Why Start With Why?

Have you ever thought about why some businesses succeed and some just exist? Or why some people can inspire others when others struggle?

I was recently introduced to the writing of Simon Sinek. I first watched a TED talk of him on YouTube from September 2009. His speaking style and ideas were engaging and made me rethink how I approach my leadership style. He goes into much more detail in his book Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action. Which I highly recommend. Here is a very brief overview of his premise. A teaser, if you will.

I have thought about what determines success, with people and in business. I have asked hard questions of myself, but never formulated this one thing that really helped me focus. I had been more concerned with the How and the What of leading, rather than the Why of leading.

For instance, Simon describes the process of buying an item. The salesman gives you his pitch, starting with what the product is, how it works and then why it is great. He manipulates you into thinking this is a great idea. The car salesman that has to “Go talk to my manager,” is doing that- manipulating.

Selling by manipulation is effective, but that doesn’t make it right. Leading by manipulation can be effective also. Does that make it right?

Simon draws a “Golden Circle” that inspiring leaders utilize. It consists of three concentric circles, from the outside:



then Why .

Manipulation works from the outside in. But inspiration comes from the inside. Simon says, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

Inspiring leaders start with Why. Why does my business, or church do what it does? Why do I get up in the morning?

If a leader truly believes in his cause then he will passionately share it with anyone that will listen. If a leader has a vision and shares it, people that believe in that vision will do anything that is required of them. They will work with their, “blood and sweat and tears.”

What is your vision?

What is your Why?

Share it.






4 Comments on “Why Start With Why?”

  1. […] Why Start With Why? (michaellemme.wordpress.com) […]

  2. Steve Saugen says:

    Thanks for sharing. Challenging ourselves and our perspectives is truly the only way to make forward progress in our lives

  3. […] of people. I learned about the attitude I should have in hiring from another book I have referenced before, Start With Why by Simon […]

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