As I matter of disclosure I read this book as part of the 12 Books Group with the expectation that I would write and post a review to several different sites.
The author, Simon Sinek, opens with the following:
There are leaders and there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of power or influence. Those who lead inspire us.
Whether individuals or organizations, we follow those who lead not because we have to, but because we want to. We follow those who lead not for them, but for ourselves.
In the book Simon talks about the difference between leaders who inspire and those who do not. Those that inspire us and their organizations know why they do what they are doing. Many leaders know the what and the how, but have no clear understanding of why the organization existed up to that point. He gives Walmart as an example of an organization that lost its why after the death of its founder Sam Walton. Sam’s why was about service – the community, the employees and the customers. After he died, the company began to flounder and its reputation went downhill as the service aspect eroded especially when it came to employees and customers.
He uses Steve Jobs and Apple as an example of understanding the why of the organization, although time will tell whether Apple will hold to Steve’s why. So far it has, at least in its advertising emphasizing the individual lifestyle.
Simon also clearly states that some leaders understand why, but lack the capability to inspire others with it. Those companies are unable to achieve the level of success that they could because of the lack of understanding by the employees of the why for the organization.
In our group this book caused one of the members to rewrite their website opening to include why they do what they do and another to post a series of blogs based around the insights contained within the book.
I recommend this book for anyone interested in learning about effective leadership and leadership self- development.
I’ll end this post with the following question: Why do you do what you do?
- Start With Why: Top 5 Sales Leadership Tips (business2community.com)
- Book Review: START WITH WHY (montyrainey.wordpress.com)
- Motivation Monday: Inspire Action, by asking the question “Why?” (princesdailyjournal.com)