Simon Sinek’s Start With Why Part2: An Alternative Perspective

Start With Why Part2 Book Club With Simon Sinek

Chapter 3 The Golden Circle

Simon illustrated the fact that “Living with WHY” is more important than “Surviving with WHAT” by how Apple set itself apart from other technology companies like Microsoft, Dell, etc.

How people all over the world fell in love with Apple with such passion that they could be queuing overnight for their latest launched products. Furthermore, unlike once-a-year concert tickets, these products could be bought easily in-store the week after.

An Apple Macbook always stands out from the rest.

Simon studied the phenomenal love for Apple. With all tangible factors being equal or even if Apple’s technical specification loses out, people would still choose to pay for Apple products even at a higher price. The world is “Made in China” but due to the brandings of these accessories, people are using these accessories to show others who they are. That alone makes a world of a difference.

Likewise, we can also reflect on our own passion – why we do what we do and how we do it? An easier metaphor would be why did you fell in love with a particular girl/boy? Why her/him? I am sure there are better ones out there. Why you would go at great lengths for her/him?

Another important lesson in this chapter for me is that Best is Subjective.  I believe different people have different needs and their perceived value also differs. What clicks with one person may not click with others; therefore, we can ascertain with the fact that preferences of one person differ from someone else’s at any one time, or else the world would have been dominated by one brand of each item.

Understanding that best is subjective also allows me to conduct myself with an open mind and innovate various ways to connect and communicate with individual trainees. I have also developed different training methodologies as everyone’s learning needs may differ. I believe there is no one-fits-all training solution else everyone in the same class would have achieved the same results. Same as school, some will score with distinction while some will fail with the same teacher and learning materials.

Chapter 4 This Is Not Opinion, This Is Biology

It is part of human nature to yearn for a sense of belonging and when you have that, things may just come “naturally” to you. Years ago, I simply put a logo of our company in a report. It was a very small gesture but from that alone, my supervisor could see the passion, pride and professionalism I had.

Surprisingly, this book made me realize that when we say we made decisions with our heart, our brain was still the mastermind. What we feel in our heart was controlled by our brain – that skips a heartbeat or sending blood flowing through, are all the work of our brain. The heart is just a pumping machine.

“It’s What You Can’t See That Matters”

This sentence resonates completely with my values and reminded me of:

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. – The Little Prince

In our study of leadership, no matter how much we learn, how many reports we write, all are not important if you can’t connect with the human in your peers or subordinates.

Chapter 5 Clarity, Discipline and Consistency

“To lead, requires those willingly follow”

For me, the most important thing in leadership would be communication. You can only influence if you can communicate – by visual, audio, body language, behaviors, or any other forms. And in order to communicate, we need to connect to the human part in people first. As the saying goes, “People won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

In my role of being a trainer, training is about what to do and how to do it and somehow I know the why was missing in my company’s training materials. I learned from Stephen Covey’s The Habits of Highly Effective People that I needed to start my training with the trainees on the same page. So I came out with a pre-training presentation to teach them what is expected of them and what they should expect. Most importantly why they should be committed to the training.

I believe this to is my best application from the insights of this book – “Starting with WHY”. And to summarize this chapter in a sentence would be:

“Your WHY (Clarified Belief) will determine your HOW (Discipline to take Action) to achieve your WHAT (Consistent Result) which derives from your WHY”.


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