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Start with Why

How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action (Int'l Edit.)
Written by: Simon Sinek
Narrated by: Simon Sinek
Length: 7 hrs and 12 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (219 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their successes over and over?

People like Martin Luther King, Jr.; Steve Jobs; and the Wright Brothers might have little in common, but they all started with why. Their natural ability to start with why enabled them to inspire those around them and to achieve remarkable things. In studying the leaders who've had the greatest influence in the world, Simon Sinek discovered that they all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way - and it's the complete opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with why.

Any organization can explain what it does; some can explain how they do it; but very few can clearly articulate why. Why is not money or profit - those are always results. Why does your organization exist? Why does it do the things it does? Why do customers really buy from one company or another? Why are people loyal to some leaders but not others? Starting with why works in big business and small business, in the nonprofit world and in politics. Those who start with why never manipulate, they inspire. And people follow them not because they have to; they follow because they want to. Drawing on a wide range of real-life stories, Sinek weaves together a clear vision of what it truly takes to lead and inspire. This book is for anyone who wants to inspire others or who wants to find someone to inspire them.

©2009 Simon Sinek (P)2010 Gildan Media Corp

Critic Reviews

“Start with Why is one of the most useful and powerful books I have read in years. Simple and elegant, it shows us how leaders should lead. Highly recommended!” (William Ury, coauthor of Getting to Yes, cofounder of The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

good but not great

it was repetitive. the whole book could have been summarised quickly of course. but I guess at the end of the day it's about giving some examples. the 20minute ted talk is enough

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Lastly I understood, I should compete with self ..

loved it...at the end I got the point that I know myself better than anybody else and that's the best advantage I have to grow myself and suceed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great book, occasional audio hiccups

It's a really educative but enjoyable book. However it has patches of audio issues at four different points which hampers the CX. But the book and the narrative is brilliant. Must hear.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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One of the best audiobook

It’s one of the best audio book I ever listen. Must have in your library.

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Absolutely loved it!

i am glad i decided on listening to simon. i found it when i most needed it. this book has gave me courage to follow my heart with better perspective and right kind of questions. i would recommend it to everyone whose in turmoil of one's purpose in the world and looking for validation of one's actions.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant.

Excellent concepts and absolutely true. Inspires one to think beyond the ordinary. Masterpiece. A must read.

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Straight from the heart

I loved it. I will cherish this again & again. First I listened to The Auther on YouTube & I really felt what he was saying was from the heart. No fancy terms , nothing cluttered every single line makes you clear & more clear.
I really would like to meet the auhther if he ever came to Mumbai,India.

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great inspiring book

great book, good examples and illustrations of what works and doesn't, highly recommended to anyone seeking to inspire a team

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must read

why do we struggle in continuing with whatever decision we took ourselves in first place? why some leaders/ entrepreneurs make it despite the odds against them while many don't? what makes best companies "the best". this book gives insight into this intriguing quest.

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Put together all the Why's?

Amazing content. Start with Why?
I and my team be surely putting this in practice.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • sourabh
  • 05-12-17

nice concepts which are practical, too repeatitive

practically implementable concepts..profound ones

however, book would have been a great read if it was 50% shorter..too repeatitive

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-08-17

Could be explained in 5 minutes

Book that makes you think but amount of words used could be reduced by 80%

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Enmanuel Toribio
  • 16-04-17

It is very repetitive, but quite good

It has a good message but the author repeats the same things over and over many many times. This audiobook could be between 2 and 3 hours shorter.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Guy
  • 15-03-17

Interesting, but too long

Illustrates great ideas and is very thought provoking . However, the book gets repetitive around two thirds in.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-12-16

Great idea - too long

What did you like best about Start with Why? What did you like least?

I liked the concept of start with why but the book seems to be too long and dabbling into various examples which were not so interested. Also, narration was very plain and at times not really bringing out the key messages author wanted to convey.

