Summary of Start with Why

How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

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Start with Why book summary
How and why great leaders are “the complete opposite of everyone else.”


8 Overall

8 Applicability

6 Innovation

7 Style


Entrepreneur Simon Sinek “hit rock bottom” in late 2005. He had started his own consulting business in 2002, but three years later, he ran out of passion. Dead-ended, Sinek thought about what made him happy. He wondered why some leaders and companies succeeded and others do not. He realized that inspirational leaders identify a purpose and follow it. The actions they take and what they make is secondary to achieving their mission. Sinek calls this leadership process the “Golden Circle”: It starts with a vision (the “Why”), then moves to implementation (the “How”), and then conquers the product or service (the “What”). Unfortunately, many leaders have this pattern backward. They first focus on what they do and how; then they try to differentiate their product based on price, quality or features. Although Sinek isn’t subtle about his message, getAbstract recommends his approach to executives, managers, leaders and those who seek to rediscover their passion.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why great leaders want to inspire their customers, rather than manipulating them into buying;
  • What inspirational leaders do to build employees’ and customers’ trust; and
  • How to hire others who share your vision.


Inspirational Leadership
Regardless of size or industry, great leaders know the reasons that they do whatever they do. They follow their passion and have a vision they can articulate. In the early 1900s, several Americans wanted to be the first person to fly an airplane. Samuel Pierpont...
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About the Author

Simon Sinek is an optimist and adjunct member of the RAND Corporation. His book Start With Why expands on his popular TED Talk, “How great leaders inspire action.”

Comment on this summary

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    Henny Tambunan 3 weeks ago
    New hires who share your passion are “good fits” and will be your best employees and your company’s future leaders
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    htaik seng 3 months ago
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    Laura Paez 3 months ago
    Very inspiring, but the abstract is like his ted talk about golden circle. I am wondering what else may I find on the book
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    Isaac Mcbroom 4 months ago
    Sinek also has some great info on working with Millenials recently
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      Deirdre Cody 3 months ago
      Check out this link for a summary of one of Sinek's talks on working with millennials:
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    Daniel Ratliff 6 months ago
    “There are two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it." -Sinek

    I have been very into Simon for the past year or so and have read/watched everything the guy puts out there. I recommend you doing the same! He has a way of inspiring without alienating and getting to his point through fascinating stories. Very well worth your time!
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    Cary Noel 6 months ago
    I've been on a Simon Sinek obsession all throughout 2016 - I dove into "Leaders Eat Last" after "Start With Why" and it has changed my way of thinking with regard to working with people and working to be a better leader.
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    Sajed Almutairi 10 months ago
    This is one of the best summaries I've read lately
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    Nicolas Laigle 1 year ago
    "People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it". This changed almost completely the way I approach the selling process. This represents for me the real differentiator that makes you successful in your buisness. When you don't start with why, you probably compete on the what and how but this doesn't make you really unique.
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    ANGEL RODRIGUEZ 1 year ago
    Outstanding summary of an incredibly meaningful book
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    William R Bramlett Jr 2 years ago
    One of my favorite, very inspiring.
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    Hendrietta Lekwakwe 3 years ago
    I agree with the above because i have seen by myself that reading helps a human to be open minded .you will be inspired and motivated by knowledge to have a direction about your future. the more you read is the more you get exposed to what is happening around you and participate with people who can equip you to be a better person. you can able to encourage your kids your colleagues to read the books so that passion is created on whatever they do or plan. I have learnt that one tall tree doesnt make a forest, unless other trees grow to the same height.

    Hendrietta Lekwakwe

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