Simon Sinek offers a straightforward, moving and even poetic book on finding your joy in the service of others.
To vest in bestseller Simon Sinek’s guide to finding your magic, smell happiness. Turn to page five, scratch the page, bring the book close, shut your eyes and take a deep breath through your nose. The smell defies precise description, though Sinek identifies it as the scent of positive thinking. Whether you find something special in the wonderful scent or breathing deeply feels meditative, you may be soothed and relaxed as you absorb the poetic message of Sinek’s brief treatise. In this feast for the senses – including charming illustrations by Ethan M. Aldridge – Sinek celebrates the power of having courage, acting on your dreams, succeeding through teamwork and practicing servant leadership.
It doesn’t matter when we start. It doesn’t matter where we start. All that matters is that we start. Simon Sinek
In Sinek’s bestsellers Leaders Eat Last and Find Your Why, he discusses in depth the need to put others first, to pay attention to what your heart tells you and to find courage by vesting less in your ego. Here, he distills the themes of his longer, more business-oriented works to present straightforward advice for connecting to joy and nurturing it for yourself and those around you.
Love Your Life
Sinek asserts you should love your work, which should bring you safety and fulfillment. The author recognizes that your journey to this ideal place may require years, but he urges you to take the first steps now. He advises you not to accept anything less than career and life fulfillment.
Sinek tells you to spurn bad leaders and hostile work conditions by leading change or leaving to find a better place. If you think you don’t intend to remain in your job, he urges you to leave right now. Sinek does not ground this advice in today’s harsh employment realities; he’s preaching living idealistically.
Life is not beautiful because of the things we see or the things we do. Life is beautiful because of the people we meet. Simon Sinek
Most people do nothing, Sinek laments. Instead, figure out what you want and where you need to go to get it – and then go, the author recommends. Stand up for yourself, Sinek advises, but don’t acquiesce to or participate in internal politics, gossip, blaming and other toxic conditions that make so many workplaces unhappy.
To move forward, you must have a vision, he believes, not just a sense of what you oppose. The author exhorts you to find the fortitude that comes with knowing what you want. An uplifting vision of your future will inspire you to reach your goals. This aligns with Sinek’s theme: Embrace the positive.
You know you won’t get where you want to go by staying put. You know you have to leave someday and take risks, Sinek stresses, so make your move now. He warns you to avoid reacting to good advice defensively and accept it with an open mind. He reiterates that you must see yourself as a leader.
Working hard for something we don’t care about is called ‘stress.’ Working hard for something we love is called ‘passion’.Simon Sinek
Enjoy the wins, awards and promotions, the author advises, while savoring the journey. As you struggle through ordeals, he encourages you to view setbacks as necessary steps toward longer-term goals.
Say you’ve arrived. You’ve attained status, financial security and admiration, but Sinek has further questions: What will your legacy say about you? Who did you help? Whose lives did you change? What did you do to raise children of character? He is adamant that these questions – not wealth – define your legacy. As you lead, Sinek explains, you must help other people find their dreams. Taking these steps, he details, make you a servant leader.
Your servant leadership style, Sinek holds, will inspire others to feel pride and passion in their work. Take responsibility for the well-being of those who report to you and always prioritize their needs and success ahead of your own. Many leadership books tout servant leadership, but Sinek’s definition is among the simplest, clearest and most elegant.
The value of our lives is not determined by what we do for ourselves. The value of our lives is determined by what we do for others. Simon Sinek
Before you lead others, Sinek urges you to stop and think. Do you want the responsibility, he asks? Do you take more joy in helping others win than in winning for yourself? If these things inspire you, he teaches, you’re ready to find purpose and fulfillment and inspire others. Pick your teams and take control.
Togetherness matters, Sinek believes, because you accomplish more cooperatively than if you micromanage or intimidate your teams. The author maintains that if you travel with others – teammates and companions whom you trust and who trust you – you’ll get there faster and with greater joy. This isn’t a complex message, and Sinek doesn’t pretend that it is, but his perspective is reassuring and, at times, inspiring.
The Service of Leadership
Simon Sinek’s simple message will resonate deeply as you read the book, read his notes and, then, reread the book – which should take about 90 minutes. Don’t expect revelations; Sinek offers a solid, traditional, but timely and useful message about being brave, taking chances, loving life and work, and – his magic formula – putting others first. Sinek’s gentle framework will give shape to – and provide strategy for – your vision. Sinek is a brilliant guy, and never sentimental or cheesy, which elevates this brief work above most guides to joy.
Leadership is not a rank or position to be attained. Leadership is a service to be given.Simon Sinek
Ethan M. Aldridge’s fitting illustrations add to the book’s air of calm illumination and generosity. Sinek’s inspirational message will serve young and old, leaders, employees, parents, politicians and especially those about to embark on their careers.
Simon Sinek also wrote Leaders Eat Last, Start With Why, Find Your Why and The Infinite Game. Ethan M. Aldridge wrote and illustrated Estranged, Estranged #2 and The Legend of Brightblade. Other intelligent, inspirational works along these lines include Dare to Lead by Brené Brown and A Year of Positive Thinking by Cyndie Spiegel.