File Size: 1266 KB
Print Length: 258 pages
Publisher: Portfolio (September 23, 2009)
Publication Date: October 29, 2009
Save your money and (most importantly) your time and just watch the TED talk on YT..,I really had to struggle with what rating to give this. Simon Sinek's idea is astoundingly insightful, very helpful, and definitely worth the price of this book let alone the Kindle price. I'm inclined to think that the world would be considerably better off if more people lived by Sinek's simple idea.
On the other hand, the book is agonizing in its redundancy, often repeating the same examples many times over to make precisely the same point as the first time the example was used. I'm inclined to think that virtually everything Sinek wrote could have been stated in a 20-page article without leaving out anything important. I daresay it might be possible to do it in five pages. That's part of the beauty of the idea: it's incredibly simple while still being astoundingly powerful. But Sinek doesn't seem to have bothered taking the time to distill the idea down into its essence for straightforward presentation in this book. It reads a little bit like he took articles from his blog, stuck them in a large word-processing document, did some minor editing, and submitted the thing as-is for publication in order to create this book.
So, the idea is worth the cost of the book and the time to read it, but the book itself is, in my humble opinion, very poorly organized and needlessly long.
I would advise those who are interested in Sinek's ideas save themselves a great deal of time and a little expense by first watching his TED Talk:
This covers virtually all the core ideas involved. The one thing Sinek never does either in this presentation or in his book is spell out what "HOW" is. It's a bit confusing in large part because it's different for each of the two communication structures. In the "WHAT --> HOW" structure, "HOW" is "how we're different"; for instance, Dell has to argue that its computers are somehow better than (say) HP's and therefore specifies HOW they're better in order to compete against HP. On the other hand, in the "WHY --> HOW --> WHAT" structure, "HOW" is "how we enact our purpose (i.e. our 'WHY')".
As far as I can tell, if you're reasonably intelligent you can glean pretty much everything essential to Sinek's idea based on his TED Talk together with this understanding that "HOW" means something different in each of the two contexts he contrasts.
What you WON'T get from that is his rather in-depth, incredibly clear exposé of why the "WHAT --> HOW" communication pattern requires manipulating people to some degree or another and why that is by necessity unsustainable in the long run. That's not core to his point but it's certainly a nice supplement.
So in short, the book is a reasonable buy, certainly at the Kindle price, but do consider benefitting from Sinek's wisdom for free in 20 minutes first by watching his TED Talk. If you want more details, you can get the book, but understand that you're not likely to learn much more than what you could have figured out on your own between the talk and what I mention above.,I recently read this book because it was referenced in a couple of other leadership books. The key concept is that leaders need to create a vision of the significance of the work. Then they can ask people to do specific tasks because they understand how it fits in the big picture and adds value. I enjoyed the concept and it was well presented.
The book provides a number of well researched industry examples where companies were successful or failed as a result of the leader's ability to create and maintain the vision. It also has some interesting discussions about the difficulty in maintaining a vision especially where the leader becomes the symbol of the message (Steve Jobs and Apple for example).
I enjoyed the book and found the content useful. I only gave it three stars as I found it repetitive and too long relative to the content. This would be a good candidate for an audiobook for the gym or long car ride.,This book does provide the reader with a clear explanation of an essential truth: that your WHY (your reason, your "youness") needs to be at the center or all you do or the message you preach will be out of sync with your actions, which will inevitably drive people away. From that aspect, this is an excellent book. The bottom line is profound...but it is wrapped up in so many stories, examples, explanations and rehashings that it feels dragged out. This is especially true for for the first two or three sections, where the message is wrapped up in so many examples that the main points feel drowned out.
Bottom line: This book has a profound message and although it is geared toward businesses and business practices, it applies to EVERYONE! It could have been 30-40 pages shorter and still been effective, but after reading it I feel like I took away something valuable, and that made it worth the read.
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