By Lori Dubois, Owner of Marketing Troubadour and CWCC Member
Book Review: Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
By Simon Sinek
If you’ve been feeling like you need something to inspire your marketing and your business, start by reading “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek. Sinek talks a lot about inspiration through a different way of thinking than the norm. His simple model goes like this: all business owners know what they do, some know how they do it, but many don’t know why they do it. He boldly claims that “people don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.” This model (he calls it The Golden Circle) is explained in a way that makes a lot of sense, including comparing it to the different parts of our brain, the limbic brain and the neocortex, proving that “gut decisions” are really made in our brains, not our stomach.
Don’t let the science fool you, though. This book is full of real-life stories about people and businesses who do, and did, things well. Sinek uses Southwest Airlines, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Apple, Costco, the Wright brothers, and others to illustrate that your WHY inspires people and makes them want to follow you, do business with you, and be part of your ‘club’. Your WHY enables you to connect with people who believe what you believe, which is how movements begin, companies flourish, and empires are built (OK, that is from me, not him). Perhaps this sounds a little dramatic, but we all want to be part of something we believe in. Sinek also includes examples of companies who made blunders when they tried things that people perceived did not align with their WHY.
Judging from the title and subtitle of this book, is it really about leadership or is it about marketing? If you think about it, aren’t they the same thing? Pick up a copy and start reading today. Sinek conveys solid knowledge in an inspirational and storytelling manner, teaching you something without reading like an academic text. I bet you will feel inspired to discover or refine your own WHY after these 200 pages are finished. In addition, watch Sinek’s TED talk on the same topic—over eighteen million people can’t be wrong.
Lori Dubois is the owner of Marketing Troubadour, a marketing and branding firm focused on growing businesses through market, message, and methods. She uses storytelling as a tool for organizations to understand and communicate their WHY so they can attract the right people to grow and thrive. Her 25+ years of experience in marketing and advertising, combined with a Master’s Degree focusing on research and knowledge management, led Lori to found Dubois Information in 2008. Five years later, she changed the firm’s name to Marketing Troubadour to reflect the real-life, hands-on relationship she has with clients in helping them with their branding and marketing objectives. She is passionate about storytelling as a highly effective way to increase marketing effectiveness. In addition to developing and implementing messaging and marketing communication methods, Lori is a speaker and author on all things marketing and branding related, and has served on boards of two not-for-profit organizations.
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