I am fan of Simon for his insights but book was not up to my expectation

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Werner van Wyk
  • 01-02-18

Wish I could count the word "Apple"

Great first few chapters where Simon made his point. It was not needed to continue with the same example which most are already familiar with. It became like a Barbie girl song remix. I truely struggle to finish the book.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Norm
  • 20-03-19

Highly repetitive

If you’ve watched the ted talk you have 90% of the message contained in the book.
I don’t personally enjoy Simon’s narration. He is clear and easy to understand, but frequently over emphasises the point in a tone that resembles a gypsy selling moon stones to heal cancer. Beelieeeeve meeee they reaaaally work”.... Just a bit too much for me personally.
Other than that he has a good point and many would benefit from listening to this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Siamak
  • 02-04-16

The context is priceless but

This book is a must listen for all entrepreneurs and visionary WHY types, but it is hard to get the point first time you listen to each chapter!
I don't know why but this is the only book I became forced to listen every chapter twice a day; fresh listen on my commute to office and second time just after dinner.
Find your way of listening in depth and don't question your conscience this book is a tough one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-11-19

Makes you think

Good read and gets you thinking of how to position yourself in business and your personal life.
If you are building your own brand it is a good read.
Some goals I have had my whole life I learnt that there is no reason why I wanted them.

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mario Evon
  • 25-10-19

Changed my perspective

It really drives home where your starting point should be, not just for a business but in life. Def a good read or listen!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-07-17

Repetitive, annoying and lacking in substance

Having seen the Ted talk I was intrigued to learn more about Simon Sinek's ideas and to understand how to convert them into my own "why". Turns out there was nothing more than to it and I could have stopped at 10 minutes rather than spending 10 hours listening to the book.

Nothing is offered in the way of practical advice; in fact the section on "how" people v "why" people effectively tells you to give up if you're not a natural "why". Hardly inspirational.

The same examples are trotted out again and again with very little difference in the messages. In fact I struggled to understand what the difference was between most chapters.

To top it all off he has an incredibly annoying delivery style. You can't really hold his accent against him but it is a quite bizarre mix of New York and Home Counties England, rounded off with an overly theatrical flair.

Not recommended I'm afraid

47 of 47 people found this review helpful

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  • RP
  • 24-03-16

Mixed feelings

The idea at the core of the book is quite good, and as many good things, quite simple. Personally I don't think the concept needs 7 hours to explain - more suitable for a 30 minute keynote presentation. Examples get repeated over and over again... And these examples elaborate too much on the dead obvious visionary characters like Steve Jobs etc. Is there inspiration and is there a "why" beyond the global mega corporations and brands? I am sure there is...
I would have liked to hear more about how one can explore his/her "internal why" and how to bring it to life in what they do... But I guess reality is it's for each individual to explore for himself... Therefore only 3 stars...

57 of 58 people found this review helpful

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  • Jonathon
  • 09-10-16

boring and repetitive

I personally found this book boring rather than thought provoking. I'm pleased it was only £2 in the daily deal. one to avoid...

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. J. D. Hawkins
  • 22-01-16

A Stunning Simple Concept Lost in Todays World

If you could sum up Start with Why in three words, what would they be?

Life Changing Simplicity

What was one of the most memorable moments of Start with Why?

The moment i realised that this simple concept can be applied to almost everything you do and say. How did i get to 30 and not realise / be told this.

What does Simon Sinek bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I always enjoy listening to books more than reading them

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

If i could of done then yes

Any additional comments?

Take this concept and introduce it to your company / school / organisation, you will be classed a hero!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • mihow
  • 04-05-16

Simon l, I expected more, a lot more

It seems as if Simon has taken his TED talk and put it in the book
He clearly loves apple, and Martin Luther King
Literally you can skip the first six hours as it is compilation of his love for Apple and ted talk. He even uses the same sentence
Sorry Simon

31 of 35 people found this review helpful

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  • qwerty
  • 22-09-16

Devoid of useful content

Just waffles on about the principle of starting with why then repeats over and over without really providing any more value

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • T. I. edän
  • 25-09-17

It just goes on and on

What did you like best about Start with Why? What did you like least?

