Simon Sinek

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Simon Sinek
Sinek, TEDx Maastricht 2011
Sinek, TEDx Maastricht 2011
BornSimon Oliver Sinek
(1973-10-09) October 9, 1973 (age 47)
Wimbledon, London, England
OccupationAuthor, motivational speaker
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materCity, University of London
Brandeis University
Notable worksStart With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action,The Infinite Game

Simon Oliver Sinek (born October 9, 1973)[1] is a British-American author and inspirational speaker. He is the author of five books, including Start With Why (2009)[2] and The Infinite Game (2019).

Early life and education[edit]

Sinek was born in Wimbledon, London, United Kingdom and as a child, he lived in Johannesburg (South Africa), London, and Hong Kong before settling in the United States. He graduated from Northern Valley Regional High School at Demarest in 1991.[3] He studied law at London's City University, but left law school to go into advertising.[4] He received a BA in cultural anthropology from Brandeis University.[5]


Sinek began his career at the New York ad agencies Euro RSCG and Ogilvy & Mather.[5] He later launched his own business, Sinek Partners.[5]

Three concentric circles, with the inner circle labeled Why, the middle circle labeled How, and the outer circle labeled What
Simon Sinek's golden circle which describes a perspective of the influence of successful leaders and organisations.

Sinek has written five books. Start With Why, his first book, was published October 2009. His second book, titled Leaders Eat Last, appeared on the bestseller lists of the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.[5]

As a motivational speaker, Sinek has spoken at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit in 2016,[6] and at TEDx conferences several times, beginning in 2009.[7]

In March 2016, professional services firm Ernst & Young announced a program called "The Why Effect" co-developed with Sinek "to help articulate and support clients' transformation objectives".[8][9] In June 2018, The Young Turks reported a $98,000 no-bid contract from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for "customized Simon Sinek leadership training" to take place between April 26 and May 15, 2018,[10] provided by Ernst & Young.[11]

In November 2018, Publishers Weekly reported that Sinek would start Optimism Press, a new imprint of Penguin Random House.[12]

Sinek is also an instructor of strategic communications at Columbia University,[13] and is an adjunct staff member of the RAND Corporation.[14]


In 2018, Michael Schein criticised Sinek, charging: "You will hardly ever hear him give the other side of the story or cite a scientific finding that doesn't support his argument."[15] As an example Schein cited a highly viewed video of a 2016 interview in which Sinek used a "thin" argument to explain "why millennials are such disappointments in the workplace".[15] Nevertheless, Schein concluded that Sinek provides a model for how to "build a feverishly dedicated following" through self-promotion.[15]


  • Sinek, Simon (2009). Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. New York: Portfolio/Penguin. ISBN 978-1591846444. OCLC 373054685.
  • Sinek, Simon (2014). Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't. New York: Portfolio/Penguin. ISBN 978-1591845324. OCLC 818731578.
  • Sinek, Simon (2016). Together Is Better: A Little Book of Inspiration. New York: Portfolio/Penguin. ISBN 978-1591847854. OCLC 957455007.[16]
  • Sinek, Simon (2017). Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team. New York: Portfolio/Penguin. ISBN 9781101992982. OCLC 963912431.[17]
  • Sinek, Simon (2019). The Infinite Game. New York: Portfolio/Penguin. ISBN 9780735213500. OCLC 1101645201.


  1. ^ "FreeBMD Entry Info". FreeBMD. Office for National Statistics (United Kingdom). Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  2. ^ Kauflin, Jeff. "The Year's Five Bestselling Leadership Books, And Why They're So Great". Forbes. Retrieved January 6, 2018.
  3. ^ NVD (11 February 2013). "Simon Sinek Returns to NVD". United States: Northern Valley Regional High School. NVD. Archived from the original on 12 September 2014. Retrieved 28 January 2020.
  4. ^ "Simon Sinek biography, quotes and books". September 29, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d Maxwell, Chris (Jan 6, 2017). "Simon Sinek: To grow your business, let go". Director. Retrieved Jan 14, 2017.
  6. ^ "Programme | UN Global Compact". Retrieved 2018-02-17.
  7. ^ Koji, David (2016-12-08). "An Inspiring Discussion With Simon Sinek About Learning Your 'Why'". Entrepreneur. Retrieved 2017-01-12.
  8. ^ Ernst & Young (March 3, 2016). "With Shared Purpose, EY and Simon Sinek Unite to Redefine How Business Operates in the 21st Century". PR Newswire. Retrieved 2020-07-04. The relationship with Sinek will also support EY's Purpose-Led Transformation services,™ an approach designed to help articulate and support clients' transformation objectives by defining purpose as an organization's clear reason for being that serves to set strategic vision and decision-making.
  9. ^ "Purpose Driven: An Interview with Bob Patton, Americas Vice Chair of Advisory Services, EY". Leaders Magazine. 39 (2): 36–37. April–June 2016. Retrieved 2020-07-04. A great example is our relationship with Simon Sinek, renowned author and leadership authority. Together, we will challenge many of the norms of modern business through a new purpose-driven platform called The Why Effect. The work we are doing together combines Simon's theories and teachings around purpose with our experience in performance consulting.
  10. ^ "ICE Paid Famous Motivational Speaker for 'Leadership Training'". Retrieved 2018-06-26.
  11. ^ "Award Summary, PIID 70CMSD18P00000045". Retrieved 2020-07-04.
  12. ^ Maher, John (Nov 15, 2018). "Portfolio to Launch New Imprint". Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  13. ^ "Instructor Simon Sinek Featured by 99% | Columbia University School of Professional Studies".
  14. ^ "RAND Corporation Staff Directory". RAND Corporation. RAND Corporation. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  15. ^ a b c Schein, Michael. "Author Simon Sinek Is Full Of Hot Air (And Other Reasons You Should Follow His Lead)". Forbes blogs. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  16. ^ Schawbel, Dan (Sep 13, 2016). "Simon Sinek: Why You Need Other People In Order To Build A Successful Career". Forbes. Retrieved Jan 12, 2017.
  17. ^ Burnett, Jane (August 23, 2017). "Millennials are telling you why your company stinks but you're not listening: a Q&A with Simon Sinek". Ladders. Retrieved January 6, 2018.