22 November 2011

Start With Why

Written by Published in Book Reviews

Steve Jobs is dead. Unless you’ve just come back from travelling through time, or have set yourself up as a guinea pig for a brand new memory-erasing procedure, you can’t have escaped the tsunami of obituary status updates that have flooded your social network newsfeeds, stating how inspiring and authentic Apple’s ‘different thinker’ was

For Simon Sinek, the reason is simple: Jobs inspired people because he was clear about the ‘why’, or what it was that made him get out of bed each morning. 

In his global bestseller, Sinek takes us on a whistlestop tour of a wide range of influential businesses and leaders, looking at the ‘why’ they all have in common, and how having a crystal-clear sense of purpose has enabled them to become the successful entrepreneurs that they are. Drawing on the Why/How/What ‘Golden Circle’, itself based on the ‘Golden Ratio’ – without demonstrating why, though – Sinek, famous for his TED Talks, thinks there are only two ways to influence human behaviour: manipulate or inspire. 

He suggests the latter, which is something of a paradox coming from a man with a background in advertising. That said, without giving us the magic bullet, like many other gurus before him, Sinek shares with us a simple but not simplistic, thorough and playful vision of business that at times sounds like pure common sense, and at others like news from Cloud Cuckoo Land, soaring as it does above our changing and uncertain world. But it’s a good reminder that sincerity and authenticity can still pave the way to success. 

Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek (Penguin) £9.99

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