Video: Start With Why Book Club Part 2 - Simon Sinek

January 4th, 2021


How do you know if your why is something you can lead with? (5:45)

If you ever made a friend, you know

Whys are compatible

Tribal connection

Not all other people



What if you're not in a position of authority, but you can clearly see the why? (7:10)

Organisations are started with a why.

Often not articulated.

Leaders / entrepreneurs falsely believe the why is clear to everyone.


Are we changing the way we try to fit or belong to a group in this covid period? (9:00)

Superficial things fall away

We feel more connected


Since publishing of book, a lot has changed in tech industry, Apple still great? (10:40)

It takes long for a large company to completely lose it's why.


If you're graduating college, how do you launch yourself in this uncertain future? (12:45)

Future is always uncertain

Crisis is opportunity for reinvention

Company defined by what they do, struggle with reinventing themselves.

Defined by why, more opportunities, easier to reinvent


It's the journey

First job is not last job

First job is not best job

It's about learning what you want


How to spread a why through an organization? (16:15)

The why probably does not have to do with the climate the manner in which you're bringing your why to life has to do with the climate. A why, almost always, has to do with human beings. And if climate weren't a challenge in our lives right now, your why would be the same. You'd be bringing it to life in a new way.


How to spread it?

  • Talk about it.

  • Start meeting with it

  • Put it on the website

  • Give speeches to teams

  • Reward people who advanced the cause

  • Build into incentive structure

  • Talk about it obsessively


Put stuff on walls, stairwells.


How can we clearly understand our why? (19:10)


Program: Jumpstart your why

See website

90 minutes


Friends exercise:

Friend you love and who loves you.

Not family member, not spouse, that relationship is too close

The friend you could call at 3 o clock in the morning

Ask the question:

  • "why are we friends?"

  • "What is it about me, that I know, that you would be there for me, no matter what?"

They will struggle to put into words.

They will start rationalizing

Play devil's advocate

  • "that's the definition of a friend"

  • "what specifically is it about me, that I know that you would be there no matter what?"

They'll get frustrated.

You'll keep playing devil's advocate

  • "that's just the definition of a best friend"

Eventually they'll give up.

Eventually they'll start to describe themselves

  • "I don't know Simon, all I know is I can just sit in a room with you, I don't even have to talk to you, and I feel inspired"

What they finally articulate, is the value you have in their lives.

And you'll have some sort of an emotional reaction.

  • Goosebumps

  • Well up

The things we give to the world, is the value our friends have for us.

If you do this with multiple friends, you will get exactly the same answer, if not very very close.

Because the value we have is our why.

Is a personal why the same as a business why? (22:30)


Why is basically an origin story, where we come from


Individual: sum total of

  • How we were raised

  • Lessons we learned from our parents, friends, experiences we had growing up


Company takes the why of the founder


Goal: keep it clear when you get successful


Why of a tribe

Person that says "I'm gonna start my own tribe"


Who inspires you and why? (24:30)

Friends, people I wrote about

Have you seen any companies change because of learning about the golden circle? (25:30)

Younger companies

  • Sweet green

  • Airbnb

  • Cliffbar

Bob Chapman saw TED talk, "I built this company and you put words to it"

Paramedics, medics, why is clear, but how to keep going? (27:30)

Take care of each other

Mental energy

You have to have emotions

Get that stress out

How to explain golden circle to young officers? (29:40)

What defines the uniformed forces are the cultures. They have different cultures.

  • Airforce: find a better way to do things

  • Marines

  • Army

How do you know your why is going fuzzy? How to keep clear? ()

Metaphor health


  • Stress goes up

  • Joy of work

  • Relationships will struggle "I don't know who you are anymore"


Get it back? Cf 12 step program

  • Admit the problem

  • Ask for help


Surround yourself with symbols

  • Color orange

  • Pictures of people who remind

  • Quotes

  • Little labels

Take advantage of all the open spaces to remind yourself (walls, stairs,...)


How do you move forward as an introvert, when your why requires you to be an extrovert?

Why never demands extrovert

Job (aka what) may demand extravert


Book: Quiet - Susan Cain

Introvert wakes up with 5 coins, every social interaction takes a coin. End of the day, depleted

Extrovert wake up without, every social interaction gives a coin. End of day, richer.


How do you seperate why from ego?

Why: knowing where you come from

Ego: self-opinion

  • Healthy: thinking you're good

  • Unhealthy: thinking you're better than others

People with huge healthy ego, think they're good, know they're good. But if you come in and say "hey I have an idea" they lean in


What are best ways of making why accessible to staff?

Sense of your why in your gut

To make it accessible, you have to find words that connect to people

Eg. Martin Luther King put into words what many people felt


"you put into words, something I have been trying to say for years"


Can there be an overdoing of the why? Like a cult status or something?

Are the people in service to the people, or in service to themselves?



You can accuse any organisation with strong culture as cult-like



Leader puts the self first

Using everyone else to benefit their needs and goals


Great leaders see themselves as in service for the people.


What is the relationship between intuition and the why?

Why exists in limbic brain

  • Feelings

  • Behavior

  • Not language

Knowing your why enhances intuition

Root of intuition is your why


The more we practice

  • Starting with why

  • Leading with why

  • Making decision with why

The stronger our intuition becomes


How do you help everyone in your organisation to find their why?

  • Friends exercise

  • Book: find your why - Simon Sinek

  • Individual

  • Workshop: Jumpstart your why

  • Pay what you like

  • See website, free download (eg. Friends exercise)

How does imposter syndrome factor into finding your why?

The clearer the why is, the less susceptible you are to imposter syndrome


Imposter syndrome: wondering if you have any role to play here

"Why are they taking advice from me? What the heck do I know?"


Why gives quiet calm


Remind people: I don't have the answer, I don't think I'm right, I offer a perspective.

Set the expectation, hedge against the imposter syndrome. Not an expert, but a student on a journey.


How do you deal with a leader whose why is good and focused, but the how not good for the employees?

Golden Circle: every piece is equally important, why is most often forgotten

If any is kissing, you are off balance


The fact that the why is strong in this organisation or in this leader, but the how's they don't follow a set of clear values, then they're out of balance, the golden circle is out of balance, and that's where they have to work.


By the way, you can have a super strong why and a super strong how, but if you don't produce anything that helps bring it to life... And all you're doing is, you know, doing whatever job you can find, and like not paying attention to finding a tribe or finding a company, where you feel like you belong. Then your why can be crystal clear. Your values can be crystal clear. And you're going to be struggling and feel stress. Because you're in a place that isn't where you should be.


Each piece of the golden circle, must be in balance for that

  • Calm confidence

  • Focus

  • Joy

  • Fulfillment

  • Inspiration

Each piece has to be there, no one piece is more important than the other.

What's more important, why or Vision?

Equally important they are different things

Why, comes from the last, we look for patterns across your life, when things were naturally going extremely well. That pattern is our why

Only one


Vision is where we're going


Any you want

Multiple visions, one for company, family,...

Just cause, so just we would willingly sacrifice

What if my why does not match the why of your colleagues?

You probably don't get along


If they all belong, and you don't:

  • Change teams

  • Change company


You're gonna struggle to get along


Find a place where you can find common values.


Find common human ground with those colleagues


How can we best prepare ourselves for the new normal, without knowing what it is?


World is constantly changing


It's more clear now, because it's sudden.


Not: how do we prepare for new normal?

Yes: given the current circumstances right now, how can I bring to life what I believe in a new way?

Eg. In person is gonna be delayed for a while. How can we create new ways of social closeness?

Eg. Book club is a mechanism for social closeness

Don't worry about the future, adapt for now.