Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek

  • Authors, Non-Fiction
  • Leadership Experts
  • DOB:

    October 9, 1973

  • Age:


  • Country:

    United States

  • Resides:

    New York, NY

  • Hometown:

    Wimbledon, London, UK

  • Known For:

    Author of Start With Why

  • Education:

    Brandeis University



Simon Sinek is an author, motivational speaker, marketing consultant, and founder of “The Optimist Company,” a leadership and professional development company. He’s described as an “unshakable optimist” who has devoted his professional life to help advance a vision of the world in which every individual feels inspired and fulfilled by what they do.[1]


  • Founder of The Optimist Company
  • Author of multiple bestsellers including Start with Why and Leaders Eat Last
  • Accomplished motivational speaker

Related People

About Simon Sinek

Sinek is best known for his teachings on leadership and management, which has made him a global best-selling author, and well-known lecturer and keynote speaker.[1] He has authored five books, including Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t, Together is Better: A Little Book of Inspiration, Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team, and The Infinite Game.[2] His TED Talk on the concept of “Why” has been viewed over 60 million times and his video on millennials in the workplace has reached an audience in the hundreds of millions.[1] [3]

Simon Oliver Sinek was born on October 9, 1973, in Wimbledon, London, in the United Kingdom. He lived in Johannesburg, London, and Hong Kong as a child, and moved to the United States as a young adult. He is currently based in New York.[4] 

In 1991, Sinek graduated from Northern Valley Regional High School at Demarest located in New Jersey. He then earned a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology from Brandeis University in Massachusetts.[5] 

After a brief stint in law school at City University in London, Sinek decided to start his career in advertising and marketing, working for several advertising agencies in New York, including Ogilvy & Mather and Euro RSCG. In 2003, he launched his own consultant firm, Sinek Partners, which provides advice and training on marketing and leadership.[6]

Leadership and Teachings

Sinek’s innovative and unconventional views on leadership have attracted international attention.[7] Throughout his career, he has worked with leaders from various industries and organizations, including people from different branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and U.S. government agencies. Sinek is also an adjunct staff member with the RAND Corporation, a non-profit research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges throughout the world.[8] 

In 2021, Sinek founded The Curve, a diverse group of forward-thinking chiefs and sheriffs who are committed to reforming modern policing from the inside-out. The group’s purpose is to build a profession dedicated to protecting the vulnerable from harm, allowing for all people to feel that justice is administered with equity, fairness, and dignity.[9]  

Start with Why and The Golden Circle

Start with Why was published in 2009 and became a global bestseller, with over one million copies sold.[10] It is Sinek’s first of five books, and explores why some people and organizations are more influential and profitable than others.

In Start with Why, Sinek introduces “The Golden Circle,” a framework that helps explain why some companies and leaders are more innovative, influential, and successful than others. The concept was inspired by the golden ratio, a math equation that calculates beauty based on an object’s ratio of symmetry.[11] Sinek writes, “Like the golden ratio, which offers evidence of order in the seeming disorder of nature, The Golden Circle finds order and predictability in human behavior. Put simply, it helps us understand why we do what we do.”

The Golden Circle consists of three interlocking parts: “Why,” “How,” and “What.”

  1. Why: Refers to an organization’s or leader’s purpose, cause, or belief that drives everything they do.
  2. How: Describes the methods, processes, or strategies an organization or person uses to pursue its mission, or its “Why.” 
  3. What: Refers to the services or products that an organization or leader delivers.

Sinek argues that most organizations start with the “What” and work backwards, while the truly successful organizations start with and build everything around the “Why.”[11] This creates a sense of purpose and motivation that inspires both employees, customers, and the community.[12]

Other Works

In 2014, Sinek published his second book entitled Leaders Eat Last, which appeared on bestseller lists for The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.[13] In the book, Sinek explores why some leaders are better able to earn trust and commitment than others.[14]

Together is Better, published in 2016, is another New York Times bestseller that was designed to be given as a gift to say “thank you” to someone who inspires you. It reminds readers to ask for help and help others discover their own courage.[15] 

Find Your Why was published in 2017 and serves as a companion to Start with Why, offering a practical guide for using Sinek’s leadership methods and discovering your purpose.[16] 

In 2019, Sinek published The Infinite Game, a book that explores leadership choices and details a mindset that’s not based on winning, but focused on collaborating with others over a shared purpose.[17] [18] Sinek also offers five on-demand videos that describe the essential practices he discusses in the book.[19]

Engagements and Communication

Sinek is a motivational speaker who has given numerous talks and presentations on topics related to leadership, including TEDx Talks, keynote speeches at conferences, and other public engagements.[20] He also has a YouTube channel, where he offers lectures on finding your “Why,” building trusting teams, being inspired by purpose, and setting goals.[21] 

Beginning in 2009, Sinek spoke at several TEDx conferences, including his most well-known lecture on how great leaders inspire action, which has garnered over 61 million views.[22] 

