I had watched Simon Sinek’s TedX Talk on this and was interested in the concept right away. In fact I am fascinated by success and failure stories, and by those theories which try to derive patterns out of those successes and failures. No wonder, Built to Last, Good to Great, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Think and Grow Rich, and so are my favourite books. ‘Start With Why’ is an addition to that list.
In reality, ‘Start With Why’, makes a person like me extremely uncomfortable. It questions my very beliefs about running the company and my motives about carrying on. It made me think and introspect so much, that I felt like I was peeling a never-ending onion, one layer at a time. If really try to identify your ‘Why’, I am sure the process will be discomforting, emotional and hidden several layers deep inside your system. But according to Simon Sinek, if you are able to identify your ‘Why’ and run your business based on it, chances of your business succeeding and making a long term impact, grow exponentially.
Simon Sinek in this book given several examples of successful companies (or entities) who stuck to their ‘Why’ including Apple, Harley Davidson, Marting Luther King, Write Brothers and so on. He also dives deep into the behaviour of companies, who lost their ‘Why’ and how it adversely affected their business. He gives enough examples on both sides to convince a rational mind, that every entrepreneur should find his why and incorporate it in his/her company.
You can read this book casually and not think about your ‘Why’ beyond the book. Then you will enjoy it. But if you connect with it, it has the potential to disrupt your belief system, and bring about life changing turn of events. Thankfully, I read this book after I Simon Sinek released his second book – ‘Find Your Why’ – which is what I will reading now.
Key Takeaways: There were a few big revelations hidden in this book. The biggest one according to me would be the fact that part of the brain that has feelings and takes decisions, is inherently different from the part of the brain associated with language and communication. Therefore, some times you feel certain emotions, but are not able to express them. Those companies who can connect with their people emotionally, are bound to be successful and create a lasting impact.
Who should read it: All entrepreneurs should undoubtedly read this book. It should also be read by people who are working for a cause or a mission. And most of all, this should be read by everyone who is looking to find their true purpose in life. Are you one of them?