Full Review - Start With Why, Simon Sinek

Discover the secrets of the most influential leaders and businesses with “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek. A powerful book on inspiring leadership

“Start with why” is a book that explores what makes great leaders and the most innovative organizations.

Written by Simon Sinek, an expert in leadership and motivation, this book presents a powerful model for inspiring action: the Golden Circle.

Simon Sinek book

The central themes covered include:

  1. The Golden Circle : the three levels - Why (the reason for being), How (the processes), and What (the results) - and the importance of starting with the why.
  2. The power of why : how a clear and inspiring Why inspires loyalty, trust, and commitment among customers and employees.
  3. Characteristics of leaders who inspire : the ability to think, act and communicate from within to outside the Golden Circle.
  4. The law of the diffusion of innovation : how ideas and movements are spreading, from Innovators and Early Adopters to the Majority.

Critical analysis

“Starting with Why” is one of those rare books that fundamentally changes the way you see the world. It's required reading for anyone looking to become a more inspiring leader or to build an organization that leaves a lasting mark.

book Start with why

The highlights of the book:

  • The simplicity and power of the Golden Circle concept : by placing the Why at the center, Sinek offers an intuitive and memorable model for thinking about leadership and innovation.
  • Inspiring examples of individuals and businesses guided by their Why : from Martin Luther King to Apple to the Wright Brothers, these stories perfectly illustrate the power of a clear Why.
  • The broad application of ideas : while numerous examples are drawn from the business world, the lessons on inspiring leadership are relevant in all areas.
  • Sinek's engaging writing and passionate tone : on each page you can feel his deep conviction in the importance of starting with Why.

A potential downside is that the core concept, while powerful, can seem a bit simplistic at times. The book could have further explored the nuances and challenges of implementing the Golden Circle in complex organizational contexts.

In addition, some may find that Sinek idealizes some leaders and businesses a bit too much. A more nuanced discussion of their strengths and weaknesses could have strengthened his point.

Despite these slight reservations, “Starting with Why” remains a major book that has the potential to transform lives and organizations. It's a powerful call for leadership that's more authentic, more inspiring, and more impactful.

Key Points to Remember

  1. The most influential leaders and businesses think, act, and communicate from within and outside the Golden Circle, starting with their Why.
  2. Your why is your reason for being, the cause, or the belief that inspires everything you do. It's not your product or result.
  3. People don't buy what you do, but why you do it. A clear why inspires loyalty and commitment beyond material incentives.
  4. To inspire others, you must first be clear about your own why and be true to it in all your actions and communications.
  5. Lasting success comes from the clarity of Why, the discipline of How, and the consistency of What. The three levels should be in harmony.

Similar books

  • “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” by Daniel H. Pink
  • “Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't” by Simon Sinek

Author profile

photo of Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek is a world-renowned expert in leadership, motivation, and management, best known for popularizing the Golden Circle concept and the importance of starting with Why.

Sinek started his career in advertising before devoting himself entirely to his passion for inspiring leadership:

  • He worked at Euro/RSCG and Ogilvy & Mather, advising major brands on their communication strategies.
  • In 2002, he founded Sinek Partners, a company that helps leaders and organizations discover, articulate, and communicate their Why.
  • His interventions as an external advisor at Microsoft and the American armed forces were very well received.

Sinek became a major leadership figure through his successful lectures and writings:

  • His TED talk “How great leaders inspire action” is the 3rd most viewed of all time, with over 50 million views.
  • “Start With Why”, her first book, was an international bestseller translated into over 40 languages.
  • He then developed his ideas in other books such as “Leaders Eat Last” and “Find Your Why.”

*A sought-after speaker, Sinek shared his vision of leadership and motivation in the world's largest organizations, from the UN to NASA to Hollywood.

With “Starting with Why,” Simon Sinek highlighted one of the most fundamental and yet overlooked principles of leadership: the power of a clear and inspiring Why.

His book is much more than just management theory. It is a call for more authentic, more human and more impacting leadership.

For Sinek, great leaders don't just sell products or ideas. They invite others to join their cause, to share their vision of the world. They inspire action and loyalty by touching the part of the brain that guides emotions and decision-making.

With this book, Simon Sinek has established himself as one of the most original and inspiring thinkers on leadership in the 21st century. “Start with Why” isn't just a book, it's a movement that has prompted millions of individuals and organizations to rediscover why they exist.

start with why visual summary


Do you have to be a business leader to benefit from “Start with Why”?

No, Sinek's lessons on inspiring leadership are relevant for everyone, whether you're leading a team, an association, a class, or your own life. Understanding why is crucial in every field.

Does the book give practical tips for finding out why?

Yes, although the main focus is on principles and examples, Sinek offers some exercises and guide questions to help readers clarify their why. He also developed these tools in more detail in his companion book “Find Your Why.”

Do the ideas of “Start with Why” apply to small businesses and startups or only to large organizations?

The concepts are relevant for any organization, regardless of size. In fact, having a clear why from the start can be a key advantage for startups by allowing them to attract customers and talent aligned with their mission.

Some criticize Sinek for oversimplifying complex business realities. What is the answer to that?

Sinek recognizes that starting with Why is not a magic solution to every challenge. But he maintains, with examples, that it is a fundamental principle that is too often overlooked. The simplicity of its message is a force for inspiring action and change.


In conclusion, “Starting with Why” by Simon Sinek is a powerful and transformative book about what makes the most inspiring leaders and organizations. With its simple but groundbreaking Golden Circle concept, compelling stories, and call for more authentic leadership, it's a book that has the power to change the way you see the world and your place in it.

Whether you're running a business, a team, or simply your own life, “Starting with Why” will give you the keys to inspiring others and leaving a lasting mark. A must-read for anyone who aspires to become a leader that matters.

An inspiring and provocative book that will challenge you to think deeply about your purpose and align your actions and communications accordingly. A book that has the potential to change not only your approach to leadership, but your life as well. To read and reread without moderation!