In 2016, Sinek spoke at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit, where he discussed the decline of innovation, creating a trustful and cooperative business environment, and making sacrifices as a leader to take care of the people around you.[23] 

In 2018, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) contracted Sinek for a $98,000 customized leadership training program that took place over a three-week period.[24]

Sinek started his podcast, A Bit of Optimism, in 2020 and has posted over 70 episodes.[25] Through his website, Sinek also offers coaching, online courses, and a resource library that includes videos and lessons on leadership.[26] [27]  

Recognition and Awards

Simon Sinek’s books have received wide global recognition and have been best-sellers in various categories, including business and leadership.[28] He has also received several awards and recognitions for his work in the fields of leadership, organizational culture, and motivational speaking, including the following: 

  • Named Top 50 Real Leaders Keynote Speakers in 2023[29]
  • Named the World’s Top 30 Motivational Speakers for 2022 by Global Gurus[30]
  • Rated #33 on Global 100 Inspirational Leaders list by Global Leaders Today[31]
  • Received the Thinkers50 “Future Thinker” award in 2017[32]

Quotes on Leadership

“Leading is not the same as being the leader. Being the leader means you hold the highest rank, either by earning it, good fortune or navigating internal politics. Leading, however, means that others willingly follow you—not because they have to, not because they are paid to, but because they want to.” —Simon Sinek, Start with Why

“Regardless of WHAT we do in our lives, our WHY—our driving purpose, cause or belief—never changes.” —Simon Sinek, Start with Why

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” —Simon Sinek, Leaders Eat Last

“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress: Working hard for something we love is called passion.” —Simon Sinek[33]

“Let us all be the leaders we wish we had.” —Simon Sinek[34]


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  1. Simon Sinek Bio. (n.d.). Simon Sinek. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from
  2. Books. (n.d.). Simon Sinek.
  3. Sinek, S. (2010b, May 4). How great leaders inspire action. TED Talks.
  4. Who is Simon Sinek? Everything You Need to Know. (n.d.).
  5. D, A. (2017, February 10). Executive Word: The Why of NJSBA. New Jersey School Boards Association.
  6. Vliet, V. van. (2023, January 27). Who is Simon Sinek? Biography, Quotes and Books. Toolshero.
  7. Simon Sinek Bio. (n.d.). Simon Sinek. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from
  8. About the RAND Corporation. (n.d.). Rand Corporation. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from
  9. Simon Sinek Bio. (n.d.). Simon Sinek. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from
  10. Book Page – Start with Why. (2018, June 27). Penguin Random House International Sales. 
  11. Sinek, S. (2009). Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. Van Haren Publishing.
  12.  Simon Sinek. (2020, November 18). How I Discovered the Golden Circle | Simon Sinek. YouTube. 
  13. Business Books – Best Sellers – Books – July 16, 2017 – The New York Times. (2017, July 16). 
  14. Leaders Eat Last. (n.d.). Goodreads. 
  15. Together is Better. (n.d.). Simon Sinek. 
  16. Find Your WHY. (n.d.). Simon Sinek. 
  17. Contributor, W. (2019, April 30). Simon Sinek: Applying The Infinite Game Mindset To Business. Forbes. 
  18. The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek Summary – Briefer. (n.d.). 
  19. Sinek, S. (2020). The Infinite Game. Portfolio Penguin.
  20. Videos. (n.d.). Simon Sinek. 
  21. Simon Sinek. (n.d.). YouTube. 
  22. Sinek, S. (2010c, May 4). How great leaders inspire action. TED Talks. 
  23. United Nations Global Compact. (2016, July 19). Simon Sinek – Leaders Summit 2016 Day 2 – 23 June Marriott Marquis. YouTube. 
  24. The Young Turks. (2018, June 26). ICE Paid Famous Motivational Speaker for ‘Leadership Training.’ TYT Network. 
  25. Optimism, O. B. A. (n.d.). A Bit of Optimism. Google Podcasts. 
  26. Live Online Classes. (n.d.). Simon Sinek. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from 
  27. The Optimism Library. (n.d.). Simon Sinek. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from
  28. Business Books – Best Sellers – Books – Nov. 17, 2019 – The New York Times. (2019, November 17). 
  29. Real Leaders. (2022, December 13). Top 50 Keynote Speakers – List. 
  30. The World’s Best Motivational Speakers Trainers Thought Leaders – Top 30. (2022, November 27). Global Gurus. 
  31. Allen, M., Cooper, L., Gomes, S., & Mehta, S. (2022, October 6). Global 100. Global Leaders Today. 
  32. Simon Sinek | Speakers’ Spotlight. (2023, January 3). Speakers’ Spotlight. 
  33. Simon Sinek on Twitter. (2012, February 28). Twitter. Retrieved January 31, 2023, from 
  34. Simon Sinek on Twitter. (2021, February 15). Twitter. Retrieved January 31, 2023, from 

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