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

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 The inspiring, life-changing bestseller by the author of LEADERS EAT LAST and TOGETHER IS BETTER.

In 2009, Simon Sinek started a movement to help people become more inspired at work, and in turn inspire their colleagues and customers. Since then, millions have been touched by the power of his ideas, including more than 28 million who’ve watched his TED Talk based on START WITH WHY -- the third most popular TED video of all time.
 
Sinek starts with a fundamental question: Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their success over and over?
 
People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers had little in common, but they all started with WHY. They realized that people won't truly buy into a product, service, movement, or idea until they understand the WHY behind it. 
 
START WITH WHY shows that the leaders who've had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way -- and it's the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.
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Do you know how to play the game you’re in?
 
In finite games, like football or chess, the players are known, the rules are fixed, and the endpoint is clear. The winners and losers are easily identified.
 
In infinite games, like business or politics or life itself, the players come and go, the rules are changeable, and there is no defined endpoint. There are no winners or losers in an infinite game; there is only ahead and behind.
 
The more I started to understand the difference between finite and infinite games, the more I began to see infinite games all around us. I started to see that many of the struggles that organizations face exist simply because their leaders were playing with a finite mindset in an infinite game. These organizations tend to lag behind in innovation, discretionary effort, morale and ultimately performance.
 
The leaders who embrace an infinite mindset, in stark contrast, build stronger, more innovative, more inspiring organizations. Their people trust each other and their leaders. They have the resilience to thrive in an ever-changing world, while their competitors fall by the wayside. Ultimately, they are the ones who lead the rest of us into the future.
 
Any worthwhile undertaking starts with Why – the purpose, cause or belief that inspires us to do what we do and inspires others to join us. Good leaders know how to build Circles of Safety that promote trust and cooperation throughout their organizations. But that’s not enough to help us chart a course through the unpredictable, often chaotic landscape of today’s marketplace.
 
I now believe that the ability to adopt an infinite mindset is a prerequisite for any leader who aspires to leave their organization in better shape than they found it.
The Deluxe Edition of Leaders Eat Last, now with an expanded chapter and appendix on leading millennials, includes over 30 minutes of exclusive video and 30 minutes of audio of Simon Sinek. The acclaimed, bestselling author of Start With Why and Together is Better delves deeper into book’s themes and shares additional examples and insights.
 
Imagine a world where almost everyone wakes up inspired to go to work, feels trusted and valued during the day, then returns home feeling fulfilled. This is not a crazy, idealized notion. Today, in many successful organizations, great leaders create environments in which people naturally work together to do remarkable things. 

In his work with organizations around the world, Simon Sinek noticed that some teams trust each other so deeply that they would literally put their lives on the line for each other. Other teams, no matter what incentives are offered, are doomed to infighting, fragmentation and failure. Why?

The answer became clear during a conversation with a Marine Corps general. "Officers eat last," he said. Sinek watched as the most junior Marines ate first while the most senior Marines took their place at the back of the line. What's symbolic in the chow hall is deadly serious on the battlefield: Great leaders sacrifice their own comfort--even their own survival--for the good of those in their care.
     
Too many workplaces are driven by cynicism, paranoia, and self-interest. But the best ones foster trust and cooperation because their leaders build what Sinek calls a "Circle of Safety" that separates the security inside the team from the challenges outside.

Sinek illustrates his ideas with fascinating true stories that range from the military to big business, from government to investment banking.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Oct 29, 2009
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9781101149034
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Entrepreneurship
Business & Economics / Leadership
Business & Economics / Motivational
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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 In this smart, playful, and provocative book, one of today’s most original business thinkers argues that we underestimate the importance of romance in our lives and that we can find it in and through business—by designing products, services, and experiences that connect us with something greater than ourselves.

Against the backdrop of eroding trust in capitalism, pervasive technology, big data, and the desire to quantify all of our behaviors, The Business Romantic makes a compelling case that we must meld the pursuit of success and achievement with romance if we want to create an economy that serves our entire selves.

A rising star in data analytics who is in love with the intrinsic beauty of spreadsheets; the mastermind behind a brand built on absence; an Argentinian couple who revolutionize shoelaces; the founder of a foodie-oriented start-up that creates intimate conversation spaces; a performance artist who offers fake corporate seminars for real professionals—these are some of the innovators readers will meet in this witty, deeply personal, and rousing ramble through the world of Business Romanticism.

