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Start with Why

How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
Written by: Simon Sinek
Narrated by: Simon Sinek
Length: 7 hrs and 18 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,113 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The inspiring, life-changing best seller by the author of Leaders Eat Last and Together Is Better.

In 2009 Simon Sinek started a movement to help people become more inspired at work and, in turn, inspire their colleagues and customers. Since then, millions have been touched by the power of his ideas, including more than 28 million who've watched his TED Talk based on Start with Why - the third most popular TED video of all time.

Sinek starts with a fundamental question: 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?

People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers had little in common, but they all started with why. They realized that people won't truly buy into a product, service, movement, or idea until they understand the why behind it.

Start with Why shows that the leaders who've had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way - and it's the 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.

©2017 Simon Sinek (P)2017 Penguin Audio

What members say

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    4 out of 5 stars

A well narrated, deep dive into a simple theory

I had high expectations starting this book, expectations which I realize were a bit too high. Simon Sinek is a good writer, a very good narrator, a good researcher, a great storyteller but an average thinker.

His theory, the "Golden Circle", is so simple that millions of people thought about it and wrote about it, albeit in different terms than Why, How and What. Vision, Mission, Operationalization. Mission, Process, Results. Intention, Hard Work, Gains. His Golden Circle is yet another nomenclature for "what drives you", "how you intend translate that into action" and "the actual results".

But this book IS interesting. 16 chapters worth of examples of how this is critical to a business and to an individual. Easy to listen, easy to follow, easy to understand, this is a great airplane book.

9 people found this helpful

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Good but not great

I was really looking forward to this book but found that it was quite repetitive in substance. This won't be a book I come back to but am glad I read it. #Audible1

2 people found this helpful

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Mediocre

The concept is fascinating. Great to practice and sound advice for anyone in marketing or future entrepreneurs. That being said, if you trust the title concept there's no need to listen to this. The content and examples are repetitive. Its written like a c grade highschool essay on the similarities between Apple and Harley Davidson.

8 people found this helpful

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Waste of time

Repetitive and boring, interspersed with far too many cute motivational sayings used over and over

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Only 2 pages worth of of information

Very repetitive. The author could simply publish an article saying what he wanted to say.

1 person found this helpful

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Not convincing enough

Good stories of other companies success. But trying to draw a conclusion saying they are successful because of their why doesn't make any sense.

1 person found this helpful

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Meh

A somewhat useful synopsis of what drives some successful firms - as Chrissie Hynde would say, "Gimme a sense of purpose, a real sense of purpose" - that pretty much sums up the thesis.

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good message, but very repetitive.

it seemed almost like it was endorsed by Apple. I like Simon's work, but this one seemed to drag on a little.

1 person found this helpful

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very good perspective on why

really enjoyed this book. very insightful thoughts on why the people that change the world start with why and also make it there purpose. I found it hard to stop listening and finished on two three nights.

3 people found this helpful

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A Must for Every Entrepreneur

The information is not typical of what you get from every business book , but would be beneficial to every entrepreneur.

Simon Sinek does a great job narrating. Very easy to understand.

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  • Doron Rice
  • 2018-02-22

a 15 minutes book turned into few hours

What would have made Start with Why better?

One topic, with one solution turned into a whole book. 30 minutes book would have been much more interesting. the topic just doesn't support the book.

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

Cover more items and stop repeating one case over and over and over...

Any additional comments?

I love Somon Sinek. I truly believe he is a smart and inspiring speaker. That just adds to my disappointment from this book.

92 people found this helpful

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  • Louis Macareo
  • 2017-10-19

Good but could have made his point in 20 pages

Important. Insightful. Enjoyable. Can summarize in 3 mins. The rest is just gratuitous.

111 people found this helpful

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  • Stephen
  • 2018-02-06

Could be a third as long

There are a lot of great ideas and stories in this book. However the author repeats himself many times. By the end of the book you will be tired of hearing the same stories about Apple and Walmart.

