Simon Sinek – A Journey of 100 Steps

Type “Simon Sinek Quotes” and you get adjectives such as “amazing,” “inspirational,” and “awe-inspiring.” Type “Simon Sinek YouTube” and, among the results, you read things like “best speech ever” or “the video that will change your life.” Finally, type “Simon Sinek TED Talk” and you’ve just stumbled upon the third most watched TED Talk video in history.

People with such a portfolio don’t need a special introduction, do they?

Who Is Simon Sinek?

Simon SinekAs you may sometimes discern (if you are a language Sherlock Holmes, that is) from his somewhat strange-sounding accent, Simon Sinek was born in Wimbledon on 9 October 1973. Come to think of it, he could have been named Sebastian or Scott – but he was certainly not going to be a John or a Mark.

Because we believe that his family has a knack for the letter “S.”

Don’t believe us?

Well, his father’s name is Steve, his mother is called Susan, and his sister’s name is Sara. And if that isn’t enough for you, his mother has authored a desserts book.

Its title?

“Simply Scrumptious”! Now, don’t tell us that this isn’t some kind of a pattern!

By this point, somewhat unsurprisingly, Simon Sinek spent most of his childhood in South Africa. And that’s where the pattern breaks because afterward, his family moved to Hong Kong and London before Simon finally settled in the U.S.A.

He graduated in 1991 from Northern Valley Regional High School at Demarest, New Jersey, before completing a BA in cultural anthropology at Brandeis University. Planning to become a Barrister, Sinek went back to England and enrolled at City University London to study law. However, after a while, he left his studies to focus on a career in advertising.

He worked at Euro RSCG and Ogilvy & Mather, before launching his own business, SinekPartners.

His life changed in 2009 after he published his first book, “Start with Why,” and presented its ideas in an ultra-popular TED Talk which has been so far viewed by almost 40 million people.

In 2014, he published “Leaders Eat Last” which repeated the success of “Start with Why.” Since then, he has published two more books, “Together Is Better: A Little Book of Inspiration” and “Find Your Why.”

Analysists approximate that Simon Sinek’s total net worth is in the range of $15 million. We approximate that his next book will make him even richer, since it will be another bestseller.

And we also hypothesize that you’re going to love each of these books!

There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it, or you can inspire it.

Best Simon Sinek Books

#1. Start with Why Summary: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

By now, you surely know Simon Sinek’s “Golden Circle” thought model. As he himself stated in the third most watched TED Talk video in history, “it’s probably the world’s simplest idea.” However, as it has been proven over and over again throughout history, the ideas that change the world are actually simple.

After all, as Shinichi Mochizuki has probably found out by now, what’s the point in proving a long-standing math problem if nobody understands the solution? You know what they say: the tree which falls…

Well, the “Golden Circle,” elucidated in “Start with Why,” didn’t fall on deaf ears; on the contrary, its echo was resounding. The idea is that most companies – and people – know what they are doing and how they are doing it. The point, however, is to know why you are doing what you’re doing.

And this why is the be-all and end-all, the alpha and omega of success. If you don’t have it or lose it – don’t expect an appreciation from others. They have better things to do.

Like finding their whys.

People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.

#2. Find Your Why Summary: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team

If “Start with Why” was Simon Sinek’s theoretical breakthrough, “Find Your Why” was – and still is – the best step-by-step practical guide for those people who, though now convinced by Simon that they needed a why, went through a fair share of problems finding it.

Co-written with Peter Docker and David Mead, “Find Your Why” brims with practical exercises and applicable advises, action steps and explanatory illustrations. It addresses the most important concerns a person or a company on their path to their “whys” may have.

Practically anything from whether you can have two “whys” to what to do if a team can’t agree on a uniform “why,” from how to circumvent having an identical “why” with your competitors to what to do if your “why” doesn’t match your “how” and your “what.”

Essential for those who think that theory means nothing if not applicable.

If we want to feel an undying passion for our work, if we want to feel we are contributing to something bigger than ourselves, we all need to know our WHY.