The Business Romantic not only provides surprising insights into the emotional and social aspects of business but also presents “Rules of Enchantment” that will help both individuals and organizations construct more meaningful experiences for themselves and others.

The Business Romantic offers a radically different view of the good life and outlines how to better meet one’s own desires as well as those of customers, employees, and society. It encourages readers to expect more from companies, to give more of themselves, and to fall back in love with their work and their lives.  

 “I met last week with your leaders,” Ben began. “I heard what they had to say. And you know, they make a good point.” He paused. Take charge, Ben, he told himself. Take control. He looked around the conference room. Take, take, take. Was that really what he was here to do?
 
With their acclaimed bestseller The Go-Giver, Bob Burg and John David Mann proved that a heartfelt parable could also express a powerful idea. In The Go-Giver Leader (originally pub­lished as It’s Not About You), they offer an equally compelling tale about a struggling small business and the ambitious young executive trying to lead them to a crucial decision.
 
Allen & Augustine has manufactured high-quality chairs for decades. Its people take pride in their work and feel loyal to their owners and management team. But this revered company is now at a crossroads, hurt by a tough economy, foreign competition, and a cash crunch. The air is filled with the scent of uncertainty, anxiety, perhaps even panic.
 
Into this setting enters Ben, who’s been assigned by a larger firm to promote a merger that will rescue Allen & Augustine. Ben’s facts are undeniable: the chair maker can either merge and modernize or go bankrupt and vanish. So why can’t he persuade anyone to buy in, from the CEO on down?
Will Ben find a way to sway the employee shareholders before the climactic vote? And can Allen & Augustine survive without losing its soul? The answers may surprise you as you follow Ben on his journey to understanding that the path to genuine influence lies less in taking leadership than in giving it.
 
This revised and updated edition includes a new introduction, a discussion guide, and a Q&A with the authors.


From the Hardcover edition.
Scaling a business is not for the faint of heart. It’s a mind-bending journey that causes millions of business owners around the globe to either throw in the towel—or avoid risk entirely and suffer from smallness and mediocrity.

Most of these businesses fail because they are ill prepared to face the real challenges involved in scaling. Either they don’t have the bandwidth to keep up with the sales demand or production, miss out on major opportunities due to fear, or keep making the same mistakes over and over because systems and processes aren’t in sync with the rate of growth.

To truly scale, you must upsize your strategic practices, implement new marketing strategies, find new ways to build your team, and expand your mindset to break through whatever is keeping you stuck at the same level. Then you must be willing to take the leap into the giant unknown – to make your impossible possible.

In Scale or Fail, author Allison Maslan—who has successfully scaled ten companies from scratch and has guided thousands of small businesses to do the same—shares her revolutionary SCALEit Method ® for successfully growing, replicating, and expanding your business. She also shares pivotal mindset strategies she’s used to break the fear barrier as a trapeze artist so you can move past any obstacle, take strategic Big Picture risks, and fulfill your dreams of business expansion and skyrocketing profit.

Featuring a wealth of real-life success stories, visual tools, and exercises that are prescriptive and inspirational, Scale or Fail offers proven scaling strategies and a proactive approach to:

Create your Big Picture Vision and build a plan to achieve it Produce an ever-flowing stream of cash flow with consistent profits Establish a powerhouse team that functions well without you Become a true leader and feel like you deserve your success Improve systems and processes that facilitate scaling Get past the mental and strategic pitfalls that cause revenue bottlenecks Scale or Fail is adaptable to any type of business—manufacturing, consumer goods, a brick and mortar, a digital service, a wholesaler, a consulting service, and everything in between. Whether you’re six figures and scaling to seven. . . or in the seven figures and scaling to eight or even nine, Scale or Fail provides the roadmap to multiply your business growth—and empower you to soar in the air with the greatest of ease.
The New York Times bestseller by the acclaimed, bestselling author of Start With Why and Together is Better. Now with an expanded chapter and appendix on leading millennials, based on Simon Sinek's viral video "Millenials in the workplace" (150+ million views).

