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Book Review: 'Start with Why' by Simon Sinek

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TED Talks superstar Simon Sinek’s Start with Why is a definitive business book that has inspired thousands of marketers and business leaders to understand their why; the reason why they/their company exits. He makes a compelling case for the power of recognising the why in driving great success and clarity. It all started with a TED Talk Sinek gave that went viral, and is perhaps the most popular TED Talk of all time, with 56 million views and counting. In this talk, Sinek brings to light that every single company leader knows what they’re doing and how they’re doing what they’re doing, but only a very few understand why they’re doing what they're doing. He makes the case for founders and business leaders to flip the format on how they should approach their strategic playbook. To start now with the how, what, and then why but to start with the why and then reveal the how and what. He introduces readers to the strategic framework of ‘Golden Circle’ — to define the why, how, what, which has served as a strategy guide for thousands of founders, business leaders and marketers around the world. This is a book that asks leaders to recognize their purpose, which acts as a source of greater relevance and intent. Simon Sinek’s ‘Start with Why’ is an essential read because, among many useful lessons, it reveals why some leaders, companies and communicators are more influential and successful than others, and on how they’re able to ignite passion and motivation across teams — it all starts with why.

Simon Sinek’s Start with Why introduces the strategic framework of the ‘Golden Circle’, which is literally three circles that sit inside each other. This framework starts with the inner circle of why, followed by the middle circle of how, and then ends with the outer circle of what. Sinek reveals that great leaders always start with why, then get to who and end with what. This way of thinking about the purpose, inside-out, explained in a simple, compelling way struck the chord with millions of readers, and has established Sinek’s approach of starting with why fundamental to business thinking.

Simon Sinek’s Start with Why explores the concept of defining purpose in an inspiring, philosophical way. It gets to the root of why the business leader is doing what they’re doing. By recognising this inner why, a clearer and deeper intent is established. This turns out to inspire action, rally teams to work with greater purpose and motivation. It leads to a strong culture of fostering trust, loyalty, success and ambition. Sinek draws from a lot of examples of how leaders define their purpose, and on how purpose-driven leaders deliver transformational growth.

Simon Sinek’s Start with Why doesn’t just explain the power of purpose but draws from a deep understanding of biology and the nature of belief in itself. He explores the neurological underpinnings that inspire motivation, while establishing the role of limbic systems in shaping the decisions we make. By connecting emotions with purpose, great leaders, he suggests, develop a grand sense of motivation, belonging and appeal to drive significance growth.

There’s a difference between leading and leading with an edge. Simon Sinek’s Start with Why examines all the characteristics that differentiate strong leaders. One defining trait is the courage with which leaders go forth, and the source of this courage is purpose. Courageous leaders use their sense of purpose to take risks, go against the status quo and disrupt categories and approaches simply by finding, realizing and staying true to their purpose, which emanates inspiration to the world around them.

Trust is an overused word, but there’s no denying in suggesting that good relationships are fundamentally underpinned by trust. Simon Sinek’s Start with Why reiterates the role of trust that comes from courage, as a means to build inspiring relationships. When you build a company through purpose, you’re able to align everyone around to get on board and work towards a culture that’s meaningful and authentic, which makes all the difference.

Taking the long view is always the best means to creating sustainable business success.  Simon Sinek’s Start with Why introduces the mindset of infinite game, as opposed to the conventional finite game mindset, as a means to be more dominant in business. Setting a business up for long-term, sustainable success depends on continuous improvement, and the infinite game mindset allows leaders to advocate the long view.

Although culture happens, it can be created with the right ingredients in place. Simon Sinek’s Start with Why outlines the essential role of organizational culture in business success. The book offers a range of tactics that inform leaders on how to create with values, purpose, and innovation to create a sense of meaning and belonging, driving up enthusiasm and motivation among teams.

Simon Sinek’s Start with Why reveals a number of ideas that help leaders ignite the outlook and intent of companies. The book makes the case for purpose-driven leadership, and suggests that companies need to understand their why, how and what to know what they’re about to realize maximum effectiveness. It explores how purpose helps establish trust, loyalty and rallies a devoted following to commit towards something meaningful. It inspires businesses to think with an infinite mindset, to prepare for long-term success with a sustainable lens. It draws on the nature of purpose and its implications in creating positive culture, meaning and innovation that keep teams motivated and enthusiastic. Sinek studies a whole range of companies and draws examples from how they operate, which serves as inspiration for reorganization. Rallying people around a shared vision, and born from the why, Sinek gives companies and leaders the framework to inspire and make meaningful progress. The book is a powerful read and has influenced leaders, managers and companies across the world in understanding the power of purpose, and reorienting themselves towards greater effectiveness. 

Essentially, Simon Sinek’s Start with Why inspires leaders to start with their why, and understand the purpose, vision and mission better. His ‘Golden Circle’ helps identify the why, how, and what of companies, coming from the inside-out. This style of realizing the nature of what you’re about is more potent, turning leaders into visionary leaders. This vision rallies teams and the world around towards something more meaningful, creating a culture with and around the business.  Get your copy here:



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