As a devourer of books, I end up with all kinda of things on my To-Read list. There’s usually a disproportional amount of science fiction, fantasy, and social justice books on my list. Occasionally, there are random outliers that fall into the category of “You’re Reading WHAT?!” Start With Why by Simon Sinek is one of those books. It is, at its heart, a book on business management.
I Am Not A Businesswoman™ ← This is probably the first and foremost obvious thing about me. There is no planet in the universe where I would ever be mistaken for a businesswoman. Even if wearing a suit.
Especially if wearing a suit. That is, in fact, me doing my best impression of a lady wearing a suit. I even did my hairs. If we’re all honest, I couldn’t even pass off being a businesswoman on TV, and have you seen what TV-land thinks businesswomen look like? It’s hilars.
I might have business cards (Fun Fact: I have business cards!), but that doesn’t make me a businesswoman. So it’s somewhat perplexing that I’m currently reading a business management book. Right before Christmas, even. I mean, what the hell?
Start With Why was recommended to me by my favorite librarian and farm-enthusiast, Colleen. She is also not a businesswoman, which continues to make this whole thing very perplexing. As far as I know, neither of us even harbor secret dreams of running away and then running a business. We both would prefer to run away and pet some sheep. See? We’re both totally too irresponsible to ever be businesswomen.
I actually forget why she recommended me this book. I’m beginning to worry this may, in fact, be a problem considering the whole book is about Why. And yes, Sinek does capitalize Why because it’s just so gosh darn important.
I haven’t finished reading it yet, so I can’t vouch for or speak to the second half of the book. The first half, however, is surprisingly good. Relevant, even. Sure, thus far every example is about how ~awesome~ Apple is and how sad and whiney and pathetic every single other business on the planet is, as well as one random example of how Hitler and JFK are brothers of another mother. Though seriously, this Simon guy has a huge boner for Apple, Inc. Disclaimer: I do too.
Start With Why is all about flipping the design and communication processes on their heads in order to be more inspiring. Inspiration is apparently a way better customer than bribery. As someone who has worked quite a bit in the Special Education field, I find this interesting. I always start with the why of things when dealing with difficult behaviors. Why is x-behavior happening? How are we going to fix it? What are we going to do specifically? Badabing, badaboom.
The Why → How → What model is actually an incredibly effective problem solving tool. In fact, it’s pretty much one of two options, and is the vastly superior one. So why is this some major revelation for dudes in the business field? Are people who go into business really that inept at solving problems? Wait–don’t answer that.
In other news, the second serial of The Immortal Circus, written by the irreverent Alex Kahler came out today.