#3. Leaders Eat Last Summary: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t

Between “Start with Why” and “Find Your Why,” Simon Sinek wrote a book which, in retrospect, one may consider a bridge between the “whys.” And its wisdom is as unconventional as its title: “Leaders Eat Last.”

The counter-intuitive idea behind it sounds a bit biblical.

Remember that scene at the Last Supper when Jesus washes the feet of his followers?

Well, if you remember it well, you certainly remember that Jesus counters the amazement of his disciples with a simple remark. “If I then, your Lord and Teacher,” he says, “have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” And he tops that with an even more memorable phrase. “For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.”

Well, that’s what “Leaders Eat Last” is about. If you are a leader and you wash the feet of your employers, don’t you think that they will wash your feet too?

Of course, we’re not talking about feet. We’re talking about good leaders making you feel safe.

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

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Best Malcolm Gladwell Books

“Simon Sinek Quotes”

Great companies don't hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire already motivated people and inspire them. Click To Tweet You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him. Click To Tweet It is not the genius at the top giving directions that makes people great. It is great people that make the guy at the top look like a genius. Click To Tweet The opportunity is not to discover the perfect company for ourselves. The opportunity is to build the perfect company for each other. Click To Tweet The greatest contribution of a leader is to make other leaders. Click To Tweet

Final Notes

Simon Sinek didn’t know what his why was for most of his life. After he found it, he realized that it’s related much more to the others than to himself. He wanted to help, to inspire and change people.

And, my god, he’s doing such a great job!

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Find Your Why Summary

Find Your Why SummaryA Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team

Unfortunately, most of our lives we spend so much time doing things, that we don’t have the time to ask ourselves why we are doing them. Really: what’s the meaning, the purpose of it all?

After pointing out to you almost a decade ago that you should always start with a why, Simon Sinek is back to teach you how to “Find Your Why.”

Who Should Read “Find Your Why”? And Why?

Simon Sinek is too popular to ignore anything he does.

And “Start With Why” – his debut book – was one of the things which made him so big. So, when that book gets a follow-up, it’s only normal than the answers to the above questions are as generalized as possible: 1) everyone; 2) because everyone wants to have a purpose and a direction in life.

Or, to quote Simon Sinek himself: “Find Your Why” is a book “for all of the people who want to learn their WHY, who want their companies to start with WHY, who want to help others find their WHY . . . for all of the people who want to help build a world in which the vast majority of people wake up inspired to go to work, to feel safe when they are there and to return home fulfilled by the work they do.”

About Simon Sinek, David Mead and Peter Docker

Simon SinekSimon Sinek is a British- American leadership consultant and motivational speaker. To say that he is one of the biggest names in both areas may be an understatement. His TED Talk, “How great leaders inspire action,” is the 3rd most viewed TED talk of all time. “Together Is Better” and “Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe” are just as beloved.

“Find Your Why” is his fourth book. Previously, he has published “Start With Why,” “Leaders Eat Last,” and “Together Is Better.”

David MeadDavid Mead is a corporate trainer whose worldview was turned upside down once he met Simon Sinek in 2009.

Inspired by his Golden Circle concept, he started working closely with him, first by developing content and then by organizing popular workshops. He has presented their ideas to over 150 organizations located on 5 continents.

Peter DockerPeter Docker is a keynote motivational speaker and popular leadership consultant. He is a former international negotiator for the UK government and Royal Air Force senior officer with combat experience.

In 2011, he joined Simon Sinek and his Start With Why team. His main focus is transforming Sinek’s theories into practical coaching manuals.

“Find Your Why Summary”

Have you ever asked yourself what’s the point of it all? What’s the meaning behind the things that you’re doing? What’s the purpose of your life?

Or, in short:

WHY are you doing what you’re doing right now?

It can be a depressing thing, we know. To tell you the truth, we ourselves have rarely bothered to ask our hearts and untethered souls such a troubling question. And even now, as we do, we are stunned to face the silence and the lack of satisfying answers.

