The Importance of Starting With The Question Why

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Start with Why (How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action) is the title of Simon Sinek’s book, website and TED talk.

Simon Sinek focusses on the fact that for a team to operate effectively everyone needs to be motivated and to feel that they belong.  This is the reason leaders need to start with the ‘why’, in other words the purpose, values and inspiration behind any business or project.  People are more productive and engaged if they want to do something rather than because they have to do something.

For a customer or client the ‘why’ is also more compelling and alluring as Simon points out in his example about Apple computers.  The ‘what’ would express:

“We make great computers. They are beautiful designed, simple to use and user-friendly. Want to buy one?”

Whereas the ‘why’ communicates:

“Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly. And we happen to make great computers. Want to buy one?”

The ‘why’ is therefore the reason and the belief. The ‘how’ and the ‘what’ are the results that confirm that you are holding fast to these values.

If you want to find out more I recommend that you check out his TED talk here:

If you like that and want more then you will love his book.  Check it out by clicking on the link here:

You may notice that Simon Sinek has a slightly different approach to applying the words ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘what’ to that in The Right Questions, which is of course totally fine!  Actually you should see that when you get beyond the definitions the key lessons between the Start with Why methodology and The Right Questions are actually broadly the same and I would agree that overall our actions and decisions are based on our values therefore it is incredible important to understand our ‘why’ before we get into the planning and doing stages.

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