Start With Why

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Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
Start With Why.jpg
AuthorSimon Sinek
2011 reprinted
Publication date

Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action is a book by Simon Sinek.[1][2][3]


The book starts with a comparison of the two main ways to influence human behaviour: manipulation and inspiration. Sinek argues that inspiration is the more powerful and sustainable of the two.

The golden circle[edit]

The golden circle diagram, redrawn from Start With Why

Sinek says people are inspired by a sense of purpose (or "Why"), and that this should come first when communicating, before "How" and "What". Sinek calls this triad the golden circle, a diagram of a bullseye (or concentric circles or onion diagram) with "Why" in the innermost circle (representing people's motives or purposes), surrounded by a ring labeled "How" (representing people's processes or methods), enclosed in a ring labeled "What" (representing results or outcomes). He goes on to speculate about the biological factors behind this structure, such as the limbic system.


Ken Krogue, in a blog post for Forbes, argued that it is far more important, especially for salespeople, to find the right person (which Krogue called "starting with Who") before "starting with Why":

Great salespeople always start with Who. Then they move to Why, What, and How. And then eventually to When, and How Much. ... Now once you get to the right Who, Simon Sinek is spot-on about beginning the conversation with Why. The Why is a game changer in selling modern technology.[4]

The book sold well.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kerwin, Ryan (February 2013). "Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action (book review)" (PDF). Army Lawyer: 28–31.
  2. ^ Knight-Wallace, Carol (October 2014). "Inspire Teams With Why (book review)". Journal for Quality and Participation. 37 (3): 39–40.
  3. ^ Kavanagh, Shayne (April 2015). "The Essential Variable in Leadership (book review)" (PDF). Government Finance Review. 31 (2): 56–58.
  4. ^ Krogue, Ken (6 July 2015). "Simon Sinek Says 'Start With Why,' But Sales Experts Disagree". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-05-01.
  5. ^ Kauflin, Jeff (June 20, 2017). "The Year's Five Bestselling Leadership Books, And Why They're So Great".