But don’t take our word for it.

Simon Sinek went through the same process as well. At one point during his life, he discovered that there was nothing which really made him happy. He had lost all passion and enthusiasm for anything. His friends noticed his depression, so, naturally, they tried helping him by offering some advice.

Nothing worked.

Until Sinek decided to delve deep into his past and discover his WHY. Soon enough, he did: he wanted to inspire others. The rest – as they say – is history.

So, why don’t you go and try doing the very same yourself?

Dig deep in to your past and discover whether something you have done sometimes filled you with a feeling you won’t mistake for anything other than happiness. If so, stop – for a second, a minute, an hour, a week, a month! – and think it through why that was.

For example, a woman the authors worked with had all but given up on her life. She didn’t know what to do – and even less why to do it.

Through a series of long – and rather painful – conversations, the authors of “Find Your Why” did manage to locate the root of all her sadness: an abusive father. However, that part belongs to the past and psychology studies. The one which follows belongs to the future and motivational books.

Namely, the woman had a sister. And the thing that really made her feel as if she did something good with her life was few acts of self-sacrifice when she protected her sister. There was the revelation, there was the WHY: she wanted – really, really desired to help vulnerable people in need.

And, suddenly, her life made sense again.

However, discovering your WHY sometimes may not be as simple. You may need some external help such as the woman did in the above example.

So, try to casually slip your WHY conundrum in a conversation with some of your friends. Start retelling stories from the past and see where that will lead you. The only thing you need is a good listener with observant and curious mind. Because these people will try to find your WHY for you.

Few of them – and you just might have a winner.

Key Lessons from “Find Your Why”

1.      There’s No Point in Doing Anything Which Lacks a Profound WHY
2.      Discover Your WHY by Digging Deep into Your Past
3.      Next Time You’re Out with Someone for a Cup of Coffee – Please Tell Them Your WHY

There’s No Point in Doing Anything Which Lacks a Profound WHY

The only things you should be doing in life are the things which make you get out of your bed – happy and smiling. And the things which make you happy – are usually those you do because of a profound reason.

Your WHY.

If you remember Sinek’s “Golden Circle” explanation, this WHY is the center of the said circle, enclosed within the HOW and the WHAT. And it is what people buy – they don’t buy WHAT you do, neither HOW you do it. They buy it because of the WHY, the story behind it.

That’s why Apple is so huge. It just happens to produce computers – because it thinks differently. To them, the WHY is the more important of the HOW and the WHAT. And it is to us as well.

So, if companies can do it – why shouldn’t you be able as well?

Discover Your WHY by Digging Deep into Your Past

If you want to discover your WHY, the best way is to close your eyes and start thinking about the past. See what made you happy when you were a child – and try to find out why.

List all the stories. Maybe you’ll find some interrelations, some things which repeat as if a pattern.

For example, maybe you wanted to visit your grandparents not because you had time during the summer vacation, but because their house is next to a forest, which you were able to explore. And maybe you wanted to do the same when you went on those high school excursions.

If so – shouldn’t you be working as, say, an ecologist, instead of draining your life in that small, dark office of yours?

Next Time You’re Out with Someone for a Cup of Coffee – Please Tell Them Your WHY

Even when you discover your WHY, you’re merely halfway finished. Because – now you need to start following it.

And overcoming fear isn’t really an easy task.

However, there’s a great way to do this. And it’s fairly simple: just share the WHY. Tell it to others. Especially strangers.

When someone you’ve just met asks you “What do you do?” don’t beat around the bush saying things such as “Well, I was this and then that but plan on to become a third thing…”

Just say it out loud: “I’m an ecologist because I want to explore and preserve nature.” It may sound funny at first – but, believe us, your life depends upon it.

Because this practice will not only give you the much-needed confidence. It will also help you adjust your message. And it will also reassure you that you’re doing the right thing.