The main idea behind Start with Why - that purpose is what drives individuals, rather than the What or How - is a profound idea. It's a real eye-opener for anyone looking at their business with a critical eye.

What could Simon Sinek have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

First, to re-iterate: starting with why is a profound idea, and this is an important book. That right there is high praise. Just so that you can put the below into context.The main problem with the book is that it's a 7 hour snoozefest of examples and re-iteration of the same idea. The idea and main concept are pretty clear after hour 1. The examples get tiresome after hour 2. And then I spent the remaining 5 hours expecting a big payoff at the end in the form of some ideas on how to explore the "Why" at my company / personal life / whatever it is I want to find the purpose for. No such luck - so the in the end I felt like I had been cheated out of 5 hours because, well, a hardcover self-helper just has to have 200 pages if it's going to sell, and, well, the audiobook has to have the same content.In other words, I would have happily paid the same sum to have this book shortened by 70%. And I'd gladly pay for the follow-up. I also suggest that the follow-up should be called "How to get to Why"...

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Always nice to hear the author himself.

Was Start with Why worth the listening time?

No. See above.

Any additional comments?

Still, a good listen. Just listen to it at 1.5x and skip 30s whenever you feel like you're treading water.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-12-17

inspirational but repetitive and streched

Simon says in 6 hours what he could've said in 1 hour. I completely agree with his point but it sort of feels like he keeps repeating the same arguments and over using examples (specially Apple). it's also not too practical imo.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Julian Sayer
  • 23-09-16

So simple

But so effective - an inspirational read packed with stuff I can and will apply today.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Ilias Papakonstantinou
  • 06-11-16

worth the listening but not the best out there

I liked the book is getting abit repetitive sometimes but overall was ok. I feel that it could be half the lenght and still get all the main points

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • clinton
  • 14-03-16

Don't waste your time

Do yourself a favor watch Simon's 20 minute TED talk all the information is in there save yourself the pain of listening to 2 million why's in this audiobook.

52 of 56 people found this review helpful

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  • Holly Priddis
  • 25-02-18

Okay story TEDX talk more engaging

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

There are little nuggets of insight in this book that mean I may recommend it to a friend, however it is repetitive and is very similar to many other self-help/business/motivational gurus out there. The TEDX presentation is better.

What three words best describe Simon Sinek’s voice?

He is a reasonable narrator.

Was Start with Why worth the listening time?

No, I have struggled with it and unlikely to finish the book.

Any additional comments?

There are motivational components to the book, but it doesn't bring a lot that is new to the self help/motivational/business field.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Boowendy
  • 15-02-18

ok, not great.

The first few chapters are great, but it is very repetitive after this and fails to deliver anything meaningful from the mid point I recommend Simon's other book Leaders eat last before this.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-01-18

Great book and concept

In all honesty I think I would have got just as much out of a one hour summary

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. Ms. Cooke
  • 18-03-17

So true and so difficult!

Simon Sinek is so spot on with this brilliant work. It is the hardest thing to help people define...purpose. I love this book and will need to listen to it again to take on all of the wisdom that is contained within. Thanks For the inspiration!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • 05-05-16

Worth the listen.

The book gives a number of success stories then attributes their success with the fact that they started with "why". I'm dubious that their success is based on just this and not the myriad external factors and some luck, but overall I think there is a good argument that we should start out with why.

I am glad I read the book even if its logic isn't entirely sound.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • 07-02-16

The golden circles cut the core of human flourishing.

This book scales back to the essence of what we as people are about and encourages us to take it into the world and allow it to impact our work, our relationships, and our dreams. There are no easy fixes or quick success, there is only the why.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Desleigh White
  • 30-03-17

great to get the details not just the headlines

really enjoyed listening to Simon narrate his book. inspiring as always and great real examples

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 23-11-17

One word!!! inspiring!!!

Simon is a true visionary. What an amazing concept and book. Love that he narrates his own work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-10-19

Loved it

Love the book. Will apply it's method. I currently work in a company who would benefit from this book. They have lost their "Why" and running their company only on "What" and "How"