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Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action Hardcover – 29 Oct 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 155 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 246 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio (29 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591842808
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591842804
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 2.5 x 21.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 492,669 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Simon Sinek teaches leaders and companies around the world how to inspire people. From members of Congress to foreign ambassadors, from small businesses to corporations like Microsoft and American Express, from Hollywood to the UN to the Pentagon. He resides in New York City. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The overall concept of the book is great, however the book is extremely repetitive. It's ironic that the author didn't take his own advice and structure his book in a Why, How, What story arch.
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Format: Hardcover
I saw the ted-talk by Simon Sinek and wanted to read more about his ideas. This book is easy to read and gives some interesting insights on how to communicate.

I have tested it at work and it works. I gave a talk at a conference recently and people congratulated me on the clarity of my presentation. Really, what I did was to start with why.

More interesting to me, I think that this book provided the secret of how one specific person I know (a genious in communication) actually behaves when he enters the stage.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book after reading so many positive reviews about the author's TED talk and reviews of this book by others. I'm afraid I was rather disappointed with it.

Starting with why is a brilliant idea - tell people why you're doing something, before you tell them what you're doing or how you're going to do it. Get people to buy into the ethos behind something or some company. The concept is quite simple, and the initial chapters of the book use examples of companies (including Apple) to make that point very effectively.

The issue I had was that that point was then reiterated, but in slightly different ways, in later chapters.

I was hoping that I'd get more from this book than I did.
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Format: Hardcover
If you've seen one of his talks on YouTube the book doesn't add any new ideas just covers it in more detail and not in a way that let's you have "take aways" so while I enjoyed this quick read I don't it added much to my life as the benefits did not come.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this after a blog I follow linked to his TED talks which were both interesting, well delivered and inspiring. So if you haven't seen them, go there first.

I think Simon has a good message, but unfortuantely it feels like a broken record as he retreads the same examples in the TED talks as the book. So it's probably easier and cheaper to go there first.

The cynical part of me also can't help but wonder whether he's rehashing Stephen Covey's second habit (of Successful People)- begin with the end in mind.

THere are some good provocations to identify emotional motivations for a given enterprise, but it never felt like he helped the reader better gain insight into what their own mtivations might be...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Hardcover
I agree with Simon Sinek that individuals as well as organizations must have a crystal clear sense of purpose or it will be very difficult (if not impossible) for them to decide what to do and how to do it. If they have the right purpose, it will guide and inform their decisions and, meanwhile, inspire and then sustain their efforts. Sinek suggests that the Golden Circle "helps us to understand why we do what we do. [It] provides compelling evidence of how much more we can achieve if we remind ourselves to start everything we do by asking why." In brief, here is Sinek's outside-in explanation:

"Every single company and organization on the planet knows WHAT they do...Everyone is easily able to describe the products or services a company sells or the job function they have within that system. WHATs are easy to identify."

"Some companies and people know HIW they do WHAT they do...Not as obvious as WHATs, many think these are the differentiating or motivating factors in a decision. It would be false to assume that's all that's required. There is one missing detail."

"Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do...By WHY I mean what is your purpose, cause or belief? WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care?"

Brief digression: Whenever I meet with a new client's marketing team, I go around the table and ask each person to answer three simple questions. One after another around the table, they have no problem answering the "first two: "Who are you?" and "What do you do?" So far, so good. Then I ask the third question and the subsequent silence is deafening: "Why should I care?
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