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“Find Your Why” Quotes

If we want to feel an undying passion for our work, if we want to feel we are contributing to something bigger than ourselves, we all need to know our WHY. Click To Tweet There’s just one problem with feelings. They can be tremendously difficult to express in words. That’s the reason we so often resort to metaphors and analogies. Click To Tweet When we align emotionally with our customers and clients, our connection is much stronger and more meaningful than any affiliation based on features and benefits. That’s what starting with WHY is all about. Click To Tweet There are two ways to build a career or a business. We can go through life hunting and pecking, looking for opportunities or customers, hoping that something connects. Or we can go through life with intention, knowing what our piece looks… Click To Tweet The opportunity is not to discover the perfect company for ourselves. The opportunity is to build the perfect company for each other. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Most people are writing self-help books. As Simon Sinek writes in the Foreword to this book, he and his team are focused on creating the “help-others” bookshop section.

True, “Find Your Why” is not as groundbreaking and as inspirational as its predecessor “Start With Why.” In fact, to many, some of the ideas in “Find Your Why” may seem nothing more but recycled versions of previous ideas Sinek has persuasively presented.

However, “Find Your Why” tends to be much more practical and applicable. And, even if repetitive, it can still inspire you to change your life.

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Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe Summary

Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe SummaryWhat describes a one-of-a-kind leader? The incentive to guard against any external factors that may jeopardize the stability of the company and as a result put the employees in a difficult position.

About Simon Sinek

Simon SinekSimon Sinek is the author of “Start With Why” and “Leaders Eat Last”; and he is also a non-profit consultant.

“Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe Summary”

When there is a threatening situation, out of instinct, people tend to adopt new ideas that apply to the rules. Sometimes these concepts are converted into devices, developed to enforce the rigidness of the system.

As an illustration, Simon shows this example – One day, a gate agent at the airport prevented a passenger from climbing on board too early.

The agent on numerous occasions explained its reaction: “If I don’t follow the rules, I could get fired or endanger my position.” Perhaps, such similar situation would not have raised the roof in other company that stimulates the employees to stick to the agenda without any exceptions.

Southwest Airlines, among them, is a firm whose roots are deeply connected to certain norms, which don’t endanger the efficiency and productivity.

If you want to keep a safe distance from corruption; show your unconditional support towards the employees. With the wind in their backs, they will improve the cooperation with the rest of the group, a mentality that elevates the company to the next level. Great leaders foster the employees to become moral and ethical individuals, a line that overlaps good parenting.

Protecting your employees’ interest is a responsibility for every CEO. However, many subordinates feel the injustice deriving from the disproportionately divided salaries. The art of betrayal is typical for many leaders, but it doesn’t serve the company’s long-term interests because it arouses a sense of deception and reduces productivity.

Unlike some of his fellow colleagues, CEO Bob Chapman refused to fire some of the employees due to the crisis that struck the world economy and inflicted a recession in 2008. As a response, he enforced the well-known four-week furlough program.

Instead of laying off only a small group of workers, he spread the stress and financial stroke evenly, at the expense of all members including the management.

We don’t know if you concur that real form of leadership can only be tested in times of crisis or not. Bob got more than he had ever bargained for, the employees with an intention to help those who could not afford any unpaid absence, swapped personal gain for compassion and friendship.

Evidently, rank and status don’t collide with leadership. Your authority grants you the right but not the command if you lack the ethical skills. Real leaders must exist at all layers, for the purpose of providing good care for their fellow colleagues.

Making sacrifices for improving the well-being and stability of others is a trait that is a rarity in today’s world. Nonetheless, leaders who put their people’s satisfaction first, deservedly hold the primacy – of true moral managers and decision-makers.

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“Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe” Quotes

If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears. Click To Tweet You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him. Click To Tweet If the conditions are wrong, we are forced to expend our own time and energy to protect ourselves from each other. When we feel safe inside the organization, we will naturally combine our talents and our strengths and work tirelessly to… Click To Tweet

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Together Is Better Summary

Together is Better SummaryTogether Is Better” is Simon Sinek’s third book, a short richly illustrated fable about three kids on a journey to a new playground. However, we felt that the talk it’s based upon is better structured and more appealing for now.

