Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Book Review: Start With Why

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A big goal of mine during 2015 is to read more books.  Two years ago I read over 30 books, but last year I only managed about 10.  It was a down year, mostly due to founding BBA and spending 60-80+ hours a week working on the business.  Now that some things are in place at BBA, I've decided to put aside and dedicate 1-hour per day for reading.

The 1st book completed this year is Start With Why by Simon Sinek. 

The book really focuses on different businesses and their philosophy's and what makes them successful, but it can really apply to any field or aspect of life.

A major them of the book is the concept of a person or organization being able to describe the WHY behind their business.

This resonates, especially after the holiday season when you may see old friends and family and a common question asked his, "What do you do?".

Everybody can answer and explain WHAT they do; they can even answer and explain HOW they do it, but very few people can truly articulate WHY they do it.

As a business owner, this thought process strikes a major cord as to how it relates to building a successful business.  The following quote is something that any person or organization should write down and a major theme I took away from Sinek...

"People buy WHY you do something, not WHAT you do"

Sinek break down aspects of business into three sections - WHY, HOW, and WHAT.  These three things organize themselves in what Sinek calls the Golden Circle

Photo Credit: www.startwithwhy.com

They WHY needs to be at the center of any organization and this is what inspires and leads everything that a business does.  Unfortunately, most do the exact opposite, they focus on the WHAT they do instead of WHY they do it.  Over the long-run, focusing on the WHAT leads to organization dysfunction and loses touch with the backbone of a business and instead focuses on bottom lines instead of inspiration and people.

If the WHY of business or idea or organization is clear, then every decision become easy and there is always a template to guide each and every step along the way.

Going hand in hand with the WHY is inspiration.  Inspiration leads and drives the WHY and every successful leader is able to inspire others.  Inspiration drives employees and customers/clients to be loyal and shout their loyalty from a mountain top.  Here's a great quote on that topic...

"There are 2 ways to influence human behavior - manipulate it or inspire it"

Most businesses try to manipulate behavior by offering different deals, discounts, and other smoke and mirrors, but these are short-term and don't create long-term loyal clients/customers.

Inspiring people is a common trait among all successful businesses and being able to inspire people is in direct relationship with having a clear WHY. 

Sinek does a very neat job of intertwining this philosophy in stories of businesses/people like the Steve Jobs, the Wright Brothers, Bill Gates, Martin Luther King Jr., and Southwest Airlines.

His ideas can help lead any business, team, organization, or idea take off and build a successful brand.

To get an even better idea of this book, watch this TED Talk that covers some of the concepts that this book covers in much greater detail.  This should wet your whistle and inspire you to grab the book and read for yourself!  Start With Why - Simon Sinek

Go Get 'Em!