Imagine a world where almost everyone wakes up inspired to go to work, feels trusted and valued during the day, then returns home feeling fulfilled. This is not a crazy, idealized notion. Today, in many successful organizations, great leaders create environments in which people naturally work together to do remarkable things. 

In his work with organizations around the world, Simon Sinek noticed that some teams trust each other so deeply that they would literally put their lives on the line for each other. Other teams, no matter what incentives are offered, are doomed to infighting, fragmentation and failure. Why?

The answer became clear during a conversation with a Marine Corps general. "Officers eat last," he said. Sinek watched as the most junior Marines ate first while the most senior Marines took their place at the back of the line. What's symbolic in the chow hall is deadly serious on the battlefield: Great leaders sacrifice their own comfort--even their own survival--for the good of those in their care.
     
Too many workplaces are driven by cynicism, paranoia, and self-interest. But the best ones foster trust and cooperation because their leaders build what Sinek calls a "Circle of Safety" that separates the security inside the team from the challenges outside.

Sinek illustrates his ideas with fascinating true stories that range from the military to big business, from government to investment banking.
The Challenge
Built to Last, the defining management study of the nineties, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the verybeginning.

But what about the company that is not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness?

The Study
For years, this question preyed on the mind of Jim Collins. Are there companies that defy gravity and convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? And if so, what are the universal distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great?

The Standards
Using tough benchmarks, Collins and his research team identified a set of elite companies that made the leap to great results and sustained those results for at least fifteen years. How great? After the leap, the good-to-great companies generated cumulative stock returns that beat the general stock market by an average of seven times in fifteen years, better than twice the results delivered by a composite index of the world's greatest companies, including Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric, and Merck.

The Comparisons
The research team contrasted the good-to-great companies with a carefully selected set of comparison companies that failed to make the leap from good to great. What was different? Why did one set of companies become truly great performers while the other set remained only good?

Over five years, the team analyzed the histories of all twenty-eight companies in the study. After sifting through mountains of data and thousands of pages of interviews, Collins and his crew discovered the key determinants of greatness -- why some companies make the leap and others don't.

The Findings
The findings of the Good to Great study will surprise many readers and shed light on virtually every area of management strategy and practice. The findings include:

Level 5 Leaders: The research team was shocked to discover the type of leadership required to achieve greatness. The Hedgehog Concept (Simplicity within the Three Circles): To go from good to great requires transcending the curse of competence. A Culture of Discipline: When you combine a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship, you get the magical alchemy of great results. Technology Accelerators: Good-to-great companies think differently about the role of technology. The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Those who launch radical change programs and wrenching restructurings will almost certainly fail to make the leap.

“Some of the key concepts discerned in the study,” comments Jim Collins, "fly in the face of our modern business culture and will, quite frankly, upset some people.”

Perhaps, but who can afford to ignore these findings?

Do you know how to play the game you’re in?
 
In finite games, like football or chess, the players are known, the rules are fixed, and the endpoint is clear. The winners and losers are easily identified.
 
In infinite games, like business or politics or life itself, the players come and go, the rules are changeable, and there is no defined endpoint. There are no winners or losers in an infinite game; there is only ahead and behind.
 
The more I started to understand the difference between finite and infinite games, the more I began to see infinite games all around us. I started to see that many of the struggles that organizations face exist simply because their leaders were playing with a finite mindset in an infinite game. These organizations tend to lag behind in innovation, discretionary effort, morale and ultimately performance.
 
The leaders who embrace an infinite mindset, in stark contrast, build stronger, more innovative, more inspiring organizations. Their people trust each other and their leaders. They have the resilience to thrive in an ever-changing world, while their competitors fall by the wayside. Ultimately, they are the ones who lead the rest of us into the future.
 
Any worthwhile undertaking starts with Why – the purpose, cause or belief that inspires us to do what we do and inspires others to join us. Good leaders know how to build Circles of Safety that promote trust and cooperation throughout their organizations. But that’s not enough to help us chart a course through the unpredictable, often chaotic landscape of today’s marketplace.
 
I now believe that the ability to adopt an infinite mindset is a prerequisite for any leader who aspires to leave their organization in better shape than they found it.
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