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)
The audio books I get tend to be either 1) scifi or 2) things for my husband and me to listen to on long road trips--humor or history
This book is a poster child in two ways, neither of them good.
First, poster child for author with a hypothesis who selects a couple of well-known examples of companies that fit his hypothesis and thinks that proves his hypothesis is correct. I’m not saying his hypothesis is wrong, just that he did nothing in this book to prove his case. No real research, just his opinion, which he states over and over and over.
Second, poster child for authors never being allowed to read their own books. Nuff said.
[I listened to this as an audio book read by the author.]
Director of Marketing for CADD Edge (Engineering Hardware and Software Reseller). Primary interest in business/marketing books.
Someone who has a head injury, low comprehension, needs a lot of repetition, has too much time on their hands.
Ok - so you have one idea. But, it certainly isn't worth a book unless that book is under 50 pages. Really not a good use of paper.
I had to read this book because my boss chose it as the subject of a book club. It was approximately 14 hours of fluff. The author offered nothing with regards to concrete objective strategies or exercises to improve one's management style or global business outlook. It was more like going to a Christian revival versus a workshop. I found the author to be contradictory at times. The book is filled with assumptions. Anyway, I'm glad I'm done with this assignment. I felt that it was a wasted effort and waste of time.
...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.
Simon brought enthusiasm and passion, but a professional reader may have done a better job of narrating.
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.
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.
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.
The case studies are very insightful.
It makes you laugh sometimes, but it keeps you thinking all the time.
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!
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.
Boring, overhyped and highly overrated.
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.
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.
Healthy Board Coach
Simon's book is energizing. While the concepts aren't unheard before, the way he has woven great accounts of businesses that implement or ignore them is highly engaging. Plus, his passionate and articulate delivery of the audio is compelling. Exceptional, even. I could hardly wait until my next hour of running to hear more! And the content is so usable, I bought the hard copy to refer to often.
Jim Brown, author of The Imperfect Board Member
Always moving. Always listening. Always learning. "After all this time?" "Always."
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.
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"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.!
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!
"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.
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.
"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 :)
This really is a book to inspire you, Infact the best business related book I have heard.
"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!!
"The whole book is in the title"
This entire book is in the title - the rest is tediously repetitive anecdotes and padding, mostly about how wonderful Apple is.
Add some meaningful content.
It was nicely read.
I would like a refund.
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.
"Excellent - packs a huge punch"
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.
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
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