by Simon Sinek
Review by: Dr. Jacob Bryan
This is an easy, yet indispensable read that establishes the core concept of Why, How and What? Simon Sinek explores how these concepts relate to organizational leadership.
Simon Sinek makes that point that most successful businesses are founded on the concept of providing a social good for a fee. Over time, businesses lose focus on their core good (their purpose) and core values. They become far more focused on profits. As a result, they cut corners and abandon the values that made them successful in the first place. This eventually leads to their demise.
Simon Sinek offers an incredible insight in problem-solving that goes beyond organizational psychology. Every social endeavor (and social problem) has three core aspects: a Why, a How, and a What. The Why is the purpose/identity of the group. The How are the processes (core values) being used by the group. The What is the result of their endeavor. This delineation forms a critical cycle: Why-How-What. This cycle is the underpinning for Identity-Values-Reflection.
Start with Why asks (and answers) the questions: 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 have 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.
There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.
It’s worth repeating: people don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.
All organizations start with WHY, but only the great ones keep their WHY clear year after year.
And it’s those who start with why, that have the ability to inspire those around them or find others who inspire them.