Number 13 on my great big list of books I’m reading this year is Simon Sinek’s Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. It is intended to expand on his 18 minute Ted Talk, one of the top ten most watched talks of all time. Instead , it’s a rambling repetitious repository of ideas covered in his Ted Talk.
Sinek’s premise is that companies must start with Why they are in business to create loyal and lasting customers, while How you do it and then finally What you do are only secondary to success. His ideas are initially well explained and interesting. However after the initial jolt, the book goes downhill.
His nauseatingly never-ending slobbering, fawning and blubbering at the feet of Southwest Airlines, Apple Computer, Harley-Davidson and Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech is just too much bear. He uses these examples so much, one would be forgiven if they thought these were only successful enterprises and ideas ever created.
Sinek all too often takes success businesses and persons, describes how they run/operate, and then simply states “They were successful because they started with WHY”. There is no proof these enterprises even began this way, are operated in this manner, or even succeeded because of WHY.
But Sinek falls into a more fatal trap: He repeatedly uses examples of the same companies and the same people to reinforce his thesis in different ways. It becomes interminable and insufferable.
So I don’t fall into the trap of being overly repetitive like Sinek, this is the end of my review. Save yourself the trouble and just watch the video here.