book covers leaders eat last

A 5 Minute Overview Of

Leaders Eat Last

Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't

About the Author

Simon Sinek is an author and motivational speaker. His first book, Start With Why, was a New York Times' bestseller. His TEDx Talk on "How Great Leaders Inspire Action" is the 7th most viewed video on Mr. Sinek is a graduate of Brandeis University. He has a background in advertising having worked for Euro/RSCG and Olgivy & Mathers. He has written articles which have been published in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, FastCompany, BusinessWeek, BrandWeek and The Huffington Post. Mr. Sinek is active in the not-for-profit world and currently teaches a graduate-level class in strategic communication at Columbia University.

The Main Idea

When Marines camp for the night, the first group to go through the chow line are the most junior members of the company. The more senior members of the company then follow and leaders eat last. If there's not enough food, it's the leaders who miss out, not the rank-and-file soldiers.

That's the perfect model of what true leadership is all about. Real leaders aren't there to enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else. They don't look at their people as a resource which can be turned on in good times and then casually turned off again later on. Nor do they place their needs above the needs of anyone else. Great leaders take care of the people under their stewardship and focus on the well-being of their people above all else.

In practical terms, great leaders create a Circle of Safety around the people they lead. In an environment full of danger both real and perceived, the art of leadership is figuring out ways to grow and expand that Circle of Safety, and then to keep making that happen again and again.

The strength and endurance of a company does not come from products or services but from how well their people pull together. Every member of the group plays a role in maintaining the Circle of Safety and it is the leader's role to ensure that they do. This is the primary role of leadership, to look out for those inside their Circle. It is not the genius at the top giving directions that makes people great. It is great people that make the guy at the top look like a genius.
Simon Sinek

Sections in this Books

1. Powerful forces — Job #1 is to make your people feel safe. The most important job of leadership is to provide cover for your people as they push hard and take risks. Protecting your people from danger is the most important thing to do.

2. Reality — Have the courage to do the right thing for your people. Paradoxically, sometimes leaders have to break the rules to do the right thing by their people. The key is whether people trust you. Trust is like lubrication for machinery.

3. Direction — Never forget your people are real, statistics are not. For too long people have been considered as a disposable asset. That doesn't work. Leaders never put numbers before people.

4. Abstract — Take your responsibility to lead to heart and excel at it. To be a great leader, don't look at issues in abstract terms. Get to know the people within the Circle of Safety you create and find ways to help them. This is true leadership.

5. Lessons — Don't forget you lead people, not the numbers. Great leaders build loyalty by developing an extraordinarily strong Circle of Safety. They use the profits of the business as fuel for their key priority of building the culture.

6. Abundance — Inspire your people to serve each other. Managers look after numbers but leaders look after people. Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first. Inspire your people, don't merely count heads.

7. Leadership — Pass it on --- Grow more and better leaders. Fortunately, we are our own best hope in addressing the problems and challenges of modern society. All it takes is for more people to step up and become leaders. Put a different way, we need to have the motto: "In oxytocin we trust." The solution is to build human bonds and to expand the Circle of Safety where we work. We need more leaders.

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