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Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don'tby Simon Sinek
Synopses & Reviews
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. Whats 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. Its not a management theory; its biology. Our brains and bodies evolved to help us find food, shelter, mates and especially safety. Weve 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 hasnt changed in fifty thousand years, but our environment certainly has. Todays 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 leaders vision and their organizations interests. Its amazing how well it works.
The highly anticipated follow-up to the acclaimed bestseller Start With Why
Simon Sineks mission is to help people wake up every day inspired to go to work and return home every night fulfilled by their work. His first book, Start With Why, offered the essential starting point, explaining the power of focusing on WHY we do what we do, before getting into the details of WHAT and HOW. Start With Why became an instant classic, with a loyal following among Fortune 500 companies, entrepreneurs, nonprofits, governments, and the highest levels of the U.S. Military.
Now Sinek is back to reveal the next step in creating happier and healthier organizations. He helps us understand, in simple terms, the biology of trust and cooperation and why theyre essential to our success and fulfillment. Organizations that create environments in which trust and cooperation thrive vastly out perform their competition. And, not coincidentally, their employees love working there.
But truly human” cultures dont just happen; they are intentionally created by great leaders. Leaders who, in hard times, would sooner sacrifice their numbers to protect their people, rather than sacrifice people to protect their numbers, are rewarded with deeply loyal teams that consistently contribute their best efforts, ideas and passion.
As he did in Start With Why, Sinek illustrates his points with fascinating true stories from many fields. He implores us to act sooner rather than later, because our stressful jobs are literally killing us. And he offers surprisingly simple steps for building a truly human organization.
The highly anticipated follow-up to Simon Sinek’s global bestseller Start with Why
Simon Sinek is an optimist, a visionary thinker, and a leader of the cultural revolution of WHY. His second book is the natural extension of Start with Why, expanding his ideas at the organizational level. Determining a company’s WHY is crucial, but only the beginning. The next step is how do you get people on board with your WHY? How do you inspire deep trust and commitment to the company and one another?
He cites the Marine Corps for having found a way to build a culture in which men and women are willing to risk their lives, because they know others would do the same for them.
It’s not brainwashing; it’s actually based on the biology of how and when people are naturally at their best. If businesses could adopt this supportive mentality, employees would be more motivated to take bigger risks, because they’d know their colleagues and company would back them up, no matter what.
Drawing on powerful and inspiring stories, Sinek shows how to sustain an organization’s WHY while continually adding people to the mix.
About the Author
Simon Sinek teaches leaders and organizations how to inspire people-From members of Congress to foreign ambassadors, from small businesses to corporations like Microsoft and American Express, from Hollywood to the UN to the Pentagon. He lives in New York City.
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