I read a lot, and it is generally a solitary activity for me. I enjoy discussing interesting books, but I have yet to find a good book club that consistently reads books that I find interesting. Plus, I like to read on my own schedule. There’s something to be said about having that control.
While I continue to search for the perfect book club, I frequently try to rope family and friends into discussing my favorite books by recommending them. This rarely works. (Except for A Game of Thrones. I’ve talked three girls into reading all 5,000 pages. I’m very proud of this trivial fact.)
I realize now that providing a recommendation alone is not enough for most others to read these books. I need to give a little more meat to entice people. While at the same time, I need to make it easier for them to get interested. As such, I’m going to start sharing my highlights of books I really like. I figure most people are more likely to commit to reading a book after skimming highlights for 2 minutes.
- You need to mark up the book with pen, pencil, and/or highlighter. This can be very time consuming. It also just feels wrong to me. It’s like you’re defiling the book. Plus I think it’s frowned upon if you read from library books.
- You need to transcribe the notes into a sharable format. Also extremely time consuming.
Fortunately technology minimizes the inconvenient barriers to sharing. You can highlight any passage in less than 5 seconds on a Kindle. Then you can upload those highlights from the cloud at kindle.amazon.com into Evernote to share with others, like I’m about to do now.
So without further ado, I want to share Simon Sinek’s Start with Why. Sinek’s book resonated with me and has me wondering what my Why is. This is a book I desperately want to talk about with others. My highlights are shown below.
If you’ve already read the book please let me know. If you haven’t read it yet, but are interested in it, also please let me know!
Thanks for reading.
You have 25 highlighted passages
There are leaders and there are those who lead.
Read more at location 152
What the American automakers did with their rubber mallets is a metaphor for how so many people and organizations lead. When faced with a result that doesn’t go according to plan, a series of perfectly effective short-term tactics are used until the desired outcome is achieved. But how structurally sound are those solutions? So many organizations function in a world of tangible goals and the mallets to achieve them. The ones that achieve more, the ones that get more out of fewer people and fewer resources, the ones with an outsized amount of influence, however, build products and companies and even recruit people that all fit based on the original intention. Even though the outcome may look the same, great leaders understand the value in the things we cannot see.
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Manipulations are a perfectly valid strategy for driving a transaction, or for any behavior that is only required once or on rare occasions.
Read more at location 490
In any circumstance in which a person or organization wants more than a single transaction, however, if there is a hope for a loyal, lasting relationship, manipulations do not help.
Read more at location 493
WHY: Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do. When I say WHY, I don’t mean to make money—that’s a result. By WHY I mean what is your purpose, cause or belief? WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care?
Read more at location 575
It’s worth repeating: people don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.
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If a customer feels inspired to buy a product, rather than manipulated, they will be able to verbalize the reasons why they think what they bought is better. Good quality and features matter, but they are not enough to produce the dogged loyalty that all the most inspiring leaders and companies are able to command. It is the cause that is represented by the company, brand, product or person that inspires loyalty.
Read more at location 734
Decision-making and the ability to explain those decisions exist in different parts of the brain.
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It is all about degrees of certainty. “I can make a decision with 30 percent of the information,” said former secretary of state Colin Powell. “Anything more than 80 percent is too much.” There is always a level at which we trust ourselves or those around us to guide us, and don’t always feel we need all the facts and figures.
Read more at location 881
Remember the Honda and the Ferrari? Products are not just symbols of what the company believes, they also serve as symbols of what the loyal buyers believe.
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For values or guiding principles to be truly effective they have to be verbs. It’s not “integrity,” it’s “always do the right thing.” It’s not “innovation,” it’s “look at the problem from a different angle.”
Read more at location 972
Trust does not emerge simply because a seller makes a rational case why the customer should buy a product or service, or because an executive promises change. Trust is not a checklist. Fulfilling all your responsibilities does not create trust. Trust is a feeling, not a rational experience. We trust some people and companies even when things go wrong, and we don’t trust others even though everything might have gone exactly as it should have. A completed checklist does not guarantee trust. Trust begins to emerge when we have a sense that another person or organization is driven by things other than their own self-gain.
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It’s hard to lead when those whom you are supposed to be leading are not inclined to follow.
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That’s what a WHY does. When it is clearly understood, it attracts people who believe the same thing.
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When employees belong, they will guarantee your success. And they won’t be working hard and looking for innovative solutions for you, they will be doing it for themselves.
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The goal is to hire those who are passionate for your WHY, your purpose, cause or belief, and who have the attitude that fits your culture. Once that is established, only then should their skill set and experience be evaluated.
Read more at location 1343
Great companies don’t hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire already motivated people and inspire them.
Read more at location 1356
people often go out of their way, pay a premium or suffer an inconvenience to buy a product that resonates on a visceral level with them.
Read more at location 1830
If people don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it, and if all the things happening at the WHAT level do not clearly represent WHY the company exists, then the ability to inspire is severely complicated.
Read more at location 2241
value is a perception, not a calculation, which is the reason companies make such a big deal about investing in their brand. But a strong brand, like all other intangible factors that contribute to the perception of value, starts with a clear sense of WHY.
Read more at location 2724
Money is never a cause, it is always a result.
Read more at location 2915
When people know WHY you do WHAT you do, they are willing to give you credit for everything that could serve as proof of WHY. When they are unclear about your WHY, WHAT you do has no context. Even though the things you do or decisions you make may be good, they won’t make sense to others without a clear understanding of WHY.
Read more at location 2924
Finding WHY is a process of discovery, not invention.
Read more at location 3026
All leaders must have two things: they must have a vision of the world that does not exist and they must have the ability to communicate it.
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Leaders don’t have all the great ideas; they provide support for those who want to contribute. Leaders achieve very little by themselves; they inspire people to come together for the good of the group. Leaders never start with what needs to be done. Leaders start with WHY we need to do things. Leaders inspire action.
Read more at location 3211