Book Review: “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek

Start With Why!

Why should you start with WHY?

What does it actually mean to start with WHY anyway?

In his book “Start With Why”, Simon Sinek pulls together powerful stories and examples of individuals who built wildly successful companies based on passion, vision and a belief in a cause.

“Now consider what a company is. A company is a culture. A group of people brought together around a common set of values and beliefs. It’s not products or services that bind a company together. It’s not size and might that make a company strong, it’s the culture—the strong sense of beliefs and values that everyone, from the CEO to the receptionist, all share. So the logic follows, the goal is not to hire people who simply have a skill set you need, the goal is to hire people who believe what you believe.”

He also points out numerous individuals who completely changed our culture and mindset based on their passion and belief.

Let’s take a look at this amazing book!

Start With Why

Simon Sinek authored the New York Times Bestseller “Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” in 2009.

Sinek explains that plenty of companies know their WHAT and HOW.

Yet, it’s the companies that understand their WHY who truly “get it”.

More importantly, their customers understand their WHY too.

A mutual understanding of WHY between a company and customers creates a cult like following and raving fans:

“But when a company clearly communicates their WHY, what they believe, and we believe what they believe, then we will sometimes go to extraordinary lengths to include those products or brands in our lives. This is not because they are better, but because they become markers or symbols of the values and beliefs we hold dear. Those products and brands make us feel like we belong and we feel a kinship with others who buy the same things. Fan clubs, started by customers, are often formed without any help from the company itself. These people form communities, in person or online, not just to share their love of a product with others, but to be in the company of people like them. Their decisions have nothing to do with the company or its products; they have everything to do with the individuals themselves.”

Apple & Southwest Start With Why

Examples of companies that “Start With Why” include Apple and Southwest Airlines.

Both companies were founded and led by dynamic individuals with Steve Jobs and Herb Kelleher respectively.

Sinek makes this interesting point regarding Apple:

“I spoke favorably of Apple long before I bought one. And I spoke disparagingly of a certain PC brand even though I’d been buying their products for years.”

Herb Kelleher built Southwest into one of the most successful airlines in history. Southwest has 46 consecutive years of profitably to show for it.

Check out this article from Forbes on Herb Kelleher: 20 Reasons Why Herb Kelleher Was One Of The Most Beloved Leaders Of Our Time

Harley-Davidson Raving Fans

Sinek points out another excellent corporate example with Harley-Davidson.

Over the years, Harley-Davidson built a cult like following with raving fans as customers.

Sinek points out that fans tattoo the Harley-Davidson logo on their bodies. Some don’t even own a Harley.

That’s a powerful brand when an individual tattoo’s a company logo, yet in some cases they are not even a customer:

“They’ve tattooed corporate logo on their skin. Some of them don’t even own the product! Why would rational people tattoo a corporate logo on their bodies? The reason is simple. After years of Harley being crystal clear about what they believe, after years of being disciplined about a set of values and guiding principles and after years of being doggedly consistent about everything they say and do, their logo has become a symbol. It no longer simply identifies a company and its products; it identifies a belief.”

Martin Luther King

To Start With Why begins with an individual who shares a grand vision or a DREAM.

Sinek points out an incredibly powerful example with Martin Luther King.

Yesterday, the United States celebrated one of the greatest leaders in our history with Martin Luther King Day.

Think about this for a second.

250,000 attended the civil rights rally in August of 1963 when Martin Luther King delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech.

This took place with no internet. No email. People were not chatting on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to rally this large crowd.

That’s amazing!

In case you need some inspiration, please click below:

Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk

If you find yourself short on time and prefer cliff notes, check out the Ted Talk by Simon Sinek explaining his theory on Start With Why.

As of this post, Simon Sinek’s famous Ted Talk boasts over 42 million views.

The Ted Talk simply offers a snap shot of his brilliant theory of Start With Why (However, the book goes into much greater detail with amazing examples of leadership).

In case you have not watched the wildly popular Ted Talk by Simon Sinek, please click below:

In conclusion, we strongly recommend downloading or picking up a copy of this phenomenal book.

“Start With Why” explains that successful leaders dedicate themselves to sharing their true purpose and belief.

It will leave you thinking about your WHY as well as wondering if your clearly communicate your WHY to your own team and customers.

Wrapping It Up

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