The book “Start with WHY”, by Simon Sinek, shows “[h]ow great leaders inspire everyone to take action.” In this post I summarize the insights I found most interesting.

  1. “People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.” Apple does not sell you computers or smart phones. Apple challenges the status quo, with whatever they make and sell. See his TED Talk.

  2. When companies do not start with why, but compete on price, they drive prices down a spiral. Customers will come to expect low prices. Both sides of the market become addicted to ever lower prices. In this way, the product or service offered turns into a commodity.

  3. The question then is: “[H]ow much are you willing to pay for the money you make?”

  4. “The vision is the public statement of the founder’s intent, WHY the company exists. (…) The mission statement is a description of the route, the guiding principles–HOW the company intends to create that future.”

  5. “Trust is not a checklist. (…) Trust begins to emerge when we have a sense that another person or organization is driven by things other than their own self-gain.”

  6. “To lead requires those who willingly follow.” This also means “the goal is to hire people that believe what you believe.”

  7. “What gets measured, gets done,” according to Jack Daly. When you measure WHAT, you get WHAT. Measuring short term gains, gets you just that: short term gains. Instead, when you figure out how to measure your WHY, you get more of that WHY.

  8. “If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right,” said Henry Ford. Similarly Virgil said (not from the book): “They can because they think they can.”

  9. “When you compete against everyone else, no one wants to help you. But when you compete against yourself, everyone wants to help you.”

  10. “From now on, start with WHY.”