Start with Why by Simon Sinek

Start With WHY

Recently I have been reading a lot of business related book and I thought that I would share my ideas/comments about them.

The first one is Start With Why by Simon Sinek and I would be more than happy if I can influence one person to read it. This book is amazing! It really explains in an easy way why each company should start from their WHY and why each decision the company makes should go to the basic, the WHY.

Starting with the WHY inspires people. Many companies/people that are or were a huge influence start with their WHY. Apple, Martin Luther king, The Wright brothers for example.

After ready the book we spent time thinking of our WHY as Severine Photography and we decided that our WHY is to increase connections between people. We do it by recording emotions of the wedding day and creating memories for the couple, their family, and their guests. We work in harmony with all the vendors.

Below you will find a very short summarize of each part of the book. Some sentences come directly from Start with Why by Simon Sinek, 2009 edition.

Part 1 – A world that doesn’t start with WHY

Our behaviors are affected by our assumptions and our perceived truths. We make decision based on what we think we know. It is easy to use manipulation to influence. Price, promotion, fear, aspiration, peer pressure, and novelty are example of manipulation. Companies that don’t start with their WHY use them. It leads to transaction but not to loyalty.

Part 2 – An Alternative perspective

Sinek introduces the concept of the Golden Circle. The WHY is in the middle and is why the company does what they do. It’s their purpose, cause, belief. The second circle is the HOW. It is how you do your WHY. The last one, the exterior one, is the WHAT. And it’s what the company produces. Lots of companies start with the WHAT. The influential ones by the WHY. “5GB mp3 players” vs “1000 songs in your pocket”

As human we are drown to companies that communicate what they believe, that make us feel that we belong, make us feel special and safe.

WHY is controlled by the limbic brain, the WHAT by the neocortex. The Limbic brain has no capacity for language it’s all from feelings.

Without a WHY it’s hard to make a decision. It will be make only with facts.

The HOW are values and principles that that makes the cause goes to life. They are the actions that realize the belief. To be effective they have to be verbs. It gives a clear idea. It’s not “integrity” it’s “always do the right things.”. WHAT is only the result of those actions.

Part 3 – Leaders need a following

You need to get people to trust you. You do it by talking about your WHY and to prove it with WHAT. We trust people with common value. You hire for attitude not for skills. The role of the leader is to create then environment in which great ideas happen. People in the company, the best qualified, will find a way to make them happen. They need to be reminded all the time of the WHY and it will give them a purpose. With trust we rely on others and have a sense of belonging. We feel protected. The feeling of trust is lodge at the same place as the WHY, the Limbic brain.

The law of diffusion: 2,5% innovators – 13,5% early adapters – 35% early majority – 34% late majority – 16% laggards

The goal is to find people that believe in your cause, your WHY.

Part 4 – How to rally those who believe

You rally by inspiring. Energy motivates but it’s not enough. It will stop fast. Charisma inspires. It comes with a clear WHY.

WHY-types are visionaries. They have an overactive imagination. They are optimistic. Everything can be done.

HOW-types live here and now. They are practical and are realists.

Lots of time those two personalities create amazing team. They need each other.

Vision statement is the public statement of the founder intent, the WHY.

Mission statement is the description of the route, the guideline. It’s the HOW.

When the company grows the owner needs to keep the WHY alive, talk about it, preach it. Everything needs to be consistent with the WHY.

Part 5 – The biggest Challenge is success

When the company gets really big it’s hard to keep the WHY and many failed doing it. Lots of great successful leaders don’t feel that they are successful because they lost their WHY. Overtime there is a bid danger that the WHAT take over the WHY.


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