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184 Simon Sinek: Start with Why

Successful leaders start by focusing on the ‘why’ behind their actions, inspiring others by communicating purpose, passion and values.

Simon Sinek: Start with Why


"Start with Why" is a book by Simon Sinek, a leadership consultant and author who argues that the key to success lies in starting with the 'why' behind our actions. Sinek explores how successful leaders, businesses and organizations all share a common trait: they understand and communicate their 'why', or their purpose, passion, and values. By starting with the 'why', these leaders are able to inspire and motivate their employees, customers and partners to take action and achieve great things. Throughout the book, Sinek provides a framework for understanding and communicating the 'why', and offers practical advice for applying these principles in our personal and professional lives. With its clear and inspiring message, "Start with Why" offers a powerful guide for anyone looking to make a positive impact in the world.


Title: Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Author: Simon Sinek

Publishing year: 2017

Publisher: Portfolio

Length in hours: 7 hours and 18 minutes

5 main ideas

  1. Successful leaders and organizations start by focusing on the 'why' behind their actions, rather than the 'what' or 'how'.
  2. The 'why' represents the purpose, passion, and values that motivate and inspire people to take action.
  3. Communicating the 'why' is essential for building strong relationships with employees, customers, and partners, and for creating a sense of shared purpose and mission.
  4. The 'why' is a powerful tool for creating a culture of innovation, experimentation, and risk-taking, as it encourages people to think beyond the status quo and embrace change.
  5. The 'why' can be applied to all aspects of life, from personal relationships to business strategy, and can help individuals and organizations achieve greater success and fulfillment.
Simon Sinek: Start with Why

5 funny quotes

  1. "I'm not a boss, I'm a coach." - Doc Rivers
  2. "The key to being a good manager is keeping the people who hate you away from those who are still undecided." - Casey Stengel
  3. "I'm not arguing, I'm just explaining why I'm right." - Unknown
  4. "Why do they call it rush hour when nothing moves?" - Robin Williams
  5. "I'm not lazy, I'm just conserving energy." - Unknown

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it." - Simon Sinek
  2. "Great leaders are willing to sacrifice their own personal interests for the good of the team." - John Wooden
  3. "The true test of leadership is how well you function in a crisis." - Brian Tracy
  4. "The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers." - Ralph Nader
  5. "You can't lead anyone else further than you have gone yourself." - Gene Mauch

5 dilemmas

  1. Balancing short-term goals with long-term vision, and the challenge of communicating the 'why' to stakeholders who may be focused on immediate results.
  2. The tension between individualism and teamwork, and the need for leaders to inspire and motivate individuals while also fostering a sense of shared purpose and mission.
  3. The challenge of leading in times of crisis, and the need to balance transparency and accountability with the need for quick decision-making.
  4. The challenge of maintaining a strong organizational culture while also promoting innovation and experimentation.
  5. The ethical and moral dilemmas that can arise in leadership, such as balancing the interests of different stakeholders and navigating complex power dynamics.

5 examples

  1. Martin Luther King Jr., who inspired millions with his 'I Have a Dream' speech, based on his vision of a world where all people are treated with equality and justice.
  2. Steve Jobs, who founded Apple with a vision of challenging the status quo and creating products that would change the world.
  3. Mahatma Gandhi, who led India to independence through his unwavering commitment to non-violent resistance and his vision of a peaceful, united India.
  4. Oprah Winfrey, who built a media empire based on her passion for inspiring and empowering people to live their best lives.
  5. Bill Gates, who co-founded Microsoft with a vision of making computing accessible and user-friendly for everyone.

Referenced books

  1. "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor E. Frankl 
  2. "The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses" by Eric Ries 
  3. "Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't" by Jim Collins
  4. "Finite and Infinite Games" by James P. Carse 
  5. "The Power of Myth" by Joseph Campbell 

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"The key to being a good manager is keeping the people who hate you away from those who are still undecided."

Simon Sinek: Start with Why
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