44 people found this helpful

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  • N. Ricks
  • 2018-02-19

Book should be relabeled “why Apple is the best”

I’m shocked how much senek reference Apple without using other companies as an example. For as long as this book is he really should have been able to come up with 50 examples as opposed to just the 3-5 it seemed like he kept using.

34 people found this helpful

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  • Chimdi Azubuike
  • 2018-03-10

Useless Dribble

I’m a huge fan of Apple but I think Sinek is an even bigger fan. He ends his book by saying he’s a failure and Beverly really learned how to make a business work. I think that sums up the book. It might as well be called, “why I love Steve jobs so so much”. It sucks. Seriously sucks. His concept of the golden circle is pedantic at best and hardly explains the correlation to the cure all that he claims. It’s so nebulous that he doesn’t elaborate past one chapter. But he does bolden the word WHY about 376 times. Is basically an elongated version of one of his speeches. But worst.

If you want behavioral psychology, read Daniel khanaman. If you’re looking for purpose read Napoleon hill. If you’re looking for strategy read Michael porter or Michael Gerber. But if your dead set on reading this book. Don’t dare ask why you didn’t heed my advice after the first 4 chapters.

In truth, this book really sucks. But there are some good nuggets: the GM vs Toyota example. The Southwest example about turn around flights to reduce fleet size. The concept of why is not entirely lost. It stems from having a deep personal purpose to achieve. But as Sinek explains, that alone doesn’t build a business. You need systems, processes and people. Jobs built systems and processes for consistently vetting good ideas. But like any professional, it was just one caveat to his business. Discipline to focus on the purpose and goals was another factor.

If you only read this book before your started a new business, run back to your day job before you ask WHY did I listen to that guy. I really didn’t like this book. It was poorly written and shallow in thought.

116 people found this helpful

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  • Hope
  • 2017-12-24

Wish I had or sooner

If I would have learned about this book younger my life qould probably be different. I have started so much and not known how and then forgotten why. I highly recommend this book.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-01-08

Great food for thought!

Good information, definitely worth taking notes! The author reads with good passion making it an easy book to listen to.

2 people found this helpful

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  • dayyoung
  • 2019-01-07

Eye opening!!!!!

This book has given me a different possibility in doing! I am astonished how he breaks it all down where it actually makes sense!

2 people found this helpful

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  • moe0303
  • 2018-10-04

Lots of fluff, not enough substance

I want to start with why I gave this book such a low review (See what I did there?). I found most of the examples given by the author as being greatly influenced by confirmation bias. Companies that failed didn't "start with why" while companies that succeeded had. That would be fine if it were true, but it wasn't. Many of the examples seemed to be based on conclusions reached by a casual observer without the inclusion of any objective analysis. The TIVO example is a good demonstration of this. This in turn lost my trust as a reader (listener) and compelled me to regard the book with hopeful skepticism. It is still a good read as there are some really great concepts in there, but don't take it as gospel.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Leanna Olbinsky
  • 2017-10-16

Amazing. I listened in 2 days

I loved everything about this book. The reading was wonderful and Mr. Sinek was inspiring. It was to the point where when it was over I yelled, “nooooo!”

11 people found this helpful

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  • Tivo
  • 2018-06-03

Trop long pour si peu

En ce qui concerne la substance du livre, son message, je lui donne 5 étoiles !

Mais le contenu est bien trop long à mon avis ! C’est la mode en ce moment de raconter des anecdotes à n’en plus finir et de les répéter tout au long du livre. Et le message reste toujours le même, il ne grandit pas.

L’auteur n’avait pas besoin de consacrer un livre entier à ce message. Il aurait pu y inclure le second livre qui est le « comment » pour en faire un vrai livre complet et là peut-être qu’il mériterait les 5 étoiles.

Malgré cela, je le recommande quand même car le message en vaut la peine.

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  • Hexsail
  • 2017-10-06

Goosebumps

Excellent book everyone should read. Chapter 13 is incredibly powerfull: "I was thinking of something even worse than the thought suicide for an entrepreneur... I was thinking about getting a job."