Book Review – Start with WHY, by Simon Sinek

Reading has long been a favorite pass time of mine. I am an avid book collector, particularly of leadership and business books. The wisdom and knowledge shared in some books can contribute a huge amount to our professional development.

There are some leadership books that have made a significant contribution on my leadership journey. Some authors I enjoy so much I consider them to be mentors. They produce great books full of wisdom and guidance that can be applied to our day to day lives.

One in particular that comes to mind would be Simon Sinek, the author of; Start with WHY: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

I don’t say it lightly when I suggest that this may be one of the best leadership books I have read.

Start with Why is all about leading with purpose and finding the reason you are doing what you are doing. Knowing what your vision is and why makes it so much easier to share with your staff. Knowing the purpose and being able to communicate it well with your team will increase the level of engagement and commitment.

The vital role vision and purpose plays in leadership is without question. In this book, Sinek outlines just what it takes to be a great leader. He clearly differentiates the HOW and the WHY of running a business and how sharing the WHY will make a significant impact on getting your team engaged and on board.

The old model of leadership using fear, authority and manipulation to lead employees are not only outdated, they are also ineffective for the long-term success of the business. To say nothing of the terrible experience for employees. To engage staff requires trust, commitment, and loyalty, they have never been born from fear.

Inspiration, on the other hand, can contribute enormously to successful leadership. If you can inspire those who work for you then your team is so much more likely to be engaged and committed to the goals and objectives of your business.

This has been my experience in running my business and also running the charity I founded in Vietnam (ACCV). If people don’t share your belief and your vision, it’s going to be very difficult to get the best out of them. On the other hand, when you have team members who get your vision it’s amazing how much they will bring to the table. After a few years of trial and error we now have a great team both here and in Vietnam, I’m often impressed at their initiative and commitment to achieve the goals we set.

To identify and understand the Why of your business Sinek has included a step by step guide to his ‘Golden Circle’. Once you do understand it is so much easier to share it with others.

This book is a great read and should be a staple on the bookshelf of any leader. I highly recommend it if you lead or you aspire to lead others. It is great value and also includes access to resources and podcasts available on his ‘StartwithWhy’ website.

I would like to conclude with my favourite quote from the book;

“As anyone who starts a business knows, it is a fantastic race. There is a statistic that hangs over your head – over 90 percent of all new businesses fail in the first three years. For anyone with even a bit of competitive spirit in them, especially for someone who defines himself or herself as an entrepreneur, these overwhelming odds of failure are not intimidating, they only add fuel to the fire. The foolishness of thinking that you’re a part of the small minority of those who actually will make it past three years and defy the odds is part of what makes entrepreneurs who they are, driven by passion and completely irrational.” Simon Sinek


Alison Vidotto is the award winning author of 22 Leadership Fundamentals; the Door to Success says Push! A leadership keynote speaker and trainer, CEO of Vidotto Group and Founder of the Australian Charity for the Children of Vietnam ( Alison has a passion for leadership and development, both within herself and in others. She writes leadership articles for the Australian Business Women's Network ( Alison has also been published in the...

Go Deeper | Website

Want More?

New Graphic
Subscriber Counter