Best Learnings from the book “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek

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Simon Sinek

Start with your why, looks odd, or is it? Simon Sinek wrote the book in the year of 2009 when I was just in my 6th standard. I legitimately purchased it in the year 2019, after listening to his speech on “Millenials”, where he explicitly told about the inabilities of the millennial generation due to a specific cause, and how they are different from the other previous generations.

The primary trigger that directed me to purchase his book was his unique point of view towards the millennial truth. My heart always said that there is something different and erroneous about this generation, which doesn’t make sense, and I always wanted an expert validation, and there he was, ticking my list, little by little.

“Start with why” is a different book and has not anything related to the millennial generation. It is all about, everything you pursue in life should have a good reason, good enough to make the earth a better place. He said that money could not be the reason for our why, as it is the reward of our success.

So, why we do, what we do, go out and find it out. And he has given stunning examples out of the real leaders that have done so much to make the earth a better place and have inspired the readers to do the same.

Honestly, you would be wondering why I have written an article about it when you guys can all purchase a book on, and read all of it.

Well, the answer to that question is time, some of you don’t have time even to read or have other pleasures in life, and here I am to support you for whatever excuse you have. What I will tell you is that we all have time, but the reason why I wrote an article about it giving the essential things from the book, in a nutshell. We cannot remember everything, but when a particular person, separately writes an article about it on medium, that might help.

So here are the best learnings from the book, that can help us to make better decisions in life:

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The golden circle

This is what the author calls “The Golden Circle”. As we can see, there are three elements in the circle, and together they are considered as a golden ratio. As it works inside out, this ratio considers the level of clarity a person or a company has.

This is not a Venn diagram to consider, but a simplistic approach for offering clear insights.

The author has explained that every company is aware of “what” they are doing or what they have to do. Some companies know exactly what they do, “how” they do it, or we can say, what is the technical process of it, but very few of them are aware of their “why”, which means most of the companies, what they do, “why” they do. And the ones who are crystal clear with their why deliver the most innovative and more solution-based products in the world.

Not only he has explained the application of the golden circle to a company but for a human as well. We can apply the ratio in our lives and careers.

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Neocortex and Limbic Brain comparison

The author believes that the golden circle is not just a hypothesis or only a communication hierarchy chart, but it is related to the biology of a brain.

Just like the golden circle works inside out, so does our brain. “What” we do is only visible to other people, but why we do it, is only known to us.

The author also mentioned that the Neocortex is responsible for our “what”, i.e. our rational and analytical thoughts. The Limbic brain is responsible for How and why, i.e. our emotions and feelings, but the only Neocortex has the power to communicate.

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The Diffusion Curve

In the movies, We have always heard this cliche dialogue, “Son, there are two types of people in this world, good and evil”. But the author suggests that there at five.

As mentioned in the left figure, The Innovators are the ones who do something different. They are very rare when it comes to the number of people,

Early adopters are ones who adopt things created by the innovators. First trials and experimentation are their inborn talent, and always challenge the stereotypes.

Early Majority

They are ones who follow and grew on the early adopters, are the major stakeholders in anything new. But they are less motivated as compared to the early adopters when it comes to buying something new, as well as have a rational mind for their money.

Late Majority

They don’t risk their money on anything until something new has already set the trend, and is safe to purchase, no matter the status.


Laggards are the ones who play safe and avoid change. They like to stick to their stereotypes and won’t shift to the new alternatives until the old ones have gone out of supply.

Any of your friends or client or organization can lie in the diffusion curve. And it is our choice to surround ourselves with a certain type of people, for example: if we hang out too much with innovators, after a duration, we will become like them. And the same applies to any section that we lie in the diffusion curve. So, we have to make sure that we are transparent with our “why” and we are lying in the right section. It all depends on your “why”.

The question is, where do you see yourself in the diffusion curve? (let me know in the comment section)

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When why starts to dilute

This paragraph is related to the organization’s functioning and structure.

Great startups never have a fuzzy why, and if they have, then they will begin to lose their core values, and they will never grow. Companies usually start with an idea to solve a problem. They grow to a certain level, and then the investors come in. In a few cases, they get acquired due to hostile takeovers, or mergers and acquisitions, that is sometimes where the why goes fuzzy, and the core values begin to diminish. We all are aware when we don’t have a clear motive to do change the world, but make a handful of money, which brings us nowhere. After the stage of a fuzzy way, we will be clear what we have to do, but never the cause of why are we doing it.

The whole conclusion to this is no matter how much a company grows on any level, do not let the “why” to go south, it should be in the right direction that we want to drive.

In case if you want to learn more about great companies with their exceptional visions, read this article:

Special thanks to Mr. Simon Sinek for inspiring me, innumerable times, and helping me consider that life can be worthy when you have a definite “why”.

I hope this article will help you understand your “why”. If you like this article, do leave a clap below, and for any engagement, please let me know your responses.

Read the whole book now:

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