Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action by Simon SinekStart With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action by Simon Sinek

Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action

bySimon Sinek

Paperback | December 27, 2011

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The inspiring, life-changing bestseller by the author of LEADERS EAT LAST and TOGETHER IS BETTER.
In 2009, Simon Sinek started a movement to help people become more inspired at work, and in turn inspire their colleagues and customers. Since then, millions have been touched by the power of his ideas, including more than 28 million who’ve watched his TED Talk based on START WITH WHY -- the third most popular TED video of all time.
Sinek starts with a fundamental question: Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their success over and over?
People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers had little in common, but they all started with WHY. They realized that people won't truly buy into a product, service, movement, or idea until they understand the WHY behind it. 
START WITH WHY shows that the leaders who've had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way -- and it's the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.
SIMON SINEK, the bestselling author of LEADERS EAT LAST and TOGETHER IS BETTER, is an optimist who believes in a brighter future for humanity.  He teaches leaders and organizations how to inspire people and has presented his ideas around the world, from small startups to Fortune 50 corporations, from Hollywood to Congress to the Pentag...
Title:Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take ActionFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 7.96 × 5.31 × 0.67 inPublished:December 27, 2011Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1591846447

ISBN - 13:9781591846444

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Read from the Book

1ASSUME YOU KNOWOn a cold January day, a forty-three-year-old man wassworn in as the chief executive of his country. By his sidestood his predecessor, a famous general who, fifteen yearsearlier, had commanded his nation’s armed forces in a warthat resulted in the defeat of Germany. The young leaderwas raised in the Roman Catholic faith. He spent the nextfi ve hours watching parades in his honor and stayed upcelebrating until three o’clock in the morning.You know who I’m describing, right?It’s January 30, 1933, and I’m describing Adolf Hitler and not,as most people would assume, John F. Kennedy.The point is, we make assumptions. We make assumptionsabout the world around us based on sometimes incomplete or falseinformation. In this case, the information I offered was incomplete.Many of you were convinced that I was describing John F. Kennedyuntil I added one minor little detail: the date.This is important because our behavior is affected by our assumptionsor our perceived truths. We make decisions based onwhat we think we know. It wasn’t too long ago that the majority ofpeople believed the world was flat. This perceived truth impacted behavior. During this period, there was very little exploration. Peoplefeared that if they traveled too far they might fall off the edgeof the earth. So for the most part they stayed put. It wasn’t untilthat minor detail was revealed—the world is round—that behaviorschanged on a massive scale. Upon this discovery, societiesbegan to traverse the planet. Trade routes were established; spiceswere traded. New ideas, like mathematics, were shared between societieswhich unleashed all kinds of innovations and advancements.The correction of a simple false assumption moved the human raceforward.Now consider how organizations are formed and how decisionsare made. Do we really know why some organizations succeed andwhy others don’t, or do we just assume? No matter your defi nitionof success—hitting a target stock price, making a certain amountof money, meeting a revenue or profi t goal, getting a big promotion,starting your own company, feeding the poor, winning publicoffice—how we go about achieving our goals is very similar. Someof us just wing it, but most of us try to at least gather some data sowe can make educated decisions. Sometimes this gathering processis formal—like conducting polls or market research. Andsometimes it’s informal, like asking our friends and colleagues foradvice or looking back on our own personal experience to providesome perspective. Regardless of the process or the goals, we all wantto make educated decisions. More importantly, we all want to makethe right decisions.As we all know, however, not all decisions work out to be theright ones, regardless of the amount of data we collect. Sometimesthe impact of those wrong decisions is minor, and sometimes it canbe catastrophic. Whatever the result, we make decisions based on aperception of the world that may not, in fact, be completely accurate.Just as so many were certain that I was describing John F.Kennedy at the beginning of this section. You were certain you wereright. You might even have bet money on it—a behavior based onan assumption. Certain, that is, until I offered that little detail ofthe date.Not only bad decisions are made on false assumptions. Sometimeswhen things go right, we think we know why, but do we really?That the result