Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action is a self-help book written by Simon Sinek in 2009. In this Start With Why summary, we dive deep into Sinek’s perspective on asking the right questions to get to the solution faster.
While it is very difficult to manage a team of even a few people in a small company, how do you manage the operations of thousands of people that a large company performs? Simon Sinek explained in his book how the leaders who manage these companies can direct people. He informs us about leadership by giving examples from world-famous people.
Start With Why Summary with 20 Lessons Learned
Here are the 20 lessons to learn from Start With Why Summary:
#1 Why – How – What
Before buying anything, people first ask why. After the question of “why” comes the “how” and “what” questions. Our author described this in the book as The Golden Circle. He explains the starting point of all works, from shopping to sports and art, with these questions.
After the what question, the next question is “how”. After people define their problems, they think about how they want to solve them. If they decided to buy a product, you should think about what kind of product they would like to buy at that point. If you manage to offer them a solution, you will gain their trust.
Everything in your company, from employees to customers, depends on what you do. It is up to you to ensure that your company achieves its goals, that your team develops, and that your customers choose you.
You can only fool customers once. After a while, you can’t fool anyone. New customers do not come after your first deception. If you do your job right, you will have permanent customers who will advertise you.
#5 Order of Questions
Before moving on to the “How” and “What” questions, you should definitely start with the “Why” question. You cannot solve your goals without an order. First of all, you need to know the reason for the work you are going to do. You can then move on to the “How” and “What” question.
If you treat your customers honestly and make them feel good, you will gain loyal customers who will choose you again next time. Your campaigns should be satisfying, not manipulative. Focus on providing good service. You cannot be successful with simple vigilance.
#7 Your Team
You should establish a team that can understand the answer your business gives to the question Why and will continue to improve itself. Don’t hire anyone saying it’s okay for now. This way of thinking also applies to business partnerships. Do not take such steps to save the day or just to have done it. It won’t make up for it.
#8 Believing in the Purpose
The most important factor that will determine the performance of your team and the quality of the resulting work is to work with people who believe in the purpose of the company. Working with people who see themselves as a part of this company and are proud to be on the team that will achieve a great purpose gives your company a splash.
#9 A Dreamer with a Plan
It is very important to be a dreamer to take your company to the top. You can’t become a world-class company without goofy ideas. But all your dreams have to be part of a plan. Otherwise, you will have empty dreams and you will lose your money in a short time.
#10 First Customers
Where the business will end up depends entirely on first-come customers. If these customers like your product or service, the rest is easy. Because when you first hit the market, customers who buy products from you when no one even knows your name are people who can take risks. If you can please these people, they will advertise to you by word of mouth.
#11 Real Success
Ordinary leaders rejoice and brag when the company achieves its few monthly goals. Visionary leaders know that this success is not insignificant, but they cannot be completely happy until they see that the company has achieved its main goal.
#12 Leaders Temporary Purpose Is Permanent
Sometimes companies’ teams and leaders can change. You can also start another company. In such cases, you must first understand the purpose of the company. You must know what you are serving. Working in harmony with the purpose of the company will lead you to success.
The areas where the most time is lost in newly established companies are the logo and website design parts. Of course, these are not trivial details, but your logo is something that will gain meaning as your company grows. Even big companies can change their logos from time to time. So don’t get obsessed at the beginning of the road. When the time comes, you will have a logo that symbolizes your company’s purpose.
#14. Your Potential Customers
As mentioned earlier in this Start With Why summary, do not randomly advertise your product or service after revealing it. Analyze how many age groups and income levels your company appeals to. After that, you reach people who can be your customers with pinpoint promotions.
#15 Take an Example
Take as an example people who have proven themselves in leadership. Completely copy their business understanding, how they plan. It is no coincidence that very large companies have similar characteristics. Success by no means happens by accident. Act knowing what you are doing.
If it’s your company’s first year, focus on yourself. You are not strong enough to compete with anyone right now. Do not even compete with companies that were established 1 year before you. Because even in 1 year, companies can add great value to themselves. Even if they fail, they learn many lessons. If you are new to the market, mind your own business first.
#17 Being loved
Big companies are so loved by their customers that even their almost mundane products are fanatically defended. This is called adding value. You should also add value to your company and make it a beloved brand.
You cannot reach your goal with a team that constantly needs you for motivation. When hiring, you should find people who are already motivated to work. Then you have to guide these people towards your purpose.
Money, which seems like a great source of motivation at first, loses its effect after a while. Money is of course very important, it doesn’t make any sense if we can’t make money from this business, but no matter how big the amount of money is, it does not motivate the purpose.
#20 The Job of Your Dreams
Make the environment in the company such that employees can proudly talk about their workplace. This allows them to make more purposeful efforts to stay in the company. Do not abuse their attitude and give them the value they deserve.
Top 10 Quotes from Start With Why
1. “Just about every person or organization needs to motivate others to act for some reason or another. Some want to motivate a purchase decision. Others are looking for support or a vote.”
2. “Great leaders, in contrast, are able to inspire people to act. Those who are able to inspire give people a sense of purpose or belonging that has little to do with any external incentive or benefit to be gained.”
3. “As we all know, however, not all decisions work out to be the right ones, regardless of the amount of data we collect. Sometimes the impact of those wrong decisions is minor, and sometimes it can be catastrophic.”
4. “There’s barely a product or service on the market today that customers can’t buy from someone else for about the same price, about the same quality, about the same level of service, and about the same features.”
5. “Playing the price game, however, can come at tremendous cost and can create a significant dilemma for the company. For the seller, selling based on price is like heroin.”
6. “Energy motivates but charisma inspires. Energy is easy to see, easy to measure, and easy to copy Charisma is hard to define, nearly impossible to measure, and too elusive to copy.”
7. “In every case of a great charismatic leader who ever achieved anything of significance, there was always a person or small group lurking in the shadows who knew HOW to take the vision and make it a reality.”
8. “This relationship starts to clarify the difference between a vision statement and a mission statement in an organization. The vision is the public statement of the founder’s intent, WHY the company exists.”
9. “For a message to have real impact, to affect behavior and seed loyalty, it needs more than publicity. It needs to publicize some higher purpose, cause or belief to which those with similar values and beliefs can relate.”
10. “Every company, organization or group with the ability to inspire starts with a person or small group of people who were inspired to do something bigger than themselves.”
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