Start with why: How great leaders inspire everyone to take action

Filed in The Reading Room by on September 8, 2013 0 Comments

Picture of Simon Sinek holding book Start with WhyBy Simon Sinek

The central theme of this book is that the most successful companies are those that remain focused on why they exist rather than focusing on what they do and how they do it.  This is what Sinek refers to as the golden circle – why is kept at the centre of everything that is done and it is the why that informs what is done and how it is done.  The much quoted example that he gives is Apple whose reason for being is to challenge the status quo.  Hence the Mac, ipod, itunes and iphones all very different products but all challenging the way things were previously done.

The benefit of this approach, he argues, is that it builds brand loyalty and consumers will pay a premium to purchase that product or service because the “why” taps into the emotional centre of the buyer’s brain.  This is contrary to the approach of most organisations who market their products and services on the basis of what they do and how they do it – the standard features and benefits approach.  The problem with this Sinek argues is that it doesn’t build brand loyalty but rather encourages sales through price manipulation and there is always another company which is prepared to offer more for less.

Although Sinek presents his arguments clearly and succinctly there was too little depth of analysis for my liking.  It also felt that there was an awful lot of repetition with the same few examples being used time and time again.   Having watched Sinek’s Ted talk, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action.” I felt I gained very little from reading his book and if I was you I would save your money and watch the Ted talk instead.  For further information about Simon Sinek view his website.

Rating 3/5

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