Simon Sinek 's book Starting with Why doesn't need as many introductions as its author. Motivational speaker and British entrepreneur who made his mark with his Ted Talks . Currently one of the most downloaded on the web.
The original title is “ Start With Why “. A book that explains why some people and companies are more successful than others. It does so starting from their " why ", the most powerful lever to involve people.
The plot of Starting from the Why
The book starts with an analysis of why we, like all consumers, tend to make decisions. In fact, we usually think we know certain things and on the basis of them we act, we choose. However, if we had to analyze every single fact and facet, before making a decision, could we say that we are sure that we have opted for the best choice, that we have done the right thing?
The analyzes, in fact, lead to almost rational decisions. At least, we believe them to be so. They are more often the result of some communication styles of companies that intend to sell their products or services to us.
Traditional sales are generally made following these methodologies:
- leverage people's fears, as if the product or service offered could guarantee protection and resolve them;
- make the product advantageous in terms of price, the so-called offers;
- wanting to emulate a public figure who, for example, is the testimonial of the selling company;
- enunciating informative slogans now of the past, which tell nothing of that, neither about the company, nor about the products or services it offers.
In these types of sales , manipulation is more often used but the main ingredient around which Starting from the Why creates the golden aura of interest is missing: inspiration.
The techniques listed above lead in some cases to new customers who, perhaps, at that moment, find our price more advantageous or decide to buy our product on the basis of a perception - or a deduction - that seems to be the best. In doing so, companies will have to continually invent something to attract the consumer's attention and stand out from the competition.
Inspiring people is another matter entirely: it creates a long-lasting relationship with the customer, an attachment to the brand, to the values that he will share himself. He will also be willing to pay a higher price than his competitors, because the perceived value will be higher.
How do you inspire people?
Is inspiring people an innate gift or can you learn how to do it? Some people use this technique without even knowing it exists. Others learn it and understand the essential difference between manipulating and inspiring.
Simon Sinek in his famous Ted Talk entitled “ The Golden Circle ” explains in a fascinating way how to tell something to people and inspire them .
By drawing three concentric circles, our presentation will touch on three levels:
- the outermost one (What) will generally describe what we do, what our business is;
- the second level talks about how we do it (How) and basically represents our USPs ( Unique Selling Points ), the ones that really should differentiate our company or ourselves;
- the smaller, central circle (Why) is the heart of our speech and talks about why we do it, not only what purpose we want to achieve but also pursuing which ideal.
Every leader who has the ability to inspire speaks starting from the heart of the Why and continuing outwards, where the how and what are consequences.
What will be built with speeches that are able to inspire people will not be a customer base but a real following, a sort of community of loyal people. The Golden Circle allows you to build connections with people, on an emotional level.
My review of Starting with the Why
When we think of the Golden Circle and Starting from Why the connection with Steve Jobs is immediate. Simon Sinek talks about it in the very first pages of the book and we cannot fail to find his voice and his “ Stay hungry, stay foolish ” among the pages.
Apple does not represent a computer, Apple represents a way of thinking and being different.
Reading Starting from Why I have thought a lot about the way I usually make my decisions, in terms of buying. I realized how many occasions I am actually part of a group of people who are amiably manipulated.
Knowing this gives me a new awareness in making choices. Just as he warns me of those who excessively promote a Why trying to break through emotions.
This reading helped me to find a sort of "square" as really, being convinced of one's choices corresponds to a balance between the "feeling" of having made the right purchase and sharing the objectives and ideals of the company from which we have bought.
Declining the Golden Circle in the corporate environment, it is necessary that the effect of the Why propagates over time like the flow of waves, incessantly. Hiring people who need to be motivated is different from hiring people who are self-motivated and need to be inspired, continuously over time.
Furthermore, a healthy company will not be composed solely of visionary people. These must be accompanied by those who know the How . This was the case of Apple, where the visionary and communicator was Steve Jobs while the How was his partner Steve Wozniak , co-founder of Apple.
Who would I recommend this book to? To people who want to affirm their brand, to those at the head of a team, to entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs, to speakers and in general to anyone who wants to be heard. I would recommend this book to anyone with the goal of speaking to one or more people with the intention of transferring what they believe in, not merely selling.
Unforgettable phrases by Simon Sinek
"Big companies don't hire good workers and motivate them, but they hire motivated people and inspire them."
“People don't buy what we do, they buy why we do it. How you do it simply shows what you believe in. "
“The goal is not to do business with everyone who needs what you sell. The goal is to do business with people who believe in what you have. "
Recommended Readings and Podcasts
If you intend to read Starting from the Why (or you have already read it), the next immediate reading I recommend is Find Your Why by Simon Sinek.
Another interesting volume written by the same author is " Last comes the leader " in which the subject of discussion is the team: why some teams work and others don't.
This time, exceptionally, instead of suggesting a specific podcast, I feel like talking about the site from which I personally never fail to draw inspiration: ted.com . At this link you can download playlists such as the 11 unmissable Tedx that have marked the history of Ted Talks, rather than the playlist of the 25 most shared and discussed Tedx videos. Among these, Simon Sinek's: The Golden Circle.