Ella Vidra is the VP of IT Ops and Engineering at Playtika, a mobile gaming company. She’s joined CTech to share a review of Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
Title: “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action”
Author: Simon Sinek
“Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” is a book by Simon Sinek, a British-American author and speaker who teaches leaders and organizations how to inspire people.
He started his speaking career in 2009 in a TED Talk popularizing his concept “WHY”. It became the second most watched TED Talk of all time and remains in the top five today with nearly 50 million views. The book is about a fundamental question that we must all ask ourselves until we know and understand the answer: Why do you do what you do? Specifically, if you are a leader and want others to follow you. This is a question organizations need to ask themselves as well. Any organization can explain WHAT they do or even HOW they do it, but very few can explain WHY?
In our world, it became very difficult to be innovative. there are many similar products that give you the same performance, service or response you need for the same price. Even if not – it will be a matter of time before your products are copied and made available. So what do some companies do differently to become leaders? Why do customers buy from one company or another?
It’s the same with leaders – why do we follow and associate with certain types of people and choose them to lead us? Why are people loyal to some leaders but not others?
Starting with “PSE” works in business, non-profit organization or politics. Know your “WHY”.
Throughout the book the author deals with 3 questions:
Why – Your purpose. What is your cause? What do you believe in?
How – Your Process. The specific actions taken to realize your “WHY”.
What – Your Process. What are you doing? The result of Why. Witness.
The positions of these questions, in the so-called “Golden Circle”, another concept introduced by Sinek, highlight the journey that companies and leaders must take to find the answers.
It is clearly explained with practical examples of the most famous companies such as Apple, Volkswagen and Walmart.
Even some examples from history of well-known leaders, such as President Kennedy or Martin Luther King, did a great job of being true to themselves by putting their WHY to the test and succeeding in doing so.
In other chapters, Sinek is showing other aspects of the WHY concept, such as “What happens if the WHY goes fuzzy” or ways to communicate your mission statement with different environments – customers and employees.
It is interesting to follow through the book how companies that stay relevant and successful for years follow the PSE system.
What makes someone a leader? I always wonder what makes someone an inspirational leader. I relate to the saying that you can’t declare yourself a leader – people will follow you if they believe in you and if you inspire them to action. This is the essence of true leadership. The concepts presented in this book give you a glimpse into why we connect and follow some while others fail.
Have a clear understanding of what your WHY is. Filter all your decisions and communication through your WHY. Consistency on this path is key
Easily apply it to real life. Especially for people who are still trying to find their way in career or life. Although it is primarily about business and entrepreneurship, starting with PSE can be applied to any personal goal.
I have been following Sinek for a while now and I really like his passion and ability to throw an idea. Honestly – I don’t always agree with his point of view, but it’s still fascinating to see a person who truly believes in a concept and goes to great lengths to promote it.
The book is essentially a compilation of the many lectures and talks he has given over the years. So for me, it was more about refreshing the themes I’ve already heard from Simon’s recordings.
People unfamiliar with his work will certainly find innovation in his concepts.
Who should read this book:
If you are a business owner or just thinking about starting your own business, you need to consider your WHY.
If you are starting to build your way as a manager, or better yet – define yourself as an inspirational leader – check your WHY.
If you feel like you’ve lost your purpose somehow where you currently are – get your WHY back.
Even if you just need a way to understand how to set yourself goals and define what success is for you – read this book.