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Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action Paperback – December 27, 2011
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-WILLIAM URY, coauthor of Getting to Yes
“Start with Why fanned the flames inside me. This book can lead you to levels of excellence you never considered attainable.”
-GENERAL CHUCK HORNER, air boss, Desert Storm
“Each story will force you to see things from an entirely different perspective. A perspective that is nothing short of the truth.”
-MOKHTAR LAMANI, former ambassador, special envoy to Iraq
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Top Customer Reviews
On the other hand, the book is agonizing in its redundancy, often repeating the same examples many times over to make precisely the same point as the first time the example was used. I'm inclined to think that virtually everything Sinek wrote could have been stated in a 20-page article without leaving out anything important. I daresay it might be possible to do it in five pages. That's part of the beauty of the idea: it's incredibly simple while still being astoundingly powerful. But Sinek doesn't seem to have bothered taking the time to distill the idea down into its essence for straightforward presentation in this book. It reads a little bit like he took articles from his blog, stuck them in a large word-processing document, did some minor editing, and submitted the thing as-is for publication in order to create this book.
So, the idea is worth the cost of the book and the time to read it, but the book itself is, in my humble opinion, very poorly organized and needlessly long.
I would advise those who are interested in Sinek's ideas save themselves a great deal of time and a little expense by first watching his TED Talk:
This covers virtually all the core ideas involved. The one thing Sinek never does either in this presentation or in his book is spell out what "HOW" is. It's a bit confusing in large part because it's different for each of the two communication structures.Read more ›
The genius of simple and powerful ideas is that they are easy to get (if difficult to see until illuminated) and for this Sinek deserves 5 stars - but here he labours that beautifully simple nugget and tortures the reader with such repitition. We get it! (If there was a dollar for every time he says "people don't buy what you do they buy why you do it" you could buy many copies of the book! I actually have the audio book - read by Sinek and it all gets overlaboured and smug. How dumb does he think his audience is? My advice - watch the tead talk - skip the book - as it fails on his why - 'to inspire'!
Sinek's "start with why" premise and catchy "golden circle" approach to business may sound great on the surface, but even minute consideration reveals that there is no underlying theory supporting his claims. Perhaps it's because "Begin with a deliverable company creed" is solid advice which requires no explanation or examples, but Sinek is stretching himself thin on a premise that cant be supported: He found a catchy slogan that relates to the majority of what he wants to discuss, and spends an entire book attempting to make his examples fit his theme. Needless to say, it doesn't work. Look no further than his attempt to correlate the diversity of Apple products with the success of the Wright Brothers under the universally simplistic heading of "why," and you will unequivocally understand that Sinek's premise needs some major revision.
If you've come to this book looking for a business philosophy that will actually take you to the heart of why, you have come to the wrong place. Sinek, like most of the business world, has mistaken "what" for "why." Although Sinek will insist that he has not made this vital error by assuring his readers that "everyone knows what they do, but hardly anyone knows why they do it," it seems that Sinek himself doesn't even know how to find the why! Sinek is among the many, many writers and critics who ask - not why - but "What makes you different?" The Wright Brothers believed in the power of flight to unite the world. Apple believes in the power of the personal computing device to empower the individual, bringing the world and knowledge to each of us.Read more ›
For those faced with competition, price-war and customer churn, Sinek's book can provide great insights for developing a new long-term strategy to combat these issues once-and-for-all. Sinek explains that while your product's features may be replicated and commoditized, no one can copy the kinship and confidence that your customers feel when doing business with you. This is because those feelings come from intangible values and beliefs that only you share with your customers.
How does one create such kinship with customers? The book explains the Golden Circle concept, which shows business leaders how to inspire instead of manipulating customers or employees to act. Sinek explains that trust is built naturally when you target customers that understand and believe in your WHY. So, if getting repeat and word-of-mouth business is important to you, then use inspiration, not manipulation to get the sale. Also, when business leaders properly articulate their company's WHY to employees, it makes it easier for the employees to believe in what they are selling. When sales reps sound authentic, it builds trust and loyalty with customers. It all starts with WHY.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This has been one of the most powerful book I've read on business. Simon really did an all star job in providing clarity and many aha moments. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Diane
Its ironic because this book fails to be great because the author didn’t focus enough on HOW this book should have been formatted.
1. Read more
The why gives you charisma; the why gives you strength, purpose, and direction; the why separates you from the flock. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Abner Rosenweig
Great ideas in the book, but WOW is it ever redundant. Cut out all the redundant material and it would be half as long. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Alan