I’m currently reading the book Start with Why by Simon Sinek and LOVING it (which means there will probably be a whole bunch of future posts on it.) I have a love/hate relationship with those “duh I should have known that” moments, and this book is providing me with plenty of them. Sinek has it spot on when it comes to inspiring leadership, company culture, effective marketing and incredible long-term success. He dissects the successes of Apple and Southwest Airlines, so if you love those companies (and who doesn’t) then you will love this book.
Senek illustrates the power of starting with “why” by using examples like Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King Jr. and the Wright Brothers. They were all excellent at communicating their “why” and that lead to their inspiring success. They had a cause, a belief, and a passion that attracted like-minded people to join them. Advancing that cause was more important than anything, including turning a profit (which almost always follows as a result). Decisions were made based on the “why” and not based on ROI or earnings per share.
There’s another great example of someone who started with “why” and created a movement. He is an influential leader from the Bible who taught this same principle – Jesus. His cause was well articulated and he always made it His first priority. In fact, He put it ahead of His own personal comfort and safety. His message resonated with people and he gained a tremendous following. In Mathew 6:33 he teaches the principle like this: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” In other words, when you put your “why” first everything else (profits, ROI, etc.) will fall into place. Anytime we follow the Savior’s example we can’t go wrong.
Comments: What do you think? Do you know of any other inspirational leaders that start with “why?” What happens to the culture of a company with a deep cause like this?