Book Review: Start With WHY by Simon Sinek

Last year, I was going through a confused period concerning my business. One of my growth friends recommended I watch Simon Sinek’s TED Talk. You can watch it HERE. So I was quite excited when I found out that Simon’s book, “Start with WHY” was our book of the month of January. It was a worthy read and a great way to start the year

On Reading – Start With Why

Simon explained that the goal of the book is to show how great leaders inspire others to take action and make sustainable impact. The two points below summarizes what Simon aimed to educate his readers – the difference between leaders and those who lead:

(1) The Golden Circle

Simon pointed out that only a few of leaders choose to inspire rather than manipulate in order to motivate people. He explained how this type of leaders follow a natural pattern called ‘The Golden Circle’. This circle consists of 3 levels: ‘WHY’ is the purpose behind your idea (reason), ‘HOW’ is the process (action) and ‘WHAT’ is the product or services you offer (results). Throughout the book, he kept writing “People don’t buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it”. Therefore, leaders need to start with WHY to inspire others to take action. 

(2) The Law of Diffusion of Innovation

This is defined as the spread of innovation or technology. This is broken into 5 segments which falls across the curved bell: 

(a) Early Adaptors are the loyal buyers. They are usually those who are willing to test your product and services. And if they love it, they became raving fans who help spread the world about your product/services/movement.

(b) Early Majority are the willing buyers. They need to be convinced before they try or buy any product or services. Normally they need the early adaptors’ feedback to make decisions.

(c) Late Majority are the regular buyers aka the mass buyers. They buy because they want or need it.

(d) Laggards are those who are forced to buy because they have no other option. 

Simon summarized this by signifying that when you start with WHY, those who believe what you believe are drawn to you for personal reasons. Your role is to be very clear about your purpose (WHY) – show the process taken to advance that cause (HOW), and have a tangible product/service/movement (WHAT). Then you will have loyal follower.

In Summary

To summarize this book, Simon Sinek noted that leadership require two things: a vision of the world that does not yet exist and the ability to communicate it. He concluded that when we spend every day in pursuit of our WHY, we end up inspiring others to take action. 

Major Takeaways and Insights

One of the major take-away from the book is that it helps you focus on your authentic message and build your ideal community; followers / clients / colleagues, etc.

I also like how he used different illustrations of real-life organizations to emphasis his points. His favorite was Apple because of how consistent they have been with their ‘WHY.

Start with Why is a good read highly recommended for those who want to become leaders that inspire others to take real action and change the world.

Read the book? I would like to know your thoughts. 🙂

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