I recently listened to Simon Sinek's book, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. If you enjoy books on entrepreneurship, business, success, and motivation, add this one to your "to read" list. It may come as no surprise (hint: the book title!) that Sinek explores the question of Why throughout the book. Why are some people and organizations (both small and large) more innovative, influential, and profitable than others? Furthermore, Sinek explores why some companies and leaders command greater loyalty from both their customers and employees. The book is intertwined with statistics and stories, allowing readers to both learn and maintain interest from the first to last page of the book.
Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action argues that successful people not only start their company with Why, they continue it that way. It is only when the Why is lost (Sinek discusses specific companies who lost their Why when their founder/leader passed away or when the founder simply lost sight of Why and became too focused on processes and profits) that the company fails. Maintain the Why, and you maintain the passion and inspiration- which is passed on to employees and customers alike.
Sinek shares stories about companies and leaders such as Apple, Microsoft, Disney, Walmart, Steve Jobs, the Wright Brothers, Martin Luther King Jr. and many others. Leaders who have a vision of the future, the author says, those who have the greatest influence on the world, all communicate, act, and think in the same ways (which Sinek shows, is the opposite of everyone else). These leaders are Why people. And upon further glance, Why leaders tend to further their success when they team up with a How person. A Why person focuses on the future (i.e. a visionary), a How person focuses on the nitty-gritty details of how to make the Why come to life. I've found this concept to be true in my own entrepreneurial life, as I co-founded a 501c3 non-profit animal welfare organization with my opposite. One of us is the Why person and the other is the How person. The aspects of business I excel in and enjoy are the opposites of my partners/co-founders, yet we have the same vision for the organization- to save lives. It works well, as we've saved thousands of lives and grown and expanded by leaps and bounds since our start in 2002. So much of the book resonated with me, as I found myself nodding through many chapters.
The book also explores why even successful companies have a difficult time repeating their success.
As an author and life-long entrepreneur, I loved this book. I rated it 5-stars. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, if you love understanding how business works (and why!), if you want to know what makes some people successful leaders- pick up a copy of Sinek's, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. You'll be glad you did!
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