Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek
When it comes to creating a successful business, everyone has a part to play. Are you an employee? What’s your level of engagement? Do you believe in the company’s mission? Are you leading a team or even an organization? What are you? A leader or a boss? Simon Sinek’s Leaders Eat Last explains why the values of a company’s leader can make or break it.
Simon Sinek is one of those authors who seek to unravel the reason why some people love their job whereas others don’t. And he believes it’s all thanks to the leader.
LEADER OF TRUST / LEADERS EAT LAST
“Every successful company that exists today has a Circle of Safety which is led by a true leader, in which everybody trusts.”
Some will define Sinek as an incurable optimist. He turned his positive attitude into a real job, writing books and teaching leaders and organizations how to inspire people.
Leaders Eat Last provides many examples of teams built on the principles of trust and safety, with a clear and distinct Circle of Safety within the group, which seem to thrive, whereas others don’t.
Simon Sinek has some particular views on leadership, trust, work, and integrity, which seem to be related.
“Leadership is about integrity, honesty, and accountability. All components of trust”.
A true leader is capable of creating a Circle of Safety in which everyone feels safe. As long as members feel safe within the group, and don’t sense threats within it, they’ll invest all their time and energy to help their leader accomplish his desired goal. And they’ll do this because they know their leader has their back.
“All we need are leaders to give us a good reason to commit ourselves to each other.”
Another key element is trust.
“When trust and cooperation thrive internally, we pull together and the organization grows stronger as a result”
What’ll be the result of trust? Sinek explains that once trust is gained within a group they’ll be able to work together, as they have a common goal.
What I loved the most about this book is that it goes far beyond just theories.
Sinek provides real lessons of leadership, using day-to-day examples of either the success or failure of different companies. There are many things to learn from the cases he presents in his book.
One important thing to take away from Leaders Eat Last is that the success of a company depends on its culture. If the employees are happy and feel safe at work, they’ll succeed at their job and the company will strive. It makes sense.
Another important point Sinek makes is related to performance.
“The performance of a company is closely tied to the personality and values of the person at the top.”
It goes without saying that the leader is essential within a company. And if that leader starts paying attention to his employees and treats them as people, not as mere subordinates, they’ll start to trust each other.
All this may help us think about our behavior at work.
“As humans, our behavior is significantly influenced by the environments in which we work . . . for better and for worse.”
So if the people we work with every day display a healthy attitude towards work and towards everyone in the team, we’ll treat them the same way. It’s the job of the leader to decide which behaviors are accepted and which are not.
Leaders Eat Last also helps us think about the concept of responsibility. What’s a leader’s responsibility? Is it important to know his responsibilities? It must be, because his team members will follow him as long as he upholds his responsibilities towards them.
“The responsibility of leaders is to teach their people the rules, train them to gain competency and build their confidence.”
Do you know the main responsibilities of a leader towards his people?
This leads us to my favorite quote from Sinek’s book:
A true leader shows his care towards his team by acknowledging their importance. As the officers eat last, so must all leaders.
Leaders Eat Last is divided into 8 parts. The journey starts off quite general (“Our Need to Feel Safe”, “Powerful Forces”, “Reality”, “How We got There”) and then goes much deeper (“The Abstract Challenge”, “Destructive Abundance”, “Society of Addicts”, “Becoming a Leader”) .
These 8 parts describe the path a true leader must take in order to ensure the trust and loyalty of his people. Once a leader’s gained their trust and created a safe environment where everyone feels like they belong, he guarantees his success as a leader and the high performance of the unit he runs – be it a company, or a sports team.
Sinek also talks about 5 leadership lessons that need to be followed:
- 1: So goes the culture, so goes the company. The success of a company depends on the culture.
- 2: So goes the leader, so goes the culture. The leader is the one that influences the company’s culture, be it in a positive or negative way.
- 3: Integrity matters. As long as leaders adhere to a set of values for the company, its members will do the same.
- 4: Friends matter. They are an important part of our lives.
- 5: Lead the people, not the numbers. Leaders should care about leading their people, not the number that these people may represent.
Any leader that takes into account these leadership lessons and creates a Circle of Safety within the company will be successful.
All these lessons from Leaders Eat Last make us more aware of the work environments that exist today. The culture that’s encouraged, and the values that a leader should embrace.
It all comes down to the leader. That person at the top who is directly responsible for the team that he runs, and for the success of the company.
All in all, Leaders Eat Last is an amazing collection of stories related to the world in which we live and work. Because it drew me in so much when I was reading it, I have no choice but to highly recommend it. Not only for the valuable information it contains, but also for Sinek’s honest and emphatic writing style. I love his healthy approach towards leadership and how he defining this concept through organizational culture and teams.
Want to get the full book in Kindle version? Get it from here:
Want more nuggets? Subscribe below.