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)
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.
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.]
...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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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.
I think the book "Enchantment" by Guy Kawasaki is a complimentary book. He is also another great story teller.
Of course "Simon" who actually reads his book. He is a great story teller.
This could only become a documentary on change management and I would use the tag line - Time to Re-Think "WHY"!
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.
"Major Business Leaders Should Read This"
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"
Think & Grow Rich
"Dreadfully repetitive with no substance"
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.
"Great for entrepreneurs"
I started listening to this about 2 years ago, but it didn't quite gel with me. Since then I've started my own company, and this time round I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it. The principles make more sense to me now and I'm full of (too many) ideas on how to implement my "Why" values into the business now and into the future.
This was only the 2nd audio book that I had listened to as I usually like to read printed books but this was a great listen, really easy to follow and definitely one that I'd recommend to others.
As a business owner the whole book moved me but the clarity around the why was great - if you don't know why you are doing something how do you expect to motivate your team or encourage people to buy from you.
For anyone either thinking of starting a business or already involved in one this is a must read.
"Brilliant book. Brilliant author."
I love hearing books read by the author. The concepts are fascinating, the lessons priceless and they are brought to life exactly as they were written - you can hear Sinek's conviction as he narrates.
"One of my top 3 books ever"
Have read this many times with utmost Joy!
If your are in sales, leading, entrepreneurship etc . This is a "Must Read" especially if you are info doing things different than the norm.
This book Will have the biggest impact if you are an organisation/movement or working with BtC. There is good documentation and simple tools inspirer you and your cause -Narrated in a pleasant way by a man on a mission...
BtB people will take away less direct useful documentation and stories from this book, but with a little affinity for "translation" into BtB be able to use the model, methods and benefit from the neuroscience tools explained simple in this book...
"A change of life book"
A great view point on having the right direction in whatever you do. Gets more insightful with every page.
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.
"brilliant and thought provoking"
loved everything about this audio, great narrator, important lessons learned and all in all just a great listen.
"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
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