So, we summarized it.

About Simon Sinek

Simon SinekSimon Sinek is a British-born American motivational speaker, marketing and leadership consultant. He became a sensation with his talk “How great leaders inspire action,” the 3rd most viewed TED talk of all time. It’s an understatement to say that his first two books, “Start With Why” and “Leaders Eat Last,” followed suit: they started a movement.

“Together Is Better Summary”

Whenever we’ve talked about millennials before on our site, it seems that we’ve talked about their failures. In a nutshell: they are the generation destroyed by smartphones and multitasking.

However, Simon Sinek – and he’s an expert on millennials – claims that this reputation is not solely the millennials’ fault. And moreover, that, either way, we must do something about it. After all, many members of Generation Y are already your employees – or will very soon have to become.

So, understanding why they are the way they are is of utmost importance.

And in Simon Sinek’s opinion, there are four factors who have contributed to the current attitude of millennials.

First of all, parenting.

Generation Y was probably the first generation in history to enjoy the fruits of all those liberal approaches to child-raising. Sinek is brutal in his assessment: it was a “failed parenting strategy”.

Why?

Because, millennials were showered with praise regardless of how good they were as kids. This has rendered them incapable of dealing with things such as disagreements, criticism or even competition. And, even worse, it has made them overconfident.

So, they are either bound to become unmanageable employees or fall apart when they realize that rewards are related to good performances.

Secondly, technology.

All benefits aside, technology has one serious downside as well. Namely, it turns most of its users into addicts. And that’s because interactions with cellphones release dopamine, which is the neurochemical which makes you happy.

Of course there’s a problem: if devices make you happy, people may not so much. So, millennials are incapable of forming relationships. And may turn to alcohol or even suicide due to this feeling of complete isolation from their peers.

Thirdly, impatience.

Millennials are instant gratification monkeys: they want it all and they want it now. And, thanks to technology, in many cases they do have it. After all, why are Amazon and Netflix so popular services?

But, this attitude doesn’t transfer well to the serious world of adults. Because, instant gratification isn’t love, but sex; and isn’t a career, but a low-level employee moving from one job to another.

Finally, environment.

Millennials are victims of outdated management strategies which put the needs of the customers first and the needs of the employees last. Even though companies nowadays need dream managers, they are fully satisfied with one-minute managers.

Not a good idea!

So, what should leaders do to turn millennials into a productive generation?

Well, obviously, to teach them the value of relationships and patience, and the importance of criticism. And they should not do it through an intense one-off seminar; but through a careful implementation of such a culture within their company.

Key Lessons from “Together Is Better”

1.      Older Generations: Millennials Are Unmanageable
2.      Four Factors Have Made Millennials the Way They Are
3.      Here’s How You Can Successfully Lead Millennials

Older Generations: Millennials Are Unmanageable

Also known as the Generation Y, millennials are those people born sometime between 1984 and 2004. In the opinion of older generations, they are the worst! First of all, they are lazy. Secondly, they are egocentric and don’t want to learn. And thirdly – they think they are always right.

Now, how would you manage such a bunch of selfish nitwits?

Four Factors Have Made Millennials the Way They Are

Well, first of all, by understanding what made them what they are. And in Simon Sinek’s opinion, four factors have contributed to the shaping of Generation Y.

First of all, liberal parenting, which encouraged positive feedback even when the children hadn’t deserved it. Secondly, technology which made millennials incapable of forming long-term relationships. Thirdly, impatience which stemmed from technological instant gratification. And, finally, the environment – which hasn’t caught up with the new times.

Here’s How You Can Successfully Lead Millennials

And it’s not that difficult to lead millennials successfully. However, instead of focusing on how to change them, you need to focus on how to change the culture of your company. In other words, try to make your company comfortable for millennials. And they will pay you back big time!

