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


Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” by Simon Sinek is a compelling exploration of the powerful idea that the most successful and influential leaders are those who can articulate a clear ‘why’—the purpose, cause, or belief that drives every action they take. Based on his famous TED talk, Sinek’s book delves into why some people and organizations are more innovative, influential, and profitable than others.

Sinek introduces the concept of the Golden Circle, which consists of three layers: Why, How, and What. He argues that most companies work from the outside, starting with ‘what’ they do and moving inward. However, the most successful ones start with ‘why’—the purpose that makes them do what they do. According to Sinek, this approach separates great leaders and organizations from the rest. They inspire action by focusing on the reason for their work, attracting customers and employees who believe in their vision.

One of the book’s key strengths is its wide array of examples from various fields, including business, politics, and history, to illustrate how leaders who start with ‘why’ create a loyal following. Sinek cites Apple, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Wright brothers as success stories that stemmed from a strong, apparent ‘why.’ These stories are inspiring and serve as a practical guide for implementing this model in one’s own leadership style.

Sinek’s writing is clear and persuasive, making complex concepts accessible to a broad audience. He adeptly combines theoretical explanations with practical advice, providing a clear roadmap for identifying one’s own ‘why’ and communicating it effectively to inspire others. The book is for business leaders and anyone who wants to find more meaning in their work and inspire those around them.

However, some readers might find the book repetitive sometimes, as Sinek drives home his core message in many ways. Despite this, the repetition reinforces the book’s central thesis and ensures the message is fully absorbed.

One of the book’s most impactful aspects is its call to action: not just to understand one’s ‘why’ but to live by it. Sinek emphasizes that knowing one’s ‘why’ is crucial, but it’s equally important to have the courage and discipline to act on it. This resonates deeply with the reader and is a powerful motivator to enact change in one’s life and organization.

In conclusion, “Start with Why” has been eye-opening. It’s not just a book about leadership in the conventional sense; it’s about leading a purpose-driven life and empowering others to do the same. Sinek’s insights into the nature of inspiration and motivation provide a valuable lens through which to view leadership, making it a must-read for anyone looking to inspire and be inspired. The lessons from this book are universal and timeless, offering guidance on how to lead with purpose and passion.