This book and Simon’s TED talk have a great message: all things are more powerful, in business and in life, when we are clear and consistent about WHY we are doing something.  WHY we are in business, WHY we are taking a new job, WHY we live where we live.

There really is only one message in both the talk and the book: always start with WHY.  Given that, the book often feels a bit repetitive.  But if you use the space created by that repetition to think about specific WHYs in your own life, the read is well worth it.

Here are two quotes that really hit me personally:

Now think about how we do business. We’re always competing against someone else. We’re always trying to be better than someone else. Better quality. More features. Better service. We’re always comparing ourselves to others. And no one wants to help us. What if we showed up to work every day simply to be better than ourselves? What if the goal was to do better work this week than we did the week before? To make this month better than last month? For no other reason than because we want to leave the organization in a better state than we found it?

any effective movement, social or business, needs a leader to march in the front, preaching the vision and reminding people WHY they showed up in the first place. Though King needed to cross the bridge from Selma on his march to Montgomery, it was what it meant to cross the bridge that mattered. Likewise in business, though profit and shareholder value are valid and essential destinations, they do not inspire people to come to work.