Start with Why—Piecka—January 15, 2023

Author of Book: Simon Sinek
Date Read: January 15, 2023

Book Report

Book: Start With Why

Author: Simon Sinek

Genre: Non-Fiction

Why I Read This Book:

I chose to read this book for a couple of reasons. First, Simon Cinek is a great author and motivator (see book report on “Leaders Eat Last”). Second, the title of THIS book, “Start With Why”, is the most important advice I have ever received!

This book designed to change your personal leadership style and your business’s style of leadership. Let me explain:

“There are leaders and there are those that lead” — Simon Sinek says this just before the table of contents. Many “so-called” leaders have authority over others so they believe giving orders and watching those beneath them obey those orders means they are a “Leader”. Nothing can be further from the truth. REAL leaders INSPIRE others and have FOLLOWERS. Followers CHOOSE to go with the leader. No strings attached. When a true leader speaks, you can FEEL their passion, their love, and their WHY. Everything they do starts with their WHY.

Every business sells a product or service. If you ask them about their business, they will more than likely explain the WHAT’S and the HOW’S of their product or service (features and benefits) and why theirs is better than their competitors–made with better materials, less expensive, better quality, better customer service, etc. But, do they ever explain WHY they are in business in the first place? Of course to make a profit , but what is their WHY? Apple is a constant example in this book. Everything Apple does, from their products to their commercials, is about their WHY–“We are disruptors, we are different, and being different is OK!!” THAT is how you create LOYALTY and a cult-like following. Oh, and they are VERY profitable also!!

Too many individuals and businesses lose focus of their WHY (Wal-Mart for example) and just become a commodity–>the same thing just in different packaging. This book gets you to re-focus by emphasizing the importance of staying true to your WHY with every decision you and/or your business makes.

What I Learned:

The first thing I learned is WHY is more powerful than any amount of money spent to fight it, smarter than any amount of higher education you use to try and beat it, and can create a stronger following than any advertising campaign.

The first to fly an airplane came down to 2 competitors. One had lots of money and backed by the U.S. government, a dream team of scientists, and the best materials. The other had no funding, no college graduates, and no access to hi-tech materials. One team had a clear advantage on paper and the other had a WHY that inspired others to join in and help voluntarily. One had a WHY and the other focused on the WHAT and HOW only. Guess which side the Wright Brothers were on?? They had the WHY and they were the first to fly.

Apple does not “own” the cell phone industry. They certainly are not a leader in terms of market share in the computer business either. Third party analysts would argue their products are never rated the “Best” compared to their peers. But their customers will line up for hours or wait for weeks for a new Apple product when the one they have works just fine. Why? Because Apple’s WHY continues to create a loyalty that inspires others to keep coming back for more and to spread the word to anyone who will listen.

The second thing I learned is communicating using your WHY makes biological sense also. The outer portion of our brain, the neocortex, is the part that handles facts, figures, and language. The inner portion, the limbic section, controls our feelings, behavior, and decision making. If you want to inspire others to follow your lead, create loyalty, and spread the word to their families and friends, communicate with your WHY first and THEN explain the HOW and WHAT. Skipping the WHY and just focusing on features and benefits will never create followers who trust you. That’s just not me or Simon Sinek saying this–that is SCIENCE!!!

Why I Will Succeed After Reading This Book:

“Start With Why” is not only the most important book I have read while in Prison, it should be required reading for ALL those inside Prison.

“Why?” you ask?? — L.O.L. !!

Whether you have a sentence of 12 months or 12 years, somewhere in between or even longer, ask yourself 2 questions:

1) Do you want to exit Prison a better version of yourself then when you entered? If your answer is Yes:

2) Why?

The answer to question #2 will determine if your routine or your “plan” lasts your entire sentence or just 2 weeks. The WHY is the fuel that drives you every day. The WHY is what can inspire others inside AND outside of your Prison.

Now, fast forward to when you come home or to a Halfway House to help your transition back into society:

1) What do you want to accomplish?

2) Why?

For example–Right now, my WHY in regards to everything I do is:

“I will Honor my wife and my family with my words and my actions.”

Whether it is whatever I do for employment or continuing to help those who ae headed to Federal Prison, my starting point will always be my WHY.

Before Simon Cinek wrote “Start With Why”, he was just like many of us–going through the motions, not happy with WHAT he was doing because of HOW he was doing it. He struggled mentally to keep moving forward. As he studied other companies that had prolonged success, he figured out the commonality–They all had their WHY as their starting point before their HOW and WHAT was even introduced. BINGO!! Simon Cinek then began to inspire others with this new philosophy , which led to him writing a book about it, and 1 MILLION sold copies later AND the 3rd most watched TED Talk ever, I can confidently tell you “Start With Why” is no “fad”.

Change the course of your business.

Change the course of your life.

Define your WHY today.

About Me:

My name is Jeff Piecka and I was sentenced to 34 months in a Federal Prison Camp in Oxford, WI after committing a white collar crime several years ago and immediately pleading guilty. Before self-surrendering on June 6, 2022, I promised my wife and my family that I WILL exit prison a better husband, son, brother, Christian, future employee, and overall better member of society because I am going to better myself in three ways:

1) Physically–Not just for vanity purposes but a better operating body equals a better operating mind.

2) Mentally–Reading only non-fiction books, newspapers, stories, and magazines that educate and elevate my mind and expand my vocabulary.

3) Spiritually–For ME, this means learning more from the Bible but it can also mean whatever “Greater Good” you believe in.

Shortly after self-surrendering and reading Michael Santos’s book “Earning Freedom–Conquering a 45 Year Prison Term”, it inspired me to want to help just 1 person who is possibly heading to Prison so I started emailing my family Posts that my sister uses to post as a Blog on Reddit dot com called “Letters From Federal Prison”. I believe to date it has over 7,000 views and shares plus there are several comments from people advising that the Blog has helped them. This has motivated me to keep writing (which I have NEVER done anything like this before) and I REALLY want to help more people when I return to society in 2023.