Start with Why by Simon Sinek

Having already watched Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk where he explains his Golden Circle theory, I was keen to delve into this book.  It did not disappoint.  This book gave me so many ‘aha’ moments and lit such a fire within me – I cannot rate it highly enough.

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Sinek uses a lot of stories and examples to illustrate why starting with and finding your own ‘Why?’ is so important.

So, what is your ‘Why?’ and How do you find it?   Your ‘Why?’ is your purpose, your belief and the reason your organisation came into being.  It goes deep.  It is the values statement, the ideals behind your company.

The reason your ‘Why?’ is so important is because it engages your emotions, whereas what you do engages the logical brain.

Apple is the example Simon Sinek quotes from most often.  Fair enough.  They were always clear about their ‘Why?’ and it shows!   The book is choc full of other great examples of companies that are clear about their reason for being.  It also includes those organisations that have suffered the consequences of forgetting their ‘Why?’

One of my favourite examples in the book comes in Part 5, chapter 11 when Sinek discusses what happens when your ‘Why?’ goes fuzzy.  He uses the example of Wal-Mart in the USA.  Sam Walton had a vision and a very clear ‘Why?’  Sam Walton believed in people, and more importantly looking after both his employees and his customers.  That is what gave him his ‘Why?’   What happened after he died is that Wal-Mart forget about Sam Walton’s vision.  The purpose behind the company was lost and it has been downhill ever since.

Sinek explains that manipulation may lead to a transaction, but it will never lead to long term loyalty.

What leadership needs are people who inspire rather than manipulate.

The Golden Circle is the key to understanding and developing your ‘Why?’

Nearly 100% of companies are clear about what they do.  Most are pretty clear about how they do it, but many have forgotten why.

Start with ‘Why?’ and the rest will follow automatically.

This book brought me clarity.  Why did I start my organisation?  Why did it matter to me?  What does it stand for?  Why should anyone care and more importantly why do I care so much?

If you keep going down this line of questioning, it is incredible what you will remember and perhaps why you need to revisit your values and the values of your company.

The most useful and simplest way for me to find my ‘Why?’ was to remind myself  of what I believe about my organisation and what it stands for?  The next questions were ‘Why do I believe that?  Why does it matter?’  And on it goes!

This book also re-ignited my passion and helped me re-build my confidence in what I am doing, because I remembered exactly why I am doing it. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.  It is simply brilliant.




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