CTech Book Review: Finding Your WHY in Business and in Life

Ella Vidra is VP of IT Ops and Engineering at Playtika, a mobile gaming company. She joined CTech to share a review of Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

Title: “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action”
Author: Simon Sinek
format: A book
Where: At home

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action is a book by Simon Sinek, a British-American author and speaker who teaches leaders and organizations how to inspire people.

He launched his career as a speaker in 2009 at a TED Talk, promoting his concept of “WHY”. It became the second most viewed TED Talk of all time and remains in the top five today with nearly 50 million views. The book deals with a fundamental question that we all must ask ourselves until we understand and understand that the answer is: Why do you do what you do? Specifically, if you are a leader and want others to follow you. This is a question that organizations need to ask themselves as well. Any organization can explain WHAT it does or even HOW it does it, but very few can explain WHY?

In our world, it has become very difficult to be innovative. there are many similar products that give you similar performance, service, or the answers you need for the same price. Even if not, it will only be a matter of time before your products are copied and available. So what are some companies doing differently to become leaders? Why do customers buy from one company or another?

It’s the same with leaders – why do we follow and connect with specific types of people and choose them to lead us? Why are people loyal to some leaders but not others?

Starting with WHY works in business, nonprofits, or politics. Know your WHY.

Throughout the book, the author deals with 3 questions:

  • Why – Your goal. What is your cause? what do you believe in

  • How – Your process. Concrete actions taken to realize your WHY.

  • What – Your process. What are you doing? The result of Why. Evidence.

The positions of these questions in the so-called “Golden Circle”, another concept introduced by Sinek, highlight the travel companies and leaders must recognize in order to find the answers.

It is clearly explained with practical examples of the most famous companies such as Apple, Volkswagen and Walmart.

And even some historical examples of famous leaders, like President Kennedy or Martin Luther King, Jr., have done a great job of being true to themselves, putting their WHY to the test, and succeeding that way.

In other chapters, Sinek shows other aspects of the WHY concept, such as “What happens if the WHY gets fuzzy” or the ways to communicate your mission to different environments – customers and employees.

It is interesting to follow in the book how companies that remain relevant and successful for years follow the WHY system.

What makes someone a leader? I always wonder what makes someone an inspirational leader. I relate to the saying that you can’t claim to be a leader – people will follow you if they believe in you and if you inspire them to action. This is the essence of true leadership. The concepts introduced in this book give you a glimpse into why we connect and follow some while others fail.

Have a clear understanding of what your WHY is. Filter all your decisions and communication through your WHY. Consistency in this path is key

Apply it easily in real life. Especially for people who are still trying to find their way in career or life. Although it mainly talks about business and entrepreneurship, starting with WHY can be applied to any personal goal.

I’ve been following Sinek for a while and I really like his passion and ability to come up with an idea. To be honest – I don’t always agree with his point of view, but it’s still fascinating to see someone who truly believes in a concept and goes all the way to promote it.

The book is basically a summary of many lectures and talks he has given over the years. So for me it was more of a refresher on the themes I’d already heard from Simon’s records.

People unfamiliar with his work will certainly find innovation in his concepts.

Who should read this book:

If you are a business owner or just thinking about opening your own business, you need to think about your WHY.

If you are starting to build your path as a manager or better yet – define yourself as an inspirational leader – check your WHY.

If you feel that you have somehow lost your purpose in the place you are in right now – get back to your WHY.

Even if you just need a way to understand how to set goals and define what success is for you – read this book.

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