I first came across Simon Sinek’s work via his TED Talk Start with Why. This led me to recently read his book that serves as the backbone for this TED Talk, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action.

Why do you do what you do?

Start with Why Simon Sinek - writetojoncookThat’s the question posed by Sinek and championed by some of the most inspirational and successful leaders and businesses in history.

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. didn’t plan on having hundreds of thousands join him on the Lincoln Memorial steps; he simply had a dream.
  • The Wright Brothers didn’t have the best resources or really hardly any money at all, but that had passion to achieve the gift of flight.
  • Steve Jobs didn’t personally create the MacBook, the iPod, or the iPhone, but it was his inspiration and status quo-defying approach that pushed Apple to truly think differently.

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it,” writes Sinek. This is the ground-swell many leaders are missing when it comes to the vision and direction of their business. Many of us know what to do, but we don’t know the driving purpose behind our work.

This book isn’t for someone looking for the “how-to” or “what” to do with their business. I think some readers might even mistakenly read this and think it’s the magic formula for profitability.

The intended audience of this book is the collective group of leaders who already know what they do. They already even know how to do it, but they’re looking for the deepest cause behind why they do what they do. And it’s in this search for reason that Sinek gives a fantastic forum for exploring your why. It’s because of my reading of this work that I’ve made adjustments to some of my own business direction.

One of the very few objections I might have with this work, if any at all, is that some of the concepts became redundant towards the end. This may not be a bad thing as many readers need multiple exposures to the same concepts before meaning can take root.

I found Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action to be one of the most thought-provoking and paradigm-shifting works I’ve ever read. If you’re an entrepreneur, CEO, or leader searching for the why behind what you do, you would be well served reading Sinek’s work.

  • Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action may be found at Amazon.comBarnes & Noble, and other popular retail sites.
  • Follow more of Simon Sinek’s writings at Startwithwhy.com.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”