This book summary series is taken from Simon Sinek’s Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action (2011). Your curiosity and knowledge is infinite, but your time is not. Read this summary – and you’ll be inspired!
“This is important because our behavior is affected by our assumptions or our perceived truths. We make decisions based on what we think we know”
Simon Sinek explained that we make assumptions about the world around us based on sometimes incomplete or false information – we make decision based on what we think we know. Do we really know why some organizations succeed and why others don’t or do we just assume? If things don’t go as expected, it’s probably because we’ve missed one. More data, however, doesn’t always help. There are other factors that must be considered, factors that exist outside our rational, analytical, information-hungry brains.
The author gives an example from the Japanese Automaker. An American executive went to see a Japanese car assembly line. At the end of the time, the doors were put on the hinges, the same as in the America. But one step was missing in Japan. In America, workers would take rubber mallets and tap the edges of the door to ensure that it fit perfectly. The Japanese, however, didn’t examine the problem and accumulate date to figure out the best solution – they engineered the outcome they wanted from the beginning. If they didn’t achieve their desired outcome, they understood it was because of a decision they made at the start of the process. What the American automakers did with their rubber mallets is a metaphor for how many people and organizations lead.
The Japanese said, “We make sure it fits when we design it.” There are those who decide to manipulate the door to fit to achieve the desired result and there are those who start from somewhere very different. Though both courses of action may yield similar short-term results, it is what we can’t see that makes long-term success more predictable for only one. The one that understood why the doors need to fit by design and not by default.
Our Assumption is Important