Book Club: Starting With Why

Something we do here on the Communications team at Republic is hold a weekly book club. However, this isn’t just any book club. Believe me, I enjoy a good Nicholas Sparks novel as much as the next person, but no – this is something more personal.

Why book club? Simply to help us grow…grow personally, grow professionally, and grow together as a team.

Each month, we pick a book that we agree as a team gets at the values we hold near and dear as an organization. Then, each Wednesday, our team meets during lunch to discuss everyone’s key takeaways and relate it back to our business model and how we can use what we learn to be even better – for ourselves and our members. Where better to start than with “why…”


Start With Why (2009) by Simon Sinek is a New York Times Best Seller, which “offers an unconventional perspective that explains why some people and organizations are more innovative, more profitable, command greater loyalties from customers and employees alike and, most importantly, are able to repeat their success over and over.”

For our team, the most important takeaway after reading the book was that it’s not about what a business does, but why they do it. By identifying the “why” first, it gives you better legs to stand on, identifies what you’re convicted in, and helps force a new perspective. We have found, as a team, that a new angle or approach better helps you find the factual truth behind what you’re trying to accomplish or solve for.

While reading the book, we were able to rediscover why we do what we do. “Why” is not a profit or a product, those are results. Rather, “why” is the reason behind it – the reason we get up and come to work every morning. In order to discover this “why,” we needed to get personal. Knowing the “why” inspires trust and helps build long-lasting relationships. People buy from people. They don’t buy our product, they buy our mission, the cause that helps make their lives directly better. You aren’t our customers, but rather our community of members, and our members want products that reflect their values and that’s what we aim to provide.

Here at Republic, we stay true to our values. Our employees are encouraged to speak up when they see potential for a better way. Even something as simple as our “Staff Picks” are about accessories our team members actually use and want to write about. Why would you make someone write about Bluetooth headsets and try to sell them if they themselves have never used one, or would be caught dead before you saw one in their ear? It’s disingenuous to do anything but let your team members be passionate about what they’re actually passionate about. In the end, it’s all about our mission:  To help people stay better connected.

Ultimately, it’s not what you do, it’s why you do it. We highly encourage everyone to read this book. We’d love to know more about your “why” and what gets your going.

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2 thoughts on “Book Club: Starting With Why”

  1. “Each month we pick a book”

    I haven’t seen a monthly book recommendation. One book I’m reading is X by Sue Grafton.

    Another is Three-Body Problem, by Liu Cixin. It is allegedly science fiction from a Chinese author, but much of its power comes from chilling descriptions of the Cultural Revolution under Mao — descriptions that I doubt would have been allowed in a non-sci-fi context.

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