Simon Sinek

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Simon Sinek
Simon sinek.jpg
Sinek, TEDx Maastricht 2011
Born (1973-10-09) October 9, 1973 (age 43)
Wimbledon, England
Occupation Author, motivational speaker
Notable works Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Simon O. Sinek (born October 9, 1973) is an author, speaker, and consultant who writes on leadership and management. He joined the RAND Corporation in 2010 as an adjunct staff member, where he advises on matters of military innovation and planning. He is known for popularizing the concepts of "the golden circle" and to "Start With Why",[1][2][3] described by TED as "a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question "Why?"'.[4] Sinek's first TEDx Talk on "How Great Leaders Inspire Action" is the 3rd most viewed video on[5][6] His 2009 book on the same subject, Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action (2009) delves into what he says is a naturally occurring pattern, grounded in the biology of human decision-making, that explains why we are inspired by some people, leaders, messages and organizations over others. He has commented for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Houston Chronicle, FastCompany, CMO Magazine, NPR, and BusinessWeek, and was a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, BrandWeek, IncBizNet.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

A diagram of what Simon Sinek calls 'The Golden Circle' of human motivation

Sinek was born in Wimbledon, England; at a young age he moved to Johannesburg, South Africa, then to London, then to Hong Kong, before settling in New Jersey. He attended Northern Valley Regional High School at Demarest, graduating in the class of 1991.[7] He earned a BA degree in cultural anthropology from Brandeis University; he attended City University in London with the intention of becoming a barrister, but left law school to go into advertising.

Sinek's mother, Susan, is Jewish and of Hungarian Jewish descent.[8]


He moved to New York and joined Euro/RSCG, an ad agency, where he worked on the MCI account. He then joined Ogilvy & Mather, and was later recruited back to Euro/RSCG, where he worked on accounts for Oppenheimer Funds, MCI, NASDAQ and DISH Network. In 2002, he started his own company, Sinek Partners.[2]

He has appeared on MSNBC[9] and Marketplace.[10]

As of January 2015, his talk How Great Leaders Inspire Action was number three on the list of the twenty most popular TED talks of all time.[5] The talk was filmed at TEDxPuget Sound in September 2009.[4]

In October 2009, he released his book “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action”, and in December 2011, the book topped the list of best sellers for corporate America according to 800-CEO-READ.[11]

He gave two more TED Talks: First why and then trust at TEDxMaastricht in 2011[12] and Why good leaders make you feel safe at TED2014.[13]

Why how what or What how why?

Community and civic affairs[edit]

Active in the not-for-profit world, Sinek works with Count Me In, an organization committed to helping one million women-owned businesses reach a million dollars in revenues by 2012,[14] and he serves on the Board of Directors for Danspace Project, an organization that fends for advancing art and dance.

He lives in New York and once taught a graduate-level class in strategic communication at Columbia University.[1]


  • Sinek, Simon (2009). Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. ISBN 978-1591846444. 
  • Sinek, Simon (2014). Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t. ISBN 978-1591845324. 
  • Sinek, Simon (2016). Together Is Better: A Little Book of Inspiration. ISBN 978-1591847854. 


  1. ^ a b c "Simon Sinek Biography and articles". Huffington Post. 
  2. ^ a b "Profile: Simon Sinek: Leadership expert and author". TED (conference). 
  3. ^ Keith Rogers (Feb 26, 2011). "Air Force helping hone new corps of leaders: Training to help hone new corps of leaders". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved January 14, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Sinek, Simon (September 2009). "How great leaders inspire action". TEDxPuget Sound. Retrieved 2015-01-05. 20,498,353 Total views 
  5. ^ a b TED (2015-01-05). "The 20 most popular TED Talks of all time". Retrieved 2015-01-05. Number 3: Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action 
  6. ^ The 20 most popular TED Talks
  7. ^ International Inspirational Speaker and Author Simon Sinek Returns to NVD, Northern Valley Regional High School District. Accessed February 15, 2013. "On Wednesday, February 13, 2013, Simon Sinek, an alumnus of Demarest High School, Class of '91, inspirational speaker, author and one among the top ten most watched videos on the topic of his first book Start with Why will spend the day at his Alma Mater, Northern Valley Regional High School at Demarest."
  8. ^ Jewish Standard: New Jersey 15 March 2013.
  9. ^ MSNBC, November 15, 2009 - Are you a leading company or a company that leads? MSNBC
  10. ^ Marketplace, June 19, 2006 - Stonyfield goes continental
  11. ^ "Top 25: What corporate America is reading, December 2011". Kansas City Star. Jan 12, 2012. 
  12. ^ Sinek, Simon (Apr 6, 2011). "First why and then trust". TEDxMaastricht 2011. Retrieved 2015-01-05. 
  13. ^ Sinek, Simon (March 2014). "Why good leaders make you feel safe". TED2014. Retrieved 2015-01-05. 
  14. ^ Count Me In website

External links[edit]