‘Start with Why’, is a best selling book by Simon Sinek. It tells you why ‘The Why’ for everything around you is important. Simon has written the book to inspire others to do things which inspire them.
The key point Sinek emphasises in this book is that it is the ‘Why’ that builds businesses and not What or How. He says, “People don’t buy WHAT you do; they buy WHY you do it.”
Here are some key things I learnt from the book. I’d like to share them with you. Perhaps this will convince you to read the book as well.
The Golden Circle
In this book, Sinek has introduced and explained concept of the Golden circle very well. It is the basis of the book. He has justified the concept with numerous examples throughout the book.
- “When communicating from the inside out, however, the WHY is offered as the reason to buy and the WHATs serve as the tangible proof of that belief.”
- “When most organisations or people think, act or communicate they do so from the outside in, from WHAT to WHY. And for good reason — they go from clearest thing to the fuzziest thing. We say WHAT we do, we sometimes say HOW we do it, but we rarely say WHY we do WHAT we do.
- Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do. By WHY I mean your purpose, cause or belief – WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care?
Other key things I learnt from the book
There are many other things in the book that opened my mind to a world of thought-provoking possibilities. I am summarising them here in point-form for easy reading.
- When we start with WHY in everything that we do, we inspire action in a way that WHAT doesn’t. That’s because WHY engages our emotions, while WHAT engages our logical brain.
- When we try to sell the WHAT, we have to rely on manipulations like price to influence people. When we focus on attracting customers that understand and believe in our WHY, we build trust. Trust leads to loyalty, and loyalty leads to word-of-mouth business.
- There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it by giving purpose. Any manipulation is short term, Inspiration is long term.
- ‘You don’t hire for skills, you hire for attitude. You can always teach skills.’
- “Leadership requires two things: a vision of the world that does not yet exist and the ability to communicate it.”
- “Working hard for something we do not care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion.”
- “Being the leader means you hold the highest rank, either by earning it, good fortune or navigating internal politics. Leading, however, means that others willingly follow you—not because they have to, not because they are paid to, but because they want to.”
- “Great leaders are those who trust their gut. They are those who understand the art before the science. They win hearts before minds. They are the ones who start with WHY.”
- “Passion alone can’t cut it. For passion to survive it needs structure. A why without how has little probability of success.”
- ‘Average companies give their people something to work on. In contrast, the most innovative organisations give their people something to work toward.”
- People who love work are more productive and creative. They go home happier and have happier families. inspired employees build stronger companies, economies and world we live in. I wrote this book to inspire people to do the things that inspire them so together we can build the world where trust and loyalty are norm and not the exception.
- “There are many ways to motivate people to do things, but loyalty comes from the ability to inspire people.”
This book is not written to tell you how and what or course of action but cause of action.“Finding WHY is a process of discovery, not invention.”
For a deeper understand of the ideas I have touched upon, do read the book. It will be time well-spent. What’s more, the things you pick up from it will stay with you for years to come.