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Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action Paperback – Illustrated, December 27, 2011
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From the Publisher
-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
About the Author
- ASIN : 1591846447
- Publisher : Portfolio; Illustrated edition (December 27, 2011)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 256 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781591846444
- ISBN-13 : 978-1591846444
- Item Weight : 7.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.2 x 0.54 x 7.99 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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Example: Yes, there's a difference between WHAT one does in business and WHY one does it. And sometimes they diverge. He calls this the "Split" and has a graphic and whole chapter on it. Really?? Not needed.
Example: He mines the stories of Apple, Wal-Mart, Costco, Starbucks, Martin Luther King Jr, and a few others - over & over & over & over & over again. He makes elementary and generalized statements, such as saying that NONE of the 250,000 people who came to hear Dr. King in Washington came for him; no sir, they came for themselves because their "why" connected with his "why." Uh, no; many came for him and his message or to simply support civil rights.
Example: He constantly repeats the words WHY and WHAT in CAPS ALL THE TIME so you'd get the message. And then again....and again.....
Example: Yes, the Apple Computer story is inspiring. But among all that WHY stuff is also the story of a dreamer with incredibly bad people skills. To simply elevate the Apple story - and retell it umpteen times - is to vastly oversimplify what made them great back then and now, and why they succeeded in spite of the way Jobs treated his employees.
It's almost as if the author had about 10 stories in his pocket and decided to use nothing else at all. He created the entire "start with WHY" mantra out of the 10 stories and never went beyond them to augment, embellish, or create more learnings.
So save the money, see the TED talk, and take what he says there to heart. WHY is the basis for being motivated. But there's a whole lot more to say, and sadly, he never gets to it.
Save your money and (most importantly) your time and just watch the TED talk on YT..
Let's start with why. Sinek is an awfully repetitive and, frankly, unskilled writer. He lays out his thesis and then repeats it like a rower repeats his stroke. As he drags out the book to whatever number of words he needed to fulfill book contract, he re/illustrates his thesis with different examples. This would have made the book slightly more tolerable, except the examples are so ordinary and well known that they will put you to sleep. Apple, Disney, JFK, Hitler. Yawn. Even that might be fine if he had spent five minutes on Wikipedia to research less-known stories about them, but it doesn't look like he did.
This book should have been a column in a weekend newspaper, or, at best, a chapter in another book about leadership. Not worth your time.
The premise is interesting, but it's not ground breaking. Basically, it's: don't start with what you can do and figure out how to find a market, but instead start with a passion, a need, and what gets you up in the morning, build a business around that, and hire people who share your passion. It's slightly more than that, but not much more, hence find the Ted talk or read an abstract.
Top reviews from other countries
I find it funny that a book about WHY missed out on mentioning something called, "The theory of 5 Whys"- Look it up, it is something a lot of companies use to brainstorm problems. It also has no comment on Friedrich Nietzsche - "He who has a WHY to live for can bear almost any HOW." I believe what applies to life also eventually applies to business life.
And as it is a business book, its only focus is on the importance of WHY in businesses and large scale social movements. There is no example of how this concept affects and benefits an individual on a more personal scale - i.e. in relationships, health, etc. Chapter 13 - where the author shares his own story of arriving at this concept is the only place where he has touched on it in a lukewarm manner. Though, I believe there is another book follow-up book called 'Find Your Why' for the same purpose. If you are looking for a personal WHY, do read Stephen Covey's - The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Should you read the book, if you have watched the TED talk?
- Yes, if you are looking for more detailed examples and studies and researches. Though a lot of it is focused on Apple and Southwest Airlines and Walmart.
- No, if you already have a clear sense of WHY in everything you think, say and do. (i.e. self-awareness)
[I bought a paperback version by Portfolio Penguin, and the fonts, binding and print are all okay]