Start With Why Summary – Simon Sinek’ Leadership Classic

Start With Why by Simon Sinek explores the importance of focusing on the ‘why’ when building a company. He suggests that “why” will be more influential on consumers rather than what the company does as it will create better feelings about the product and make them more loyal to the brand.

Sinek presents the message that the more folks who choose to ask ‘WHY’, the better off our civilization and organizations will be – increasing both productivity and fulfillment.

This is a summary of Start With Why, highlighting the best concepts and ideas we have got from reading it and we are also going to tell you whether it is worth reading the complete book.

Start With Why Summary

In 2009, Simon Sinek began to cultivate a mission and start a movement. He sought out to motivate the masses to become more inspired with work. His goal was that the folks he inspired, would in turn inspire both coworkers and customers alike. Based on the lessons from this book, Sinek has since gone on to create one of the highest-rated and most recognizable ‘Ted Talks’ of all time.

The book begins with Sinek’s fundamental question; why are some organizations and people more innovative, influential, and profitable than others? He then initiates discussions over leaders and why some are easily able to generate loyalty, respect, and overall success.

Start With Why Book Summary - Simon Sinek

Throughout this book, Sinek implements the ideology that there is a multitude of leaders in existence, however, the most profitable and respected, are those who lead. Those who choose to lead, as opposed to merely holding the title of leader, are folks who truly inspire others. He highlights that this inspiration should not be derived from incentives or financial gain, but rather, a feeling of purpose and belonging to a community.

Main Concepts and ideas from Start With Why

Sinek presents a wide array of methodologies and initiatives that business owners, managers, and employees alike can utilize to become better at their jobs. Similarly, he highlights the domino effect that these concepts can have on a business when properly implemented. Here are some of the main ideas that Sinek showcases throughout the book.

Inspiration vs. Manipulation

One of the key concepts that Sinek explains in this book is that of inspiration versus manipulation. As previously stated, the most prosperous and respected leaders are those who choose to inspire their employees. Influencing a worker’s behavior or work ethic is accomplished through the means of either manipulation or inspiration.

Sinek highlights that while manipulation may seemingly work in the short term, it will build resentment or a lack of effort in the long run. Whereas inspiring employees will cultivate a stronger sense of care, initiating a greater sense of purpose and motivation towards their work.

Satisfy the Need to Belong

Sinek highlights the importance of folks in a leadership role recognizing the need to belong. Despite race, gender, sexual orientation, background, etc, every individual feels the need to belong.

This means that every employee or coworker you have, share this same commonality. We all want to feel heard and accepted while being amongst people that share our attitudes and values in life.

Because of this, Sinek shares the importance of creating an accepting workplace environment, where every person’s need to belong is satisfied. If someone genuinely feels that they do not belong to your organization, then they will not be committing their best efforts while working. Comradery allows for a greater sense of purpose, which will contribute to a larger productivity yield.

Properly Communicate Your ‘WHY’

This may be the most crucial concept discussed in this book. Sinek explains that far too many businesses and companies discuss what task employees should be doing, and how exactly they should go about accomplishing it. He says that instead, these employers should be explaining why it is employees are required to complete said task.

Instilling the overall purpose or cause of your business in your employees is an important task. It allows workers to have a greater understanding as to who they are working for and what exactly they provide. This will, in turn, inspire workers to help accomplish the tasks of the company.

Always Be Open and Charismatic

This concept again, calls on leaders to put forth a greater effort in the intricate relationships they hold with their employees. Not in an extremely personal sense, but managers or owners need to maintain an open relationship with their employees. This is so workers can feel comfortable voicing their opinions or concerns.

A communicative workplace makes for happy and productive employees, who aren’t secretly angered over the fact that they feel unheard or unimportant.

Sinek also notes the importance of being a charismatic leader. He claims that while energy motivates, charisma can uniquely inspire. Furthermore, he states that charisma is hard to find, near impossible to measure, and even more difficult to imitate or duplicate. However, a charismatic leader will have a team behind them, that will enjoy putting forth their best efforts.

Who Should/Shouldn’t Read Start With Why

Start With Why is an excellent source of information and advice for anyone who finds themselves in a leadership position in life. Managers, owners, and those in the process of creating a business can all benefit from reading this book.

It gives a wonderful insight into how you can become a better leader, and inspire your staff to become better employees. Similarly, any general worker can benefit from the work ethic presented in this book.

Folks who are uninterested in the topic of business or the workplace, may not find enjoyment out of this book. Similarly, people who have no intention of utilizing the lessons may find the information in this book redundant.

Review of Start With Why

As someone who spent the better part of a decade working within the field of restaurant management, I genuinely enjoyed this book. While I’ve always regarded myself as the type of manager who listens and maintains good relationships with my employees, there were a lot of takeaway lessons I found. For example, I never considered the “WHY” of the companies I worked for, and therefore, never instilled that in the other employees. It’s a concept I can utilize if I ever find myself in that sort of position again.

I always choose to recommend books that I feel any reader can gain or learn something from reading it. In the case of this book, in particular, I overwhelmingly recommend that anyone chooses to read it.


In summary, ‘Start With Why’ by Simon Sinek, is both an insightful and well-written book. Depicting the need for both people and organizations to begin asking ‘WHY’, Sinek showcases ways in which employers and employees alike can communally create a healthier and more productive workplace. With there being something to learn for every reader, this is truly a worthwhile read.

Marilyn Nissen
Written by Marilyn Nissen

Marilyn Nissen is the founder of, a highly reputable book summary and reviews website. With over a decade of experience in summarizing and reviewing books, Marilyn is a trusted authority in the book industry.