26. February 2016 · Comments Off on Favorite Quotes/Passages from Start With Why by Simon Sinek · Categories: Uncategorized


Page 41, “People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.”

Page 50, “Knowing your WHY is not the only way to be successful, but it is the only way to maintain a lasting success and have a greater blend of innovation and flexibility. When a WHY goes fuzzy, it becomes much more difficult to maintain the growth, loyalty and inspiration that helped drive the original success. By difficult, I mean that manipulation rather than inspiration fast becomes the strategy of choice to motivate behavior. This is effective in the short term but comes at a high cost in the long term. ”

Page 50, “A failure to communicate WHY creates nothing but stress or doubt.”

Pages 57-58, “In contrast, decisions made with the limbic brain, gut decisions, tend to be faster, higher-quality decisions. This is one of the primary reasons why teachers tell students to go with their first instinct when taking a multiple-choice test, to trust their gut. The more time spent thinking about the answer, the bigger the risk that it may be the wrong one. Our limbic brains are smart and often know the right thing to do. It is our inability to verbalize the reasons that may cause us to doubt ourselves or trust the empirical evidence when our gut tells us not to.”

Page 59, “…the art of leading is about following your heart.”

Page 60, “Great leaders and great organizations are good at seeing what most of us can’t see. They are good at giving us things we would never think of asking for. Great leaders are those who trust their gut. They are those who understand the art before the science. They win hearts before minds. They are the ones who start with WHY.”

Page 62, “It is not logic or facts but our hopes and dreams, our hearts and our guts, that drive us to try new things.”

Page 62, “If we were all rational, there would be no small businesses, there would be no exploration, there would be very little innovation and there would be no great leaders to inspire all those things. It is the undying belief in something bigger and better that drives that kind of behavior.”

Page 69, “Being authentic is not a requirement for success, but it is if you want that success to be a lasting success.”

Page 78, “Ask the most successful entrepreneurs and leaders what their secret is and invariably they all say the same thing: “I trust my gut.” The times things went wrong, they will tell you, “I listened to what others were telling me, even though it didn’t feel right. I should have trusted my gut.””

Page 80, “The goal of business should not be to do business with anyone who simply wants what you have. It should be to focus on the people who believe what you believe. When we are selective about doing business only with those who believe in our WHY, trust emerges.”

Page 83, “Herb Kelleher, the head of Southwest for twenty years, was considered a heretic for positing the notion that it is a company’s responsibility to look after the employees first. Happy employees ensure happy customers, he said. And happy customers ensure happy shareholders-in that order.”

Page 85, “Leading is not the same as being the leader. Being the leader means you hold the highest rank, either by earning it, good fortune or navigating internal politics. Leading, however, means that others willingly follow you-not because they have to, not because they are paid to, but because they want to.”

Page 90, “We do better in cultures in which we are good fits. We do better in places that reflect our own values and beliefs.”

Page 92, “When you fill an organization with good fits, those who believe what you believe, success just happens.”

How did Ernest Shackleton’s entire crew survive their attempt to explore Antarctica?

Shackleton started with WHY when he wrote the job ad to recruit his crew, the ad is cited below:

“Men wanted for Hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.”

As Sinek states on page 92, “The only people who applied for the job were those who read the ad and thought it sounded great. They loved insurmountable odds. The only people who applied for the job were survivors. Shackleton only hired people who believed what he believed.”

Pages 92-93, “When employees belong, they will guarantee your success. And they won’t be working hard and looking for innovative solutions for you, they will be doing it for themselves. What all great leaders have in common is the ability to find good fits to join their organization- those who believe what they believe.”

Page 95, “Companies with a strong sense of WHY are able to inspire their employees. Those employees are more productive and innovative, and the feeling they bring to work attracts other people eager to work there as well.”

Page 99, “Average companies give their people something to work on. In contrast, the most innovative organizations give their people something to work toward.”

Page 99, “The role of the leader is not to come up with all the great ideas. The role of the leader is to create an environment in which great ideas can happen. It is the people inside the company, those on the front lines, who are best qualified to find new ways of doing things.”

Page 105, “Great organizations become great because the people inside the organization feel protected. The strong sense of culture creates a sense of belonging and acts like a net.”

Page 137-138, “No matter how charismatic or inspiring the leader is, if there are not people in the organization inspired to bring that vision to reality, to build an infrastructure with systems and processes, then at best inefficiency reigns, and at worst, failure results.”

Page 140, “The pessimists are usually right, to paraphrase Thomas Friedman, author of The World is Flat, but it’s the optimists who change the world.”

Pages 142-143, “And perhaps the most trusting relationship that exists is between the visionary and the builder, the WHY-guy and the HOW-guy. In organizations able to inspire, the best chief executives are WHY-types- people who wake up every dya to lead a cause and not just run a company. In these organizations, the best chief financial officers are high performing HOW-types, those with the strength of ego to admit they are not visionaries themselves but are inspired by the leader’s vision and know how to build the structure that can bring it to life.”

Page 147, “Great organizations don’t just drive profits, they lead people, and they change the course of industries and sometimes our lives in the process.”

Page 150, “…success is a team sport.”

Page 163, “It is not a company or organization that decides what, its symbols mean, it is the group outside the megaphone, in the chaotic marketplace, who decide. If based on the things they see and hear, the outsiders can clearly and consistently report what an organization believes, then, and only then, can a symbol start to take on meaning.”

Page 181, “Achievement is something you reach or attain, like a goal. It is something tangible, clearly defined and measurable. Success, in contrast, is a feeling or a state of being.”

Page 200, “Successful succession is more than selecting someone with an appropriate skill set-it’s about finding someone who is in lockstep with the original cause around which the company was founded. Great second or third CEOs don’t take the helm to implement their own vision of the future; they pick up the original banner and lead the company into the next generation. That’s why we call it succession, not replacement. There is a continuity of vision.”

Page 223,”When you compete against everyone else, no one wants to help you. But when you compete against yourself, everyone wants to help you.”

Page 224, “What if we showed up to work every day simply to be better than ourselves? What if the goal was to do better work this week than we did the week before? To make this month better than last month? For no other reason than because we want to leave the organization in a better state than we found it?”



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