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Monday, May 7, 2018

Audible Book Review: Start with Why by Simon Sinek

There is wisdom here I hope to use.
Start with Why
How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
By: Simon Sinek
Narrated by: Simon Sinek
Length: 7 hrs and 18 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 09-05-17
Language: English
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Genre: Business, Inspirational
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0

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

This is a business guide, cheer-leading sort of book. The advice is similar to setting goals but really more fundamental. If we all found our “Why” we would choose work we love to do and not just find a job to make money. On a corporate level, the author explains the importance of knowing the “Why” for the business and then making certain all employees, from top CEO to lowest mailroom clerk, understand and support the “Why”. This should be in mind when interviewing and hiring so that the right person is selected for the job.

Sinek gives good examples of companies who succeeded by knowing and keeping their “Why” in focus. He also shared examples of companies that had money and leaders but failed for lack of a defined “Why”. There are also examples of companies that lost their “Why” along the way, either by trying products or marketing that didn’t fit or by losing a leader who embodied the “Why” but the successor leader did not.

There is redundancy in the material and this could have been condensed to a better presentation. As interesting as this book is, I struggled a little in applying it to a smaller company such as my own. Sinek finally acknowledged about 4/5ths in that the concept of The Golden Circle may work better for larger companies. Still, the idea of working out of passion (the “Why”) instead of just for money, makes good sense and would seem to foster better success. It is possible that this would be better in print as the reader could go back as a resource more easily than with an audiobook. I recommend this to anyone interested in being inspired to find and start with “Why”.

Audio Notes: It is often interesting when an author narrates their own book. Sinek does a good job, clearly knowing and having enthusiasm for the material. I was glad to listen as it was effective use of driving time.

Source: Audible Purchase 2018. This qualifies for Audible Challenge and 2018 selection for Alphabet Challenge.

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