do.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 315 results PREVIOUS12332NEXT
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  • Phillip
    northampton, United Kingdom
    2/18/14
    Overall
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    "Major Business Leaders Should Read This"
    What made the experience of listening to Start with Why the most enjoyable?

    The mission statement of the author is the clearest proof of concept, he has been true to his word and provided a inspirational philosophy on entrepreneurial "spirit"


    What other book might you compare Start with Why to, and why?

    Think & Grow Rich


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dejan
    Brussels, Belgium
    2/16/14
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    "Dreadfully repetitive with no substance"
    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I have stopped listening the book after getting 60% through. It was really repetitive and too many statements with too little or no backing. Would not recommend. It's just another self help style book trying to sell you an idea but doing it quite poorly.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sol
    5/28/15
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Thought provoking"

    Great concept. Slightly repetitive execution. Good follow up to Simon's TED talk. Coming up with your 'why' and developing habits to always start from there are your next steps after listening. Perhaps there will be a book to address that? If there is I will buy it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • shane ogley
    5/16/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "brilliant and thought provoking"

    loved everything about this audio, great narrator, important lessons learned and all in all just a great listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • jesper
    5/8/15
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    "Good inspiration - a 'must read' for all leaders"

    It has inspired me to think why and help me to inspire others to do what they do and belive in

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs. Elizabeth H. Sheldon
    3/29/15
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    Performance
    Story
    "Good inspiring book"

    Enjoyed this book has made me refocus my business and think about why every time. Slightly annoying narrator unfortunately but did not detract from the great messages

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • steven
    3/18/15
    Overall
    "Inspiring"

    I am more successful as a result of applying what I've leaned from this book.

    It passes the celery test

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. P. M. Askew
    3/3/15
    Overall
    Performance
    "Excellent."

    Very insightful, powerful reflections, comparisons and examples. Definitely a 'manual' for modern business methodology and also a brilliant steer towards personal motivations and purposeful expression.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • shirley duffus
    2/25/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing"

    Amazing really impressed with ths book will recommend it, annoyed with having to write this review forcing me to write lots

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nicholas
    United Kingdom
    2/23/15
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    Performance
    Story
    "Helpful insights for life and leadership"

    Simon gives an insightful perspective into what's behind the success of some leading pioneers that differs from the usual.

    The ideas he shares on the importance of knowing why, as individuals or organisations, we do something, are excellent principles to be mindful of when identifying life purpose and leading others.

    Recommended listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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