[October 2, 2015] Autumn began a little over a week ago and now we’re feeling some of the cooler weather here in New York City. That means a little rain too and some time to pull a few of my “want to read” books offs my shelf for learning more about the art of leadership. A book I’ve wanted to read for some time now is Simon Sinek’s. He has a little different perspective on leadership, one that should not be too surprising for military leaders. He also spoke at TED Talks back in 2010 shortly after his book came out (listen here); it gives a good summary of his book’s key points. I bought the book through Amazon for a great price and read it on my plane trip to Chicago.
Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, Simon Sinek, 2009.
Sinek’s Start with Why is popular but I must warn readers that a good number of people don’t like it – on style, I think – because it stretches his main point a bit much. The book is about how to succeed in the long-term and that may have to occur through the sacrifice in short-term gains. At its core, Sinek’s concept is that leaders should be providing inspiration. He calls this the “Golden Circle” whereby leaders inspire others through understanding why their organization exists, not through a conventional manipulation of the customer on what they do. By gaining the confidence of employees, customers, and stakeholders a business can stay on track to overcome competition and survive the inevitable volatility, complexity, and uncertainty that hurts our current business climate. I liked the book although it is a little repetitive (in the military we call this reinforcement training) but this is really not a complaint. I’ll place this book on my recommended reading list; a place it deserves for making me think.
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