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“Together Is Better” Quotes

We need to be the leaders we wish we had. Click To Tweet We treat problems with a pill instead of a person. Click To Tweet We’ve failed the millennial generation. We haven’t demonstrated empathy…So many leaders are so frustrated by this generation that they’ve given up trying to lead them. Click To Tweet Social media and mobile phones…release dopamine, and we have no age restrictions on this open access. It’s the equivalent of throwing open the liquor cabinet and telling our teenagers, ‘Try the vodka to help you get through your teenage… Click To Tweet The journey is what matters, not the summit. Career, or life or a relationship…is the journey…And sometimes there is an incredible view and sometimes it’s cloudy. And sometimes it’s a straight path and sometimes it’s rocky. Click To Tweet

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Top Leadership Books

There are two kinds of people: those who are led and those who lead them. We’re guessing you’re here because you want to be one of the latter.

News flash:

It’s both a thorny path and a hell of a responsibility once you get to the end! So, just like Frodo, you better find a good fellowship before you embark on your journey.

And we’ve rounded up the usual suspects. The top leadership books are here! – just for you.

#1. “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu

The Art of War SummaryIf you haven’t heard about “The Art of War” before, we’re probably not living on the same planet!

Speaking of which: the author of this book, a Chinese military general named Sun Tzu, might have been from another planet as well! It’s kind of fascinating to think that he lived over two and a half millennia ago, and wrote something which is still widely read by CEOs worldwide.

In fact, it has influenced leaders as diverse as General MacArthur, Marc Benioff, and Bill Belichick!

In thirteen sections, each analyzing different aspects of warfare strategies, “The Art of War” serves as a perennial reminder that the business world is a modern battlefield. And that you need to be prepared for everything to gain the advantage and win.

#2. “Lincoln on Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times” by Donald T. Phillips

Lincoln on Leadership SummaryAbraham Lincoln is nowadays almost routinely ranked by both scholars and the public as one of the greatest – if not the greatest – US presidents. And this even though he had the unfortunate trouble of leading the country through its bloodiest war, and its greatest political crisis. In four years’ time!

Donald T. Phillips’ book was the first to go through the skills and talents which made Lincoln such a capable leader. And it doesn’t only examine what Lincoln did to overcome the insurmountable obstacles he faced. It also explains how his actions are relevant today, as well.

Read it! Especially, if you are ever in need of a strategy for some tough times. Because, let’s face it, you’ll never have more problems than Lincoln did.

#3. “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl

Man's Search For Meaning SummaryThe inclusion of Viktor E. Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning” in a list of top books about leadership may seem a bit odd. After all, the book chronicles the experiences of the famous Austrian psychiatrist in Nazi prison camps during the Second World War!

But, that’s once again the point! Just as Lincoln can teach you something about leadership because he had to lead the US through the Civil War, Frankl can teach you even more because he survived through Auschwitz.

His main observation: the people who survived the Holocaust were the ones who didn’t give up. And they never gave up, because they had some purpose in life. A goal, which gave them the right mindset to understand that even suffering may be a teacher.

Possibly, the best one.

#4. “On Becoming a Leader” by Warren Bennis

On Becoming Leader SummaryOne of the ultimate leadership classics; maybe even the book to read if you want to learn what is a good leader. In fact, that’s the exact question Warren Bennis – once described by “Forbes” magazine as the “the dean of leadership gurus” – posits to hundreds of different people, from a wide array of professions.

In “On Becoming a Leader” you’ll find the question answered by a host of executives and entrepreneurs, but also by numerous philosophers, psychologists, scientists, and entertainers. Well-researched, broad, and thorough, “On Becoming a Leader” should be your Leadership 101.

#5. “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… And Others Don’t” by Jim Collins

Good to Great SummaryIt’s hard turning a mediocre into good company after years of averageness; and it seems impossible to turn it into a great one.

Based on a 5-year study which included an in-depth analyses and contrast/compare study of the strategies and practice of 28 different companies, “Good to Great” is Jim Collins’ attempt to get to the bottom of the causes which separate the great companies from the good ones. And his findings are both surprising and enlightening!

