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This book has 19 recommendations

Tony Hsieh (CEO/Zappos)

Over the years he’s [Tony Hsieh] recommended well over 20 business books — including his own, the 2010 bestseller Delivering Happiness and you can always find what he’s currently reading atop his cluttered desk. Start with Why is amogst those titles.

Theresa Evanoff (Founder/Gift-it-Forward)

Here are some of my favourites around purpose, positive habits, positive thinking, and business goals. I’m a firm believer that subject expertise can be learned, but character-building traits, like perseverance and purposefulness, must be honed.

  • “Purpose Driven Life”, Rick Warren
  • “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek
  • “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, Stephen Covey
  • "The Magic of Thinking Big", David J. Schwartz
  • "The Power of Positive Thinking" by Norman Vincent Peale
  • "The Hard Thing About Hard Things" by Ben Horowitz
  • “Good to Great”, Jim Collins
  • “Doing Good Well”, Willie Cheng

Richard Branson (Founder/Virgin Group)

Today is World Book Day, a wonderful opportunity to address this #ChallengeRichard sent in by Mike Gonzalez of New Jersey: Make a list of your top 65 books to read in a lifetime.

Tony Robbins (Life Coach)

The basis of this book is so important to anyone looking to increase their influence, profits or impact. People won't truly buy into a product, service, movement, or idea until they understand the WHY behind it. When you start with the why, everything else falls into place. This book is so impactful, I consider it required reading.

Robert Rodriguez (Founder/El Rey Network)

I realized better what I was doing when I read that book, and I gave it to people to show them how to clarify what they're doing right and what they're doing wrong. It's a very simple approach that they should take every day. [For instance] if you go to an actor and say, 'Hey, I'm a filmmaker and I'm making a low-budget movie, and I kind of need your name as a marquee to help sell it. I can't pay you very much, and it's going to be probably a lot of work, but if you want to be in it...' you're thinking about only yourself. And [the answer will be]: 'No, get the hell out of here' because all you're talking about is what you do and how you do it, which is: I make low-budget movies. Yeah, so what? It means you've got no money. Instead, I always start with a why. I go to them [and say], 'I love what you do. I've always been a big fan. I've got a part that you would never get. I believe in creative freedom. I don't work with the studios. I work independently. I'm the boss there. It's just me and my crew. It's very creative Ask any of your actor friends. They'll say: Go have that experience. [...] They're like, 'Yes'. Because it's all about what they can do and how it's going to fulfill them.

Neal O'Gorman (Serial Entrepreneur)

As I now meet with many aspiring entrepreneurs I find most of them failing on this front. They're also so eager to talk about what they are building. I've very consciously adopted the start with why approach. I'm keen to understand the Why them? - why are they are the right people to execute this idea - Why Now? - why is now the right time to make this idea work and indeed, why will their customer really want to buy their offering.

Jessica Lauria (Co-Founder/By Karen and Jess)

It’s amazing how many companies exist without ever knowing their ‘Why’ – it’s what we are always trying to uncover for clients in advertising and as a brand, something we always are trying to answer. Understanding the why gives you purpose so you know what you are striving for everyday.

Seth Louey (Co-Founder & CEO/BotList)

I love the book, "Start With Why” by Simon Sinek. It’s one of the most influential books that has changed how I perceive business and selling products.

Xi-Wei Yeo (Director/Living Theories)

Business: Start With WHY, by Simon Sinek. That book has been my go-to since I heard his Ted-talk in 2009, which was one of the 5 most watched Ted Talks of all time. This book isn’t a book about giving you “quick tips” or “insider info”, it’s about identifying WHY you do what you do. It’s a fundamental read, for startup founders and key decision-makers.

Ryan Len (Founder & Design Director/The Workbench)

It taught me to ponder about the existence of my business and what I can offer to my industry.

Stephen Lew (Director/The School of Positive Psychology)

When asked what books he would recommend to youngsters interested in his professional path, Stephen mentioned Start with Why.

