Ann Votaw: I've been getting career counseling through the New York City Public Library, because I am tired of being a broke-ass, over-educated yogi. My counselor makes me contact five successful people a week for informational interviews. One guy I interviewed is a marketing professional who thinks social media "maniacs" need to learn the basics of marketing and he couldn't recommend Sinek enough.
YCNYC: Favorite quote?
AV: "Leadership, true leadership, is not the bastion of those who sit at the top. It is the responsibility of anyone who belongs to the group. Though those with formal rank may have authority to work at greater scale, each of us has a responsibility to keep the Circle of Safety strong. We must all start today to do little things for the good of others...one day at a time."
YCNYC:What one person would you recommend this book to?
AV: I would recommend this book to two former employers, a married couple, whose studio was successful for awhile largely because they pressured teachers to pull in a certain amount of students in order to maintain teaching slots. We instructors all complained about inappropriate phone calls and threats, but we continued to work because we also got a buzz. As Sinek said, this type of environment dripped with dopamine and cortisol—chemicals that drive us to short-term rewards and burnout. I would love to send this book to the bad studio owners, but they wouldn't get it. So, I would recommend it to myself, and other hopeful yogis, because I would like to be a strong leader, regardless of the circumstances.
YCNYC: What moment or part resonates with you the most?
AV: The chapter "The Abstract Generation," which noted the rise in suicides among Baby Boomers. Sinek wrote, "The problem is that in 20 to 30 years, when our youngest generation grows up and takes charge of government and business, its members will have grown up using Facebook, prescription drugs, or online support groups as their primary coping mechanisms, rather than relying on real support groups: biological bonds of friendship and loving relationships." Over and over, he shows that humans are social creatures who can't live on Facebook likes. We need real relationships, at work and at home.