Why are reviews for Find Your Why mixed? How can this self-help book be used most effectively?
In Find Your Why, the authors explain practical steps for individuals and organizations to find a true purpose. Many readers appreciate the book’s approach to identifying and living your Why, but the book received mixed reviews from some critics.
Read this review of Find Your Why to see if it could actually help you discover your life’s purpose.
Find Your Why Review
Find Your Why was published in 2017 by Penguin UK as a practical guide to applying the theory laid out in Start With Why. In Find Your Why, Simon Sinek, David Mead, and Peter Docker lay out the steps individuals and organizations can take to discover their purpose and strengths and share them with the world. Discovering your unique purpose—your Why—and strengths helps you find fulfillment at work and in life. When you live in alignment with your purpose, you make better career decisions and inspire people to join you, whether as part of your team or supporters of your mission.
The Book’s Historical and Intellectual Context
Find Your Why builds on the theory Sinek laid out in his first bestseller, Start With Why: The most successful organizations have a clear purpose that keeps every action they take aligned with their core beliefs. Start With Why is itself part of the lineage of philosophy and psychology books that deal with purpose, like Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, and of the newer lineage of books dealing with organizational culture and cultural change, like Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point.
Sinek wrote this sequel to Start With Why to broaden his impact so that more organizations and individuals, even if they don’t have access to direct coaching from his company, can discover their Why. Find Your Why builds on its predecessor by laying out a step-by-step process for discovering your Why, for both organizations and individuals. Peter Docker and David Mead developed the steps to put Sinek’s theory into practice.
The Book’s Impact
Find Your Why reviews reveal that the book didn’t achieve as much success as Start With Why in terms of sales and positive reviews. This might be because it doesn’t add any new ideas to Start With Why. However, the workbook format of Find Your Why is useful for trainers and coaches who are looking for practical advice on how to apply the ideas in the first book.
The Book’s Strengths and Weaknesses
Find Your Why reviews online show that readers who enjoyed the book appreciate its practical approach to the theories. Readers of Start With Why who wanted to apply its theories in their own lives and organizations benefited from the book’s detailed instructions and examples.
Critics of the book point out that much of it repeats Start With Why, and it doesn’t offer new insights to readers familiar with Sinek’s theory. Others also felt that the process laid out in the book is unrealistic or impractical for individuals seeking their purpose, as it requires having a willing partner and a lot of time.
Commentary on the Book’s Approach
After reviewing the importance of finding your purpose as explained in Start With Why, Sinek lays out two step-by-step processes, one for individuals and another for teams and organizations, for discovering that purpose. The process requires either a partner or a facilitator-led group meeting and culminates in a written purpose statement. The book delves into the details of choosing a location, facilitator, and participants, then preparing for the meeting, conducting it, and following up—which may be unnecessary for most business leaders experienced in running meetings.
Commentary on the Book’s Organization
The first two chapters go over the theory that underpins Sinek’s concept of “Why.” Chapter 3 details the steps for the discovery process for individuals, and chapters 4 and 5 detail the steps for teams. Chapters 6 and 7 discuss steps to take after the discovery process, and three appendices offer specific instructions for facilitators. There’s repetition of concepts and instructions in the book, and many of the steps for individuals and teams are similar.
Find Your Why Authors
Simon Sinek is an ethnographer and best-selling author known for Start With Why, Leaders Eat Last, and The Infinite Game. He became famous thanks in part to his 2009 TED Talk on the importance of knowing your “Why,” or purpose, which became the second most-watched TED Talk ever.
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David Mead is an organizational culture expert, as well as author and speaker.
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Peter Docker is a former Royal Air Force officer, leadership consultant, and executive coach. In 2021, he published Leading From the Jumpseat: How to Create Extraordinary Opportunities by Handing Over Control.
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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Simon Sinek, David Mead, Peter Docker's "Find Your Why" at Shortform .
Here's what you'll find in our full Find Your Why summary :
- Simon Sinek’s steps to understanding and living your purpose and your organization’s
- How to create and write your purpose statement
- What to do after you find your Why: Determine your How