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4.4 out of 5 stars
Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action
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on 31 January 2014
in: joaopaleta.com

I am very much passionate about Business and the reasons why companies succeed. I see companies as complex living organisms that depend on people to succeed so the topic of success being explained as a derivative of the human behaviors and interactions really gets my attention. Specially the massively complex mechanisms of influencing change and behavior in big organizations.

In Start With Why I found a simple but yet powerful concept to do just that.

I now use extensively the Golden Circles in my communication, starting with why, and also performing coherence checks on the why, how and whats of companies and people.

At a personal level I now have a better awareness of the example I am giving to my kids (3) when I am, or am not, consistent. My kids do what they see the parents doing so I might as well give them a good example. And its not easy to live up to all the words that come out of my mouth. I am actively training myself to increase my integrity levels. After these initial tests I will create a mission, vision, values, principles and perspective for (and with) my family and let you know how it turned out. I am sure it will be fun.

A great example of this concept at work is at Tesla Motors. It is amazing how consistent their beliefs, communication and actions are. The same happened over the years with Apple and Steve Jobs. Would love to meet people from these companies to double check that from the company staff perspective the feeling is there as well. From the outside it does seem like its working.

If you are curious about this topic check Simon’s Ted talk here and let me know your opinion.

So Start With Why opened my appetite for Leadership so I am now going through “The 21 Laws of Leadership” from John Maxwell and also for the roots and reasons behind the great social, political and economical frameworks of our world.

João Paleta
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 April 2012
The central idea of the book is that it is vision, emotion, and being true to values that creates outstanding leadership and sustainable success, rather than targets, products and marketing. The idea is powerful and true, but hardly new. However, it is remarkable how many leaders and organisations lose their way, forgetting the emotional connections which built their early success or the success of others.

In this respect the book is excellent. Disappointingly though the idea is repeated throughout the book, over and over - and at times I found myself thinking ' I get it, I get it- please tell me something else!' I found some of the examples didn't ring true for me - not all of the organisations seemed to be authentic examples. For example Sinek makes heavy use of Apple as an organisation which has become very successful because customers buy into their rebel image - and in buying Apple products are identifying with that image. I am writing this on an Apple laptop, and in a few minutes will make a call on my I Phone - but i have both of these because they are superb products which are great to use, and i had no idea of the rebel image. So the example didn't work for me

Nonetheless, an important message for leaders who wish to transform their organisations and their surroundings - its done by emotional connection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 December 2012
I saw Simon Sinek's TED talk before I read this book. I have to admit, even though there are some brilliant insights in the book, the TED talk pretty much sums up the whole message. The book became very repetitive after a while (and I couldn't help noticing how much free advertising Apple was getting!).

Having said that, the message that Sinek is spreading is one that needs to be heard. It's had me looking at the moves made by big businesses in a whole new light, and it's also made me rethink my own entrepreneurial approach.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 10 May 2010
You know how there are some organisations where "it just works" and there are others where it doesn't?

This book goes behind the obvious analysis of "what firms do" to ask the much more important "why do they do it?" Once you know that, the rest (what, how etc) is so much easier to understand.

If you want to get some insight into why your organisation is successful and a happy and fulfilling place to work (or not) then read this - it will open your eyes and allow you to see organisations in a new light.
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on 20 February 2014
As many organisations grow, there are changes that can happen to the culture, often to the detriment of the business. When the founding group is small, everyone is close to the founder and the vision of the company and hence close to the "why" the business exists. They will speak to the founder every day. As you grow and bring in people with other attitudes/personalities, work ethics and potentially from other industries, this culture starts to fall away, unless you do something about it. I learnt this the hard way.

I have found this book very useful in reminding me why I founded the company and that it is very important to never forget this through growth. Culture is like a garden, it needs tending and in this book Simon gives you some great tools to do so! I've had the pleasure to meet Simon in person and he is a truly inspirational individual.

Start with why, remember why, as with great company culture everything else just gets easier.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 31 October 2011
This book is a must for anyone who really wants to succeed in life and business it gives a real insight as to why things will work and be successful for you. I can tell you I have implemented a number of Simon's ideas and the whole culture change as lead to the company being used as best practice within the industry. Thank you Simon for this book and sharing your thoughts with me via this publication. I can tell you this book is a must read.
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on 24 March 2014
I watched Simon's TED talk over and over again before I decided to buy his book. This book is truly inspiring and it has also changed how I look at the world. What makes this book so much more inspiring for me than it might be for someone else is because I recently became a member of AIESEC, the world's largest student-run organisation. I am always so inspired by the speakers at AIESEC conferences but never truly understand why I am or why I love my organisation so much. Only when I read this book, do I realise what makes my organisation so special. And also when I relate the book with a specific example of an organisation, in this case AIESEC, does everything Simon says and the examples he use prove to work so effectively. This book is definitely recommended, not only to people in business, but also everyone who might be unsure what they are doing, what they want to do in the future or just simply looking to find a path in their lives. 5/5 for me!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 31 January 2011
Excellent book, written with such clarity and ease of understanding. I am very pleased with my decision to buy this book. Well worth it, really helpful. I would definitely recommend it for new business start ups as much as for seasoned executives who want to improve their (and their company)image, stay true to their beliefs and share with their customers as opposed to just hard-selling to them. Very interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 April 2014
All the managers were reading this, so I thought I would get ahead of the pack. When managers sproat there inspirational crap I could quote them from the actual source or reference. This is one of those books in which you can arm yourself with some spin, a fun read. But it isnt of any practical help.
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This is a good book based around a simple idea. I think it's based on Kierkegaard's saying, "whoever has a why to live will find a how to live"

This book argues for setting out the prupose and function of any project and then getting into the detail. It's a simple idea, but in the midst of busy working lives it is amazing how often proximate issues about how to do something develop and seem to lose any connection to the overall function or purpose needing to be achieved. The relationships between the many silos in the NHS exemplify this well and this explains why the NHS collectively achieves much less than the sum of its parts suggests it could achieve.

This book re-emphasises the old saying "Form follows function" which seems so basic- yet which we need reminding about so often. This book is a useful reminder to us.
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