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Summary

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 successes over and over?

People like Martin Luther King, Jr.; Steve Jobs; and the Wright Brothers might have little in common, but they all started with why. Their natural ability to start with why enabled them to inspire those around them and to achieve remarkable things. In studying the leaders who've had the greatest influence in the world, Simon Sinek discovered that they all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way - and it's the complete 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.

Any organization can explain what it does; some can explain how they do it; but very few can clearly articulate why. Why is not money or profit - those are always results. Why does your organization exist? Why does it do the things it does? Why do customers really buy from one company or another? Why are people loyal to some leaders but not others? Starting with why works in big business and small business, in the nonprofit world and in politics. Those who start with why never manipulate, they inspire. And people follow them not because they have to; they follow because they want to. Drawing on a wide range of real-life stories, Sinek weaves together a clear vision of what it truly takes to lead and inspire. This book is for anyone who wants to inspire others or who wants to find someone to inspire them.

©2009 Simon Sinek (P)2010 Gildan Media Corp

Critic 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. Highly recommended!” (William Ury, coauthor of Getting to Yes, cofounder of The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • RP
  • 24-03-16

Mixed feelings

The idea at the core of the book is quite good, and as many good things, quite simple. Personally I don't think the concept needs 7 hours to explain - more suitable for a 30 minute keynote presentation. Examples get repeated over and over again... And these examples elaborate too much on the dead obvious visionary characters like Steve Jobs etc. Is there inspiration and is there a "why" beyond the global mega corporations and brands? I am sure there is...
I would have liked to hear more about how one can explore his/her "internal why" and how to bring it to life in what they do... But I guess reality is it's for each individual to explore for himself... Therefore only 3 stars...

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Repetitive, annoying and lacking in substance

Having seen the Ted talk I was intrigued to learn more about Simon Sinek's ideas and to understand how to convert them into my own "why". Turns out there was nothing more than to it and I could have stopped at 10 minutes rather than spending 10 hours listening to the book.

Nothing is offered in the way of practical advice; in fact the section on "how" people v "why" people effectively tells you to give up if you're not a natural "why". Hardly inspirational.

The same examples are trotted out again and again with very little difference in the messages. In fact I struggled to understand what the difference was between most chapters.

To top it all off he has an incredibly annoying delivery style. You can't really hold his accent against him but it is a quite bizarre mix of New York and Home Counties England, rounded off with an overly theatrical flair.

Not recommended I'm afraid

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Simon l, I expected more, a lot more

It seems as if Simon has taken his TED talk and put it in the book
He clearly loves apple, and Martin Luther King
Literally you can skip the first six hours as it is compilation of his love for Apple and ted talk. He even uses the same sentence
Sorry Simon

25 of 29 people found this review helpful

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Devoid of useful content

Just waffles on about the principle of starting with why then repeats over and over without really providing any more value

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

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A Stunning Simple Concept Lost in Todays World

If you could sum up Start with Why in three words, what would they be?

Life Changing Simplicity

What was one of the most memorable moments of Start with Why?

The moment i realised that this simple concept can be applied to almost everything you do and say. How did i get to 30 and not realise / be told this.

What does Simon Sinek bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I always enjoy listening to books more than reading them

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

If i could of done then yes

Any additional comments?

Take this concept and introduce it to your company / school / organisation, you will be classed a hero!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Just OK - nothing more

it's an OK book, with simple and high-ish moments but no real depth to the key messages. Also feels like an Apple advert. I am Apple fan but almost felt it was a sponsored book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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inspirational but repetitive and streched

Simon says in 6 hours what he could've said in 1 hour. I completely agree with his point but it sort of feels like he keeps repeating the same arguments and over using examples (specially Apple). it's also not too practical imo.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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It just goes on and on

What did you like best about Start with Why? What did you like least?

The main idea behind Start with Why - that purpose is what drives individuals, rather than the What or How - is a profound idea. It's a real eye-opener for anyone looking at their business with a critical eye.

What could Simon Sinek have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

First, to re-iterate: starting with why is a profound idea, and this is an important book. That right there is high praise. Just so that you can put the below into context.The main problem with the book is that it's a 7 hour snoozefest of examples and re-iteration of the same idea. The idea and main concept are pretty clear after hour 1. The examples get tiresome after hour 2. And then I spent the remaining 5 hours expecting a big payoff at the end in the form of some ideas on how to explore the "Why" at my company / personal life / whatever it is I want to find the purpose for. No such luck - so the in the end I felt like I had been cheated out of 5 hours because, well, a hardcover self-helper just has to have 200 pages if it's going to sell, and, well, the audiobook has to have the same content.In other words, I would have happily paid the same sum to have this book shortened by 70%. And I'd gladly pay for the follow-up. I also suggest that the follow-up should be called "How to get to Why"...

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Always nice to hear the author himself.

Was Start with Why worth the listening time?

No. See above.

Any additional comments?

Still, a good listen. Just listen to it at 1.5x and skip 30s whenever you feel like you're treading water.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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boring and repetitive

I personally found this book boring rather than thought provoking. I'm pleased it was only £2 in the daily deal. one to avoid...

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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So simple

But so effective - an inspirational read packed with stuff I can and will apply today.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Werner van Wyk
  • 01-02-18

Wish I could count the word "Apple"

Great first few chapters where Simon made his point. It was not needed to continue with the same example which most are already familiar with. It became like a Barbie girl song remix. I truely struggle to finish the book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • sourabh
  • 05-12-17

nice concepts which are practical, too repeatitive

practically implementable concepts..profound ones

however, book would have been a great read if it was 50% shorter..too repeatitive

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 20-09-17

A lot of repititiom

I am a big fan of Simon Sinek. Did expect much more from this book. The whole big is all repetition of the fact you must begin with the why. I totally agree but don't need to hear it over and over again. He doesn't give any tools.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-08-17

Could be explained in 5 minutes

Book that makes you think but amount of words used could be reduced by 80%

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Morten F. Thomsen
  • 11-05-17

Simen Sinek resonates with ME like nothing else

This book and Simen Sinek himself is so inspiring, I feel like a born again Christian after listening to it. The things most of us ignores seems so obvious, but it is exceptionally hard to actually make the change.

My only qualm is that while all the stories and examples are inspiring, they generally apply to huge, industry-changing companies, whilst I'm convinced it also applies to smaller companies - it is however rather difficult to clearly extrapolate how to move forward and change my own company - but I guess that is MY journey now, to be able to find the true why for myself and my companies.

No matter what you do for a living, employee or business-owner this book is inspiring and I strongly recommend you read it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Enmanuel Toribio
  • 16-04-17

It is very repetitive, but quite good

It has a good message but the author repeats the same things over and over many many times. This audiobook could be between 2 and 3 hours shorter.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Guy
  • 15-03-17

Interesting, but too long

Illustrates great ideas and is very thought provoking . However, the book gets repetitive around two thirds in.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-12-16

Great idea - too long

What did you like best about Start with Why? What did you like least?

I liked the concept of start with why but the book seems to be too long and dabbling into various examples which were not so interested. Also, narration was very plain and at times not really bringing out the key messages author wanted to convey.

I am fan of Simon for his insights but book was not up to my expectation

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lokesh
  • 06-09-18

I have found my why!

This is an amazing read!

Simple language, clear articulation and number of real life examples to relate. Recommend to read.

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  • Pracheer D.
  • 29-08-18

Every decision in life, now without doubt!

One of the best books I have come across, with a clear learning of how everything or rather why everything is the way it really is. I feel like I know the reason to everything and everyone!

Feeling empowered!