Start with Why Summary Author says there are leaders and there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of power or influence. Those who lead inspire us. Whether individuals or organizations, we follow those who lead not because we have to, but because we want to. We follow those who lead not for them, but for ourselves.
Start with Why Summary
The Author says great leaders, in contrast, are able to inspire people to act. Those who are able to inspire give people a sense of purpose or belonging that has little to do with any external incentive or benefit to be gained. Those who truly lead are able to create a following of people who act not because they were swayed, but because they were inspired.
Leadership requires people to stick with you through thick and thin. Leadership is the ability to rally people not for a single event, but for years. In business, leadership means that customers will continue to support your company even when you slip up.
There is a big difference between repeat business and loyalty. Repeat business is when people do business with you multiple times. Loyalty is when people are willing to turn down a better product or a better price to continue doing business with you.
People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it. And it is Apple’s clarity of WHY that gives them such a remarkable ability to innovate, often competing against companies seemingly more qualified than they, and succeed in industries outside their core business.
Knowing your WHY is not the only way to be successful, but it is the only way to maintain a lasting success and have a greater blend of innovation and flexibility. When a WHY goes fuzzy, it becomes much more difficult to maintain the growth, loyalty and inspiration that helped drive the original success.
Clarity of Why
It all starts with clarity. You have to know WHY you do WHAT you do. If people don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it, so it follows that if you don’t know WHY you do WHAT you do, how will anyone else?
If a politician can’t articulate WHY she seeks public office beyond the standard “to serve the people” (the minimum rational standard for all politicians), then how will the voters know whom to follow?
Discipline of How
The Author says once you know WHY you do what you do, the question is HOW will you do it? HOWs are your values or principles that guide HOW to bring your cause to life. HOW we do things manifests in the systems and processes within an organization and the culture.
The most important question with the most elusive answer—WHY do you do what you do?—is actually quite simple and efficient to discover (and I’ll share it in later chapters). It’s the discipline to never veer from your cause, to hold yourself accountable to HOW you do things; that’s the hardest part.
Consistency of What
Everything you say and everything you do has to prove what you believe. A WHY is just a belief. That’s all it is. HOWs are the actions you take to realize that belief. And WHATs are the results of those actions everything you say and do: your products, services, marketing.
The only way people will know what you believe is by the things you say and do, and if you’re not consistent in the things you say and do, no one will know what you believe.
After you have clarity of WHY, are disciplined and accountable to your own values and guiding principles, and are consistent in all you say and do, the final step is to keep it all in the right order.
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