Different Ways to Learn

September 14, 2022

I’m reading Start with Why, Simon Sinek’s bestselling book. I’m enjoying it and getting lots out of it, yet I fundamentally disagree with its central premise.

First, the basis of my disagreement; second, why I continue to read and find it fascinating.

It doesn’t matter how many times Simon writes, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it” (and it’s a lot!), I still find the conclusion largely baseless. We can all pick examples of a theory that proves our point but the points made and the evidence quoted are ‘cases to prove my theory’ rather than data that forms a theory.

So, why am I still reading it, enjoying it and benefitting from it? Because it’s smart, well-written and thought-provoking. My review of it reminds me of some feedback I was given by a university lecturer on the first essay for my degree in English.

Having returned to university life in my late 20s, I was particularly nervous about my first piece of academic work. I received a modest mark though not a terrible one. The feedback said: “Your points are almost all completely wrong,” – great start – “but at least they’re wrong in an intelligent way.”

Sinek’s book has had a rather larger readership than my essay with one reader but I’d give it the same feedback. The reason I’m still reading / enjoying / benefitting is that it’s provoking lots of thoughts in my mind that are giving me new ideas for my business and my life.

My reason for writing this today is to remind you that you don’t have to agree with everything to get something from it. In fact, you may well get more productive use from reading things with which you disagree.

Learning takes many different forms. A counter-intuitive one is to subject yourself to a contrarian opinion as it’s more likely to trigger your brain to react, a less pleasant process than reading text with which you agree but an infinitely better one for the generation of ideas.

Recent Blog Articles

Sales Training – Regular or Occasional?

Sales Training – Regular or Occasional?

If you’re thinking about providing additional support to your sales teams in the months ahead, you may be wondering which option is better, monthly training or occasional sessions? Here are my thoughts. Regular Sales Training Almost all evidence around behaviour...

read more
Common Sales Mistakes – Number 3

Common Sales Mistakes – Number 3

In this series of blogs, I wanted to address 3 common sales mistakes. This blog – addressing the third mistake - is short, sharp and makes one simple point only. The sales mistake it highlights is so obvious you’ll think it hardly worth your time reading. Yet, this...

read more
Making Changes to Behaviour

Making Changes to Behaviour

It’s my birthday tomorrow, something I used to let slide each year as it’s no big deal. Now, I make more of a fuss. Why? The birthday itself really doesn’t matter to me. But I’d noticed in the last few years that I didn’t see enough of my family and friends, the...

read more