Simon Sinek

Start with Why

Author – Simon Sinek

Apple has successfully challenged conventional thinking within the computer industry, the small electronics industry, the music industry, the mobile phone industry and the broader entertainment industry. And the reason is simple. Apple inspires. Apple starts with WHY.

→ Great leaders are those who trust their gut. They are those who understand the art before the science. They win hearts before minds. They are the ones who start with WHY.

By WHY: what is your purpose, cause or belief?

  • WHY does my company exist?
  • WHY do you get out of bed every morning?
  • WHY should anyone care?
People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.

Going back to the original purpose, cause or belief will help companies adapt.
→ WHY did we start doing WHAT we’re doing in the first place, and WHAT can we do to bring our cause to life considering all the technologies and market opportunities available today?

We are drawn to leaders and organizations that are good at communicating what they believe. Their ability to make us feel like we belong, to make us feel specialsafe and not alone, is part of what gives them the ability to inspire us. Those whom we consider great leaders all have an ability to draw us close and to command our loyalty. And we feel a strong bond with those who are also drawn to the same leaders and organizations. Apple users feel a bond with each other. Harley riders are bonded to each other.

An organization must be clear about its purposecause, or belief and ensure that everything they say and do is consistent with and authentic to that belief.

“You know what I love about our company? Every single one of us comes to work every day to do something we love. We get to inspire people to do the things that inspire them. It’s the most wonderful thing in the world. In fact, the fun part is trying to figure out all the different ways we can do that. It really is amazing. The best part is, it is also good for business. We do really well. We have beautiful offices; you should stop by sometime to see them. We work with some of the biggest companies. I’m sure you’ve seen our ads. We’re actually doing pretty well.”

We turn away business because those potential clients don’t believe what we believe, and they are not interested in anything to do with inspiring people.

The goal of business should not be to do business with anyone who simply wants what you have. It should be to focus on the people who believe what you believe. When we are selective about doing business only with those who believe in our WHY, trust emerges.

Trust begins to emerge when we have a sense that another person or organization is driven by things other than their own self-gain.

With trust comes a sense of value, real value, not just value equated with money.

Value, by definition, is the transference of trust. You can’t convince someone you have value, just as you can’t convince someone to trust you. You have to earn trust by communicating and demonstrating that you share the same values and beliefs. You have to talk about your WHY and prove it with WHAT you do.

Simply ensuring that WHAT you do proves what you believe to find you. You must successfully communicate your WHY based on WHAT you do.
→ With a WHY clearly stated in an organization, anyone within the organization can make a decision as clearly and as accurately as the founder. A WHY provides the clear filter for decision-making. Any decisions: hiring, partnerships, strategies, and tactics should all pass the Clear Identity Test.

When people can point to a company and clearly articulate what the company believes and use words unrelated to price, quality, service and features, that is proof of the company has successfully navigated the split. When people describe the value they perceive with visceral, excited words like “love” that is a sure sign that a clear sense of WHY exists.

Look after people and people will look after you. = karma?

To inspire people to do things that inspired them, so that together, we can change the world.

When you compete against everyone else, no one wants to help you. But when you compete against yourself, everyone wants to help you.
  • What if we showed up to work every day simply to be better than ourselves?
  • What if the goal was to do better work this week than we did the week before?

“Who’s your competition?”
→ No idea.
“What makes you better than your competition?”
→ We’re not better than them in all cases.
“Well, why should we do business with you then?”
→ Because the work we’re doing now is better than the work we were doing six months ago. And the work we’ll be doing six months from now will be better than the work we’re doing today. Because we wake up every day with a sense of WHY we come to work. We come to work to inspire people to do the things that inspire them. Are we better than our competition? If you believe what we believe, and you believe that the things we do can help you, then we’re better. If you don’t believe the things we can do will help you, then we’re not better. Our goal is to find customers who believe what we believe and work together so that we can all succeed. We’re looking for people to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us in pursuit of the same goal. We’re not interested in sitting across a table from each other in pursuit of a sweeter deal. And here are the things we’re doing to advance our cause…

All leaders must have two things: they must have a vision of the world that does not exist, and they must have the ability to communicate it.