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Book Title and Edition: Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Author: Simon Sinek

Condensed Review/Thesis: "Imagine a world where people wake up inspired to go to work": now imagine you are the one who's inspiring them.

Author's Background: An adjunct staff member of renowned think tank Rand Corporation, Simon Sinek powered into the public eye with his remarkable book, Start with Why, and his companion TED talk - the third most popular of all time.

Intended Audience: Business owners, leaders, managers, salespeople, teachers... anyone who wants to inspire people to take action (and boost their own performance and results!)

Larry's Two Cents: There are only two ways to influence behavior: manipulate it or inspire it. When people come to work for you, you can "manipulate" them into staying for the paycheck. You can elicit better performance through perks or promotions. You can "manipulate" customers into choosing you over the competition with lower prices or with more features. But these benefits are fleeting at best.

The only way to achieve sustainable advantage is to engage people's hearts and imaginations. You do this by knowing - and articulating - your why. Simon Sinek's book is not about motivation; it's about inspiration. It's about how you can inspire folks to follow you and your vision.

Ultimately people don't care what a company does or how it does it; they care about why. When your why and their why have employees, customers, and other stakeholders who are excited about your company, its future, and their future with it. That's why - and Sinek will show you how.

When To Read This Book: If you are finding it difficult for people to buy into your vision (you have one, don't you?) and you need them to follow enthusiastically.


Larry Hart