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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.
Much studied CEO Bob Chapman and bestselling author Raj Sisodia take on one of the greatest misconceptions of modern business—that leadership starts with getting the right people on the bus (and the wrong people off). Real leader enable the people already on the bus to achieve extraordinary things.
Too many companies focus only on producing the best products; Bob Chapman says we should put our efforts into bringing out the best in the people who produce them. Over the past few decades, he has transformed Barry-Wehmiller from a broken one-hundred-year-old manufacturing business into a thriving global firm, by acquiring challenged companies and leading them in creating a better future.
However, instead of using cost cuts, cosmetic changes, financial hijinks and major layoffs, Chapman did it by inspiring the people within the business around a shared vision of a better tomorrow. When he looks into a challenged company, he usually sees disenfranchised team members, undeveloped value, unheard complaints, and a lack of inspiration. As he frequently points out, seven out of eight people believe the company they work for does not care about them. Chapman advocates creating environments teeming with care, compassion, and human connection to bring out the best in the employees. When that happens, both the business and its people flourish.
In this book, Chapman and Sisodia challenge traditional thinking about how to run a business and, above all, how to be an inspirational leader. Through actual stories and proven how-to techniques, youll see how the cultural transformation Chapman championed throughout Barry-Wehmiller became the fuel for its robust growth and created meaningful work and personal fulfillment for its team members. From the establishment of an organizational vision to adopting continuous improvement processes to drive that vision deep to empowering employees through education, recognition, collaboration, communication, and more, youll get simple, straightforward, practical techniques to create thriving work environments grounded in people-first leadership. Youll be inspired and equipped with actionable build a better organization and a better world.
The retired four-star general and and bestselling author of My Share of the Task shares a powerful new leadership model
As commander of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), General Stanley McChrystal played a crucial role in the War on Terror. But when he took the helm in 2004, America was losing that war badly: despite vastly inferior resources and technology, Al Qaeda was outmaneuvering Americas most elite warriors.
McChrystal came to realize that todays faster, more interdependent world had overwhelmed the conventional, top-down hierarchy of the US military. Al Qaeda had seen the future: a decentralized network that could move quickly and strike ruthlessly. To defeat such an enemy, JSOC would have to discard a century of management wisdom, and pivot from a pursuit of mechanical efficiency to organic adaptability. Under McChrystals leadership, JSOC remade itself, in the midst of a grueling war, into something entirely new: a network that combined robust centralized communication with decentralized managerial authority. As a result, they beat back Al Qaeda.
In this book, McChrystal shows not only how the military made that transition, but also how similar shifts are possible in all organizations, from large companies to startups to charities to governments. In a turbulent world, the best organizations think and act like a team of teams, embracing small groups that combine the freedom to experiment with a relentless drive to share what theyve learned.
Drawing on a wealth of evidence from his military career, the private sector, and sources as diverse as hospital emergency rooms and NASAs space program, McChrystal frames the existential challenge facing todays organizations, and presents a compelling, effective solution.
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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