Summary of Start with Why

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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.

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.”



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 Langley was an educated, well-connected Harvard math professor with wealthy friends and a $50,000 government grant. Wilbur and Orville Wright had no education, no high-end connections and limited finances. On December 17, 1903, the Wright brothers made their dream come true. They started with their reason Why – their purpose – and inspired those around them. “There are leaders and those who lead.” Those who lead are more common, but real leaders motivate and inspire you.

“Manipulation Versus Inspiration”

Most sellers manipulate rather than inspire. Businesses influence customers by leveraging price, promotions, fear, peer pressure, aspirations and novelty. Such manipulation harvests short-term transactions, but it doesn’t earn long-term customer loyalty. Businesses say their customers choose them because they offer the best products or services at the right price. In reality...

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    2 months ago
    The best part of this book , in my opinion, is that it demystify the physics of being a leader , the challenge is to find your ‘why’ or embrace some one else’s one !
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    M. A. 3 years ago
    Attitude is everything, Simon hits the mark again!
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    A. 3 years ago
    A great book for consultants, sales people, leaders and anyone who is looking to inspire with their messaging - simply start with the "why" you do something and following with the "how" and "what", rather than how most people lead with the "what", "how", "why". Simon provides a simple exercise to drive home how compelling this approach can be as a differentiator.
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    K. C. 3 years ago
    The most important book about Leadership. You can use the Leadership Inventory.
  • Avatar
    B. K. 3 years ago
    This is one of my favourites!
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    S. C. 4 years ago
    Wow. First read on Get Abstract and what an amazing choice. I love books that suggest looking at things in opposite ways, and this book sounds just perfect. Now to find my 'why' :-)
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    H. T. 4 years 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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    h. s. 4 years ago
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    L. P. 4 years 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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    I. M. 4 years ago
    Sinek also has some great info on working with Millenials recently
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      Deirdre Cody 4 years ago
      Check out this link for a summary of one of Sinek's talks on working with millennials:
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    D. R. 4 years 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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    C. N. 4 years 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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    S. A. 5 years ago
    This is one of the best summaries I've read lately
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    N. L. 5 years 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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    A. R. 5 years ago
    Outstanding summary of an incredibly meaningful book
  • Avatar
    W. B. 6 years ago
    One of my favorite, very inspiring.
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    H. L. 7 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