I recently read a book that had a simple message that basically could be told in half a page worth of words – and as it happens it actually was. But then the author kept on going and going and going and filled up a book in excess of 200 pages just on the very same idea seen from different angles and with different examples.
In truth I found that book was boring indeed and found I’m, not a subscriber of a book that basically has just one idea.
Now, Simon Sinek’s book “ Start With Why” is actually also about just one idea and like the other book that one idea is really told in less than half a page worth of words and yet this book too extends beyond 200 pages. But this book I loved. It’s a brilliant book indeed. Yes, possibly a little too labored and long at times, but with speed-reading, you are soon past those passages and back into the great stuff again.
The difference is that the book uses so many great explorations of the importance and the applications of his idea. It brings anecdotes and references to stories of successful companies from their usage their “why” and how they turned not so successful when they swayed away from their “why”.
The idea is greatly exemplified in the book by references to Apple and Steve Jobs, to Richard Branson and Virgin, to Helb Kelleher and SoutWest Airlines, to Bill Gates and Microsoft, Walt Disney and Disney, Martin Luther King and “I have a dream”, Howard Schultz and Starbucks, Michael Dell and Dell Computer and several more.
You probably already know the stories of what happened to the companies when Steve Jobs left Apple (was ousted), when Howard Schultz left Starbucks and Michael Dell left Dell Computer – and then you probably know how these companies started to perform again once they came back.
It contains great lessons for the rest of us who hold aspirations of leadership and entrepreneurial success and who are trying to build businesses. In other words this book is a great book along the lines of the best books on Mission and Visions. In addition, however, it also spells of the how and shows the importance of the people behind the visionary leader who have been instrumental in making the how work out for the companies – like Steve Wozniak of Apple and Steve Ballmer of Microsoft just to name two of them.
Then there’s the “what” – which honestly I didn’t focus on too much when reading the book – or was it because the book didn’t focus much on it either? Either way, the why is the important and the interesting part (great to have a good “how” along the way too – as even I have experienced in at least one of my previous companies).
There’s much more I could say about this book, but then I would rather just say: “Just go get it and read it for yourself”.
Too much valuable stuff in there for you not to read it. Especially if you wish to lead people and/or if you wish to build a grand company, cause or spread a worthwhile idea.
In closing, however, I must say, I also love the brutally honest way Simon Sinek shares his thoughts. He even calls Bill Gates a social misfit (but have no doubt, retains utmost respect for him and his brilliance).
I've read and studied a lot of material over the last 2 years looking for answers to my life and business. What I didn't realize, is that I was looking for this book. While no book stands alone, this book puts the big picture together for me. Without a why I can find myself drifting from one opportunity to the next, with nothing more than fleeting excitement for a new idea. This book has inspired many thoughts as I read it, but it has helped me to truly put into perspective the age-old advice to follow your passion. It's not enough to follow your passion, you got to know why you're passionate for it. I highly recommend this book to anyone struggling to figure out what they want to do when they grow up. I'm off to read his follow-up book, Find Your Why.
What I liked:
* The message is a very valuable one and if you apply it to your life it's gonna make the difference.
* The ideas are ordered and easy to grab. The edition of the book shows a great effort.
* If you're lost in what to do with your life this book is a must read. It gives a view of the general aspects of finding coherence in your lifestyle, but is not a management book.
* Simon Sinek is clearly accredited to share this important message.
One of my favorite business/entrepreneurial books!!! Read it in 2 days on a road trip. Couldn't put it down! This just makes so much SENSE!! Why would we not start with our Why? It's no wonder people are so miserable in jobs they hate, or start businesses they feel trapped in. This has really helped me during a career transition, and some other large life changes. Truly, Everyone needs to read this book. Thank you, Simon Sinek!!!
Not being a natural-born salesman, I am always leery of books that promise some new, gimmicky marketing scheme. With that being said, I bought this book after rave reviews from some entrepreneurial friends of mine who are. What got me? They weren't talking in terms of sales pitches, graphic design, and taglines. They were talking in terms of self-reflection and genuine understanding of who they were as persons through their brands. I bought this book (Pdf version) and I couldn't be more happy that I did! This book is really high quality and has relevance is more spheres of life than just running your own company. It has applications in being a part of someone else's company, as well as what one as an individual stands for. The book is written beautifully, well-thought out, and bring substance. Unlike a lot of other books in this genre, it is not repetitive nor does it regurgitate last year's "branding guru" in today's buzzwords. Sinek is really onto something unique but common sense and approachable. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone-from the CEO to the everyman clocking in everyday.
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”
Every once in a while I will pick up a book, look at the title, and know everything I need from the front cover. When I picked up Start With Why by Simon Sinek, I was certain I figured out the entire book: knowing why you do something is the most important thing. Was I wrong? Not really, but surprisingly I could not put the book down.
Success in the business world is nearly magic. You can gobs of money and loads of talent and still be bankrupt in a year. History is riddled with huge companies failing while small startups become huge successes.
Through his book, Sinek shows us success: Apple, Microsoft, Southwest Airlines, Wal-mart and others. He explains that these successes were built around great people who inspired others: Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Herb Kelleher, Sam Walton, etc. These people may not have been great at business, in fact some did not know how to put together a business plan, but they understood what was most important to them. Once some of these men left their position, their business immediately began to flounder, mostly cause the company and its leader forgot their central purpose.
For a simple concept book, Start With Why was rather fascinating. It prompted me to look at my own work again; to remember why my career and how things will be better if I remember the “why.”
I think this book is a great book for any one in or seeking a leadership role.
“Leadership requires two things: a vision of the world that does not yet exist and the ability to communicate it.”
This book is one of the all-time great works in business success and personal development. Simon helped me to find my why with this book and I am forever grateful to him for that. Imagine how great our world would be if more companies really did start with why and build a business from the inside out, consistently applying their why and core values to everything they do? Wow. The thought excites. I've re-read this book 3 times and have highlights everywhere - do yourself a favor, if you run a business or want to discover how to lay a foundation that will last, read this book. Get it, read it, apply it. Thank you Simon for writing this, I am grateful for your sacrifice to bring this to fruition.
While the majority of this book is about companies and the people who lead them, it is completely relatable to your personal life outside of work. Years ago, I worked for a company led by a man who clearly started with WHY. The company was bought out quite a few years ago, but my former colleagues and I still talk about the founder and the company with love and devotion. We describe it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that those who never experienced it couldn't possibly understand. My current company, which bought that former company, is much bigger so it's tough to compare, but I definitely believe that the leadership understands WHY as well.
I think everyone should read this book. Understand your company's WHY, your spouse's WHY, your children's WHY...and don't forget your own WHY.
My journey with this book starred with Sinek's Ted Talks on the subject. I wanted to learn more about the rationale behind the talk. "Start with Why"does not disappoint on that count. Perhaps I was drawn to his passion for the proposition that provides the structure for the book, not so much because I am usually in the position of being an "early adopter" as much as he connected with that post of my own story that taught me that we do indeed have the ability to shape the future throng the power of purpose and vision. Sinek writes clearly and persuasively. He called me away from that pattern of focusing on the'what' and 'how' of the organization I lead to paying attention to the why we are there in the first place.