Leaders Eat Last

Leaders Eat Last

Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't

Book - 2014
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Why do only a few people get to say "I love my job"? It seems unfair that finding fulfillment at work is like winning a lottery; that only a few lucky ones get to feel valued by their organizations, to feel like they belong.

Imagine a world where almost everyone wakes up inspired to go to work, feels trusted and valued during the day, then returns home feeling fulfilled.

This is not a crazy, idealized notion. Today, in many successful organizations, great leaders are creating environments in which people naturally work together to do remarkable things. 

In his travels around the world since the publication of his bestseller Start with Why , Simon Sinek noticed that some teams were able to trust each other so deeply that they would literally put their lives on the line for each other. Other teams, no matter what incentives were offered, were doomed to infighting, fragmentation and failure. Why?

The answer became clear during a conversation with a Marine Corps general. 

"Officers eat last," he said.

Sinek watched as the most junior Marines ate first while the most senior Marines took their place at the back of the line. What's symbolic in the chow hall is deadly serious on the battlefield: great leaders sacrifice their own comfort--even their own survival--for the good of those in their care.

This principle has been true since the earliest tribes of hunters and gatherers. It's not a management theory; it's biology. Our brains and bodies evolved to help us find food, shelter, mates and especially safety. We've always lived in a dangerous world, facing predators and enemies at every turn. We thrived only when we felt safe among our group.

Our biology hasn't changed in fifty thousand years, but our environment certainly has. Today's workplaces tend to be full of cynicism, paranoia and self-interest. But the best organizations foster trust and cooperation because their leaders build what Sinek calls a Circle of Safety that separates the security inside the team from the challenges outside.

The Circle of Safety leads to stable, adaptive, confident teams, where everyone feels they belong and all energies are devoted to facing the common enemy and seizing big opportunities. 

As he did in Start with Why , Sinek illustrates his ideas with fascinating true stories from a wide range of examples, from the military to manufacturing, from government to investment banking.

The biology is clear: when it matters most, leaders who are willing to eat last are rewarded with deeply loyal colleagues who will stop at nothing to advance their leader's vision and their organization's interests. It's amazing how well it works.
Publisher: New York, New York :, Portfolio/Penguin,, 2014
New York : Penguin Group, c2014
ISBN: 9781591845324
1591845327
Branch Call Number: 658.4092 SIN NVD
Characteristics: xii, 244 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm

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PimaLib_LindaG May 08, 2015

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

PimaLib_LindaG May 08, 2015

“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.”

PimaLib_LindaG May 08, 2015

“the true price of leadership is the willingness to place the needs of others above your own. Great leaders truly care about those they are privileged to lead and understand that the true cost of the leadership privilege comes at the expense of self-interest.”

PimaLib_LindaG May 08, 2015

“Leadership is about integrity, honesty and accountability. All components of trust.”

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Stevkato
Nov 14, 2017

I thought this was a good book, full of great information. I like his discussions of creating a Circle of Safety, engaging in a shared sense of struggle, and always practicing empathy. One thing I thought was interesting was the observation that small companies that are struggling are often the source of innovation and breakthrough ideas. This is probably obvious to a lot of people, but it was new to me. Though some of the book was repetitious, there were a lot of helpful illustrations of good and bad leadership. I recommend it for anyone aspiring to be a leader or anyone who is in a leadership position.

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cdimov
May 10, 2014

Simon Sinek writes a fantastic book on Leadership. He uses some exceptional examples of leaders in the military - like the structures of the Marines. In the Marines - the Leaders literally eat last. Contrast this with what you see in business, politics, religion and society today. How rare it is to see leaders of great establishments humble themselves to doing what is best for the people and culture of their organisations - rather than for themselves.

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Stevkato
Nov 02, 2017

Stevkato thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

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