Why did I read this book?
The first book I read by Simon Sinek (leaders eat last) was brilliant, so I asked for a few more of his
books. This book, while not as good as the previous one…was still very clever and enjoyable. I am trying
to read as much about leadership as possible. I am a big fan of Sinek’s stories and analysis.
What did I learn from this book?
People can explain WHAT they do, people can explain HOW they do things…. But articulating WHY or
analyzing WHY is what Sinek claims inspires us (and ourselves). Why shows that leaders who inspire us
all think, act, and communicate in the same way – and according to Sinek it is the opposite of what most
Great companies don’t hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire motivated people and inspire
them. People are either motivated or they are not. Companies with a strong sense of why can inspire
their employees. Those employees are more productive and innovative, and the feelings they bring to
work attracts other people eager to work there as well. When people inside companies know WHY they
come to work, people outside the company are vastly more likely to understand WHY the company is
Energy motivates but charisma inspires. Energy is easy to see, easy to measure, easy to copy. Charisma
is hard to define, near impossible to measure and too elusive to copy. All great leaders have charisma
because all great leaders have clarity of WHY; an undying belief in purpose or cause bigger than
themselves. Charisma has nothing to do with energy; it comes from clarity of WHY. It comes from
absolute conviction in an ideal bigger than oneself. Energy comes from a good night’s sleep or lots of
caffeine (HA!!!!). Energy can excite. But charisma can inspire. Charisma commands loyalty. Energy
High standards are hard to maintain. It requires the discipline to constantly talk about and remind
everyone WHY an organization exists in the first place. It requires that everyone in the organization be
held accountable for how they do things – to your values and guiding principles.
In the end lots of things come down to passion (passion for life, passion for work) …ideas are fueled by
passion – that very compelling emotion that causes us to do quite irrational things. That passion drives
many people to make sacrifices so that a cause bigger than themselves can be brought to life.
How am I going to apply what I learned?
I notice that often people that have high energy and APPEAR to be working hard are simply people that
are running around looking like they are working hard (not really getting much done). This book
eloquently discusses this subject. Having high energy and charisma is a winning combination. The
ability to excite and inspire people to go out of their way to contribute to something bigger than
themselves is something these books are getting me to do.
These books continue to inspire me to want to help others. I cannot imagine working any harder than I
am right now. I begin work each day at 5am and go to bed at around 11/12pm (during the day if I am
not working, I am studying, or going to class) …I feel as productive as I have in years. But more
importantly I am helping others and that feels tremendous. I have gotten several people to read these
books after me (I am even handing out homework assignments).