Want to become a Level 5 leader, that is, the humble guru who always does what’s best for his company? Read this book and find out how.

(Spoiler alert: Level 5 leadership is merely one of the seven characteristics of great companies.)

#6. “Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman

Primal Leadership SummaryObviously, vulnerability is not something you’ll look for in a good leader instinctively.

Let us rock your world:

Primal Leadershipfurther reinforces “Good to Great’s” conclusion that the most successful companies are led by humble leaders! Moreover, Daniel Goleman, the author who popularized the concept “emotional intelligence,” claims that great leaders possess something even more special: a quality called “resonance.”

It basically means that they are in touch with their emotions; and that they are able to channel even their negative responses in a positive direction.

Both revolutionary and long-lasting, as far as leadership development books go, “Primal Leadership” is a no-brainer on any top list!

#7. “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” by Simon Sinek

Start With Why SummaryAs Sun Tzu enlighteningly taught us in “The Art of War,” all the preparation works only if it’s put into practice. Or, in other words, we have strategies so that we know how to act promptly when some situations inevitably occur.

In “Start with Why,” our favorite humanity-lover optimist Simon Sinek, shows how it’s not only about the actions of the great leaders themselves, but it’s also about the actions they inspire in the people around.

And where does inspiration come from?

Well, it’s not in the “how” – it’s in the “why.” Because only when you know why you want to be the CEO of a certain company, you’ll know how to run that company.

And what to tell those around you to inspire them to act the right way.

#8. “Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t” by Simon Sinek

Leaders Eat Last SummaryWhen we started making this list, we wanted each author represented with one book only. And just a few seconds later, we couldn’t decide which Simon Sinek book on leadership is the better one. So, we’ve decided on both.

After all, they are a perfect pair! Because, if “Start with Why” is about the “why,” then “Leaders Eat Last” is definitely about the “how.”

And, just like many of the books on this list, it’s once again about the “hows” of being a good leader; not a Machiavellian one. The latter one is obsolete nowadays, says Sinek here. The good one eats last, and, thus, creates a Circle of Safety, i.e. a group of loyal coworkers and employees who love him and follow him blindly – because they believe his vision.

You know: a fellowship.

#9. “Turn the Ship Around: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders” by L. David Marquet

L. David MarquetTurn the Ship Around Summary takes Simon Sinek’s advice and raises it by one!

Why not, he says, instead of creating a nice little camaraderie of colleagues/friends who follow you for the right reasons, try to turn your subordinates into leaders just like you!

Bearing in mind the fact that Marquet is a former U.S. Navy captain, this may not seem like such a wise idea. However, as he explicates in “Turn the Ship Around,” it more than works! In fact, it’s what transformed the crew of the USS Santa Fe submarine from “worst to best”.

Think operating your company is harder than captaining a submarine?

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#10. “How to Win Friends and Influence People: The Only Book You Need to Lead You to Success” by Dale Carnegie

How to Win Friends and Influence People SummaryWhen it was first published in 1936, the subtitle of Dale Carnegie’s bestseller might have seemed a bit pretentious. Fast forward a century, and 30 million people would certainly beg to differ! No wonder the book made it in the Top 20 of “Time Magazine’s” list of most influential books. Ever.

But, what can today’s leaders learn from “How to Win Friends and Influence People”?

Well, mostly the same they would from reading Socrates – a little between the lines. And that is, that people are egotistical and think they know everything, when they actually know little.

Carnegie’s advice: use it your benefit. A combination of charm and the right number of compliments can turn self-dubbed lions into hand-eating sparrows.

And the best part: they’ll think they lead you whilst you’re pulling the strings!

#11. “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change” by Stephen R. Covey

7 Habits of Highly Effective People SummaryThe first non-fiction book to sell more than one million copies of its audio version, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” proved to have been both a paradigm shifter, and a timeless leadership manual.

Engagingly and with a lot of bravado, Stephen R. Covey claims that good leaders are good people as well, and that they all share seven characteristics.