went the way you wanted does not mean youcan repeat it over and over. I have a friend who invests some of hisown money. Whenever he does well, it’s because of his brains andability to pick the right stocks, at least according to him. But whenhe loses money, he always blames the market. I have no issue witheither line of logic, but either his success and failure hinge upon hisown prescience and blindness or they hinge upon good and badluck. But it can’t be both.So how can we ensure that all our decisions will yield the bestresults for reasons that are fully within our control? Logic dictatesthat more information and data are key. And that’s exactly whatwe do. We read books, attend conferences, listen to podcasts andask friends and colleagues—all with the purpose of finding outmore so we can figure out what to do or how to act. The problemis, we’ve all been in situations in which we have all the data and getlots of good advice but things still don’t go quite right. Or maybethe impact lasted for only a short time, or something happenedthat we could not foresee. A quick note to all of you who correctlyguessed Adolf Hitler at the beginning of the section: the details Igave are the same for both Hitler and John F. Kennedy, it could havebeen either. You have to be careful what you think you know. Assumptions,you see, even when based on sound research, can leadus astray.Intuitively we understand this. We understand that even withmountains of data and good advice, if things don’t go as expected,it’s probably because we missed one, sometimes small but vital detail.In these cases, we go back to all our sources, maybe seek outsome new ones, and try to figure out what to do, and the wholeprocess begins again. More data, however, doesn’t always help, especiallyif a flawed assumption set the whole process in motion inthe fi rst place. There are other factors that must be considered, factorsthat exist outside of our rational, analytical, informationhungrybrains.There are times in which we had no data or we chose to ignorethe advice or information at hand and just went with our gut andthings worked out just fine, sometimes even better than expected.This dance between gut and rational decision-making pretty muchcovers how we conduct business and even live our lives. We cancontinue to slice and dice all the options in every direction, but atthe end of all the good advice and all the compelling evidence, we’releft where we started: how to explain or decide a course of actionthat yields a desired effect that is repeatable. How can we have 20/20foresight?There is a wonderful story of a group of American car executiveswho went to Japan to see a Japanese assembly line. At theend of the line, the doors were put on the hinges, the same as inAmerica. But something was missing. In the United States, a lineworker would take a rubber mallet and tap the edges of the door toensure that it fit perfectly. In Japan, that job didn’t seem to exist.Confused, the American auto executives asked at what point theymade sure the door fit perfectly. Their Japanese guide looked atthem and smiled sheepishly. “We make sure it fits when we designit.” In the Japanese auto plant, they didn’t examine the problemand accumulate data to figure out the best solution—they engineeredthe outcome they wanted from the beginning. If they didn’tachieve their desired outcome, they understood it was because of adecision they made at the start of the process.At the end of the day, the doors on the American-made andJapanese-made cars appeared to fit when each rolled off the assemblyline. Except the Japanese didn’t need to employ someone tohammer doors, nor did they need to buy any mallets. More importantly,the Japanese doors are likely to last longer and maybe evenbe more structurally sound in an accident. All this for no otherreason than they ensured the pieces fit from the start.What the American automakers did with their rubber mallets isa metaphor for how so many people and organizations lead. Whenfaced with a result that doesn’t go according to plan, a series ofperfectly effective short-term tactics are used until the desired out-come is achieved. But how structurally sound are those solutions?So many organizations function in a world of tangible goals and themallets to achieve them. The ones that achieve more, the ones thatget more out of fewer people and fewer resources, the ones with anoutsized amount of infl uence, however, build products and companiesand even recruit people that all fit based on the originalintention. Even though the outcome may look the same, great leadersunderstand the value in the things we cannot see.Every instruction we give, every course of action we set, everyresult we desire, starts with the same thing: a decision. There arethose who decide to manipulate the door to fit to achieve the desiredresult and there are those who start from somewhere verydifferent. Though both courses of action may yield similar shorttermresults, it is what we can’t see that makes long-term successmore predictable for only one. The one that understood why thedoors need to fit by design and not by default.

Editorial Reviews

“Start with Why is one of the most useful and powerful books I have read in years. Simple and elegant, it shows us how leaders should lead.”-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