• Julianna Sweeney

Start With Why | Simon Sinek

Will power is easily depleted. It's a limited resource. That's why building habits and maintaining systems play such a crucial role in success of any kind. Even more paramount, however, is your "why."


What motivates you? What are your values? What impact do you want to leave on the world? WHY are you doing what you're doing?


When you place your "why" at the forefront of your life, everything begins to shift. You no longer rely on your will power in situations of weakness. It no longer matters whether or not you want to do something. It becomes a matter of whether or not it aligns with your purpose and your goals - your why - no questions asked.


Throughout this book, Sinek explores the cultures of some of the greatest companies in the world and the leaders that have lead them to such high levels of success. Although he speaks from the business and marketing angle, the principles and takeaways from his writing can be applied to your own life.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • “People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe”

  • “There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it."

  • "Leading is not the same as being the leader. Being the leader means you hold the highest rank, either by earning it, good fortune or navigating internal politics. Leading, however, means that others willingly follow you—not because they have to, not because they are paid to, but because they want to."

  • "Great companies don’t hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire already motivated people and inspire them. People are either motivated or they are not. Unless you give motivated people something to believe in, something bigger than their job to work toward, they will motivate themselves to find a new job and you’ll be stuck with whoever’s left."

  • “You don’t hire for skills, you hire for attitude. You can always teach skills.”

  • “The role of a leader is not to come up with all the great ideas. The role of a leader is to create an environment in which great ideas can happen.”

  • “When you compete against everyone else, no one wants to help you. But when you compete against yourself, everyone wants to help you.”

  • “Some in management positions operate as if they are in a tree of monkeys. They make sure that everyone at the top of the tree looking down sees only smiles. But all too often, those at the bottom looking up see only asses.”

  • “Working hard for something we do not care about is called stress, working hard for something we love is called passion.”

  • “Passion alone can't cut it. For passion to survive it needs structure. A why without how has little probability of success.”

  • “Innovation is not born from the dream, innovation is born from the struggle.”


For values or guiding principles to be truly effective they have to be verbs. It’s not “integrity,” it’s “always do the right thing.” It’s not “innovation,” it’s “look at the problem from a different angle.” Articulating our values as verbs gives us a clear idea - we have a clear idea of how to act in any situation.

I am a huge Simon Sinek fan. My first encounter with his work was a few years back when Tyler had sent me a video of his Ted Talk on the "Golden Circle" (Linked HERE). It wasn't long after that I began to follow his socials, take in as much of his content as possible and read this book.


Sinek's "why" is so glaringly clear that it is magnetic. His work has helped me immensely in my personal and professional life and I look forward to reading another one of his books in the near future. I cannot recommend this book more.


I hope you enjoy! And be sure to let me know your thoughts...


Sending love always,

J.S.




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