The first three define their independence. Namely, they are proactive, with a mission statement, and a personal vision. The second three habits talk about their interdependence. In other words, they value people, respect and understand their opinions, and are capable of combining their strengths. Finally, they continually improve.

Covey would later go on and add one more habit – but, that’s a different book.

#12. “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You” by John C. Maxwell

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership SummaryEven across two books, Covey ends up with 8 habits which define leaders. In “21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” John C. Maxwell lists three times more. Obviously. Even more obviously – he thinks they are indisputable.

Now, a short summary may do enough for seven rules – but 21? No, we’re not even going to try to list them.

But, we’ll tell you that, for example, Maxwell’s law of influence explains why Abraham Lincoln was demoted from a captain to a private. Or, that if McNamara knew his law of solid ground the Vietnam War might have been a different affair. Or, that the law of buy-in is the inspiration behind the passive resistance movement.

Now – did we tickle your fancy?

#13. “Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World” by Adam Grant

Originals SummaryIf you want to be the leader of the pack, you have to be someone who doesn’t belong in the pack. And in “Originals,” Adam Grant teaches you how – and why – you must be different. For the sake of humanity.

Because, as he shows through a lot of interesting studies and real-life-examples, if it was left to the conformists, humanity may have never moved an inch!

For example, did you know that the pilot episode of “Seinfeld,” possibly the greatest sitcom ever, was deemed to be “weak” and “unwatchable”? And that it was saved by a TV executive who didn’t even work in comedy?

The conformists believe in the holiness of the status quo. The originals try to disrupt it. In which group do you think the good leaders belong?

#14. “Wooden on Leadership” by John Wooden

 Wooden on Leadership SummaryIf you’re not a sportsperson, you may have never heard of John Wooden. Which is a pity, because he was so successful and revered as a coach, that they nicknamed him “Wizard”!

In “Wooden on Leadership” – one of the seven books on leadership he authored – you can easily see why. Everything is so magical. Neatly structured and organized, and, yet – inspirational as hell! (After all, he was a basketball coach, so no lack of inspirational messages here, folks!)

So, what are you waiting for? Acquire this book and start leafing through the reasons behind Wooden’s achievements. You’ll be hooked by Chapter 1 already, dedicated to his triangular 25-behavior high “Pyramid of Success”!

Oh, you know that pyramid? Well, it’s his!

#15. “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” by Sheryl Sandberg

Lean In SummaryWe can tell you so much about the significance of this book by merely going through Sheryl Sandberg’s portfolio.

First, chief of staff for United States Department of the Treasury Lawrence Summer. Then, a vice president for online sales at Google. And then, the first woman to serve in Facebook’s board of directors. Finally, Facebook’s COO.

Also, a billionaire and a Time 100 laureate in 2012.

If she can’t tell you a thing or two about gender equality – who can? Here’s a quick preview for all the members of the gentler sex: seize the day! Lean into your careers. And take back what you’ve been unjustly deprived of for millennia!

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8 must-read books on leadership

8 leadership books

Whether you’re a manager or employee, we all need to lead at some point in our lives. Meetings, projects, taking charge of a personal problem or maybe just helping others deal with their own problems.

Good leadership is a skill that’ll greatly improve your life, and who better to learn it from than those who’ve mastered it? These must-read leadership books will show you how great leaders think and act.

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Start with Why Summary

Start with Why Summary

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

This book summary represents the gate in a big tower; you are the brave prince trying to rescue the princess. Undoubtedly this book will answer many of your questions and keep you wondering “Why, How and What.” If you don’t know how to begin – Start With Why!!

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BEST Leaders Eat Last Summary – Simon Sinek

Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek

When it comes to creating a successful business, everyone has a part to play. Are you an employee? What’s your level of engagement? Do you believe in the company’s mission? Are you leading a team or even an organization? What are you? A leader or a boss? Simon Sinek’s Leaders Eat Last explains why the values of a company’s leader can make or break it.

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