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

2 mins
book summary lead
Shawn L
Builds stuff minimally
Table of Contents

There was a period in your childhood when you questioned everything.

Why is the truck moving?

Why do we go to school?

We didn’t need to be taught to be ask why. We just need to know.

By starting with why, you’ll be willingly perform a task. You might get more creative solutions if you communicate your why rather than what.

In business, personal growth or relationship…

if you want to get someone moving, start with why.

TLDR: Watch Simon’s TED talk


If Apple markets like everyone else:

We make great computers. They’re beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly. Wanna buy one?

Instead, Apple starts with why:

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. Wanna buy one?

In your next story telling, try this framework:

  1. Why do you do things
  2. How you do things
  3. What you actually do

The Celery Test

M&M, Oreos, rice milk and celery. This is the list of things to buy after attending courses, reading books and getting advice from great people.

It might cost you a lot every week to buy them. You’re not sure they would work but because someone said so, it’s going to work…right?

What if you know your WHY before you go to the supermarket? Your WHY will filter your decisions and spend less money. Every choice is a right choice and will deliver value.

If you believe in health, you’ll only buy celery. You would buy a chocolate cake knowing full well it’s only for short-term sugar rush.

Starting with WHY not only helps you know which is the right advice for you to follow but also to know which decisions will put you out of balance.

Why-type vs How-type leaders

WHY-types are the visionaries. There’re focused on the things most people can’t see, like the future.

HOW-types live more in the here and now. They’re focused on things most people can see and tend to be better at building.

A business needs both to run, but WHY your company exists must always be reminded.