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Start With Why

Simon Sinek

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? Find the answers in this inspiring and life-changing bestseller.


The Bottom Line

“There are only two ways to influence human behavior: You can manipulate it or you can inspire it.” So says Simon Sinek, author of the best-selling guide to inspirational leadership based on his 2009 TED Talk, one of the most watched of all time.

I. Introduction

On paper, Simon Sinek had it all. After beginning his career working for several New York advertising agencies, Sinek launched his own marketing company and piloted it to success year after year. He did good work, he made good money, and his clients were happy, but instead of relishing his achievements, Sinek was miserable, and he didn’t know why.

To get answers, Sinek began researching successful companies and leaders, and he discovered a clear pattern that applied across all contexts and time periods, from Henry V to Steve Jobs. This pattern explained why these great men and women were able to achieve such stunning success in the face of immeasurable odds, especially when others who were better equipped to succeed had failed.

Sinek distilled his findings into a theory he calls the Golden Circle, a reference to the mathematically elegant Golden Ratio. The Golden Circle is a series of three concentric circles; the innermost circle is WHY, the next is HOW, and the outermost ring is WHAT. WHAT is the realm of rational and tangible things, while HOW represents the methods and habits we develop to produce our WHAT. WHY is far more difficult to pin down — and far more important. WHY represents our core identity and beliefs.

Sinek discovered that the vast majority of people communicate from the outside of the circle inward while the most successful leaders begin with WHY and move outward. He wrote this book to explain how starting with WHY produces leaders who challenge the status quo, who inspire and innovate, and consistently outperform competitors and expectations. Rich with real world examples, Start With Why offers practical advice on replicating and sustaining this kind of successful leadership.

II. The Brain Science Behind the Golden Circle

III. WHAT Companies Get Wrong

IV. Toward a Tipping Point

V. The Art of Leading by Inspiration

VI. When Split Happens

VII. Grab Hold of Your WHY and Don’t Let Go

The Takeaway


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