Lex Na Wei Ming (CEO/

I’m currently reading Start with Why by Simon Sinek. He gave a Ted talk on this and I was mesmerised by his speech. I’m at the stage of building Bountie from ground up and I’m strengthening the Why for my employees, my customers (gamers), my investors and stakeholders. With a really good Why, we can all speak the same language and move quicker in the same direction.

Ee Ling Lim (CEO/SmarterMe)

Start With Why by Simon Sinek really changed the way I viewed passion and purpose. His key quote is that “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”. During my investment banking days, I spent a lot of time with senior management in trying to build a culture and to understand why the turnover rate amongst junior bankers was so high. We never figured it out. When I read Start With Why (after I left banking), it all clicked! It was never about drinks at 6 or team offsites. The simple reason was that we never knew our Whys - why do we do what we do? There was no purpose alignment, if we didn't even know what the company's purpose is. Now, whenever I speak to customers, partners or potential hires, I always talk about our Why. With some people, it doesn't click, but that's when I think it's for the better, because you can't build a lasting relationship without believing in an aligned purpose.

Bryan Choo (Founding Director/The Smart Local)

Question: What five books would you recommend to young people interested in your career path & why?


  • Anthony Robbins Unlimited Power
  • Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers / The Tipping Point
  • Stephen R. Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  • Simon Sinek's Start With Why
  • Robert Cialdini's Influence: Science and Practice

Alex Circei (CEO & Founder/Waydev)

Question: What five books would you recommend to young people interested in your career path & why?


  • Screw It, Let's Do It: Lessons In Life by Richard Branson
  • Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action by Simon Sinek
  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz
  • Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert T. Kiyosaki

Erik Rostad (Creator/Books of Titans project)

You can get books on particular skills you need for a given job, but these books will help having the right mindset for a career and how work should fit into the greater story of your life. For determining an overarching purpose: Start with Why by Simon Sinek.

Chris Goward (Founder/WiderFunnel & GO Group Digital)

Here are some of the books that have been very impactful for me, or taught me a new way of thinking: [...] Start with Why.

Brian Burkhart (Founder & Chief Word Guy/SquarePlanet Presentations & Strategy)

I’ve always enjoyed presentations, it was an area I had some skills. When I decided to make SquarePlanet, a real-deal business which revolves around presentations, the art and science behind them became crucial. One of the first things I did was jump into some TED Talks to try to figure out what made a talk great, versus what made one terrible. At the time, Simon Sinek’s “How great leaders inspire action” TED Talk was in the top five. It was eye opening. Then I picked up his book based on the talk, “Start With Why,” and I was just like—holy crap. As I was reading Simon’s book it clicked, this was what every bad presentation was missing. They didn’t have a core belief—the thing people stood for—presented in any way. They had it all backward. It was a pivotal moment, a brick to the face, that made me stop and say, “This is it!” I knew the model before there was a model—it was already built into my brain. Simon had laid it out in front of me, and it made complete sense. In some ways, it was like Rosetta Stone—unlocking so many ideas. Afterwards, it was easy for me to teach the model.

Corneliu Bodea (CEO / Adrem)

You need to answer the right questions at the right time.

Amazon description

In 2009, Simon Sinek started a movement to help people become more inspired at work, and in turn inspire their colleagues and customers. Since then, millions have been touched by the power of his ideas, including more than 28 million who’ve watched his TED Talk based on START WITH WHY -- the third most popular TED video of all time. Sinek starts with a fundamental question: Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others?

Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their success over and over? People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers had little in common, but they all started with WHY.

They realized that people won't truly buy into a product, service, movement, or idea until they understand the WHY behind it. START WITH WHY shows that the leaders who've had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way -- and it's the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.

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See more books recommended by

Tony Hsieh, Theresa Evanoff, Richard Branson, Tony Robbins, Robert Rodriguez, Neal O'Gorman, Jessica Lauria, Seth Louey, Xi-Wei Yeo, Ryan Len, Stephen Lew, Lex Na Wei Ming, Ee Ling Lim, Bryan Choo, Alex Circei, Erik Rostad, Chris Goward, Brian Burkhart, Corneliu Bodea

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Simon Sinek


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