Leaders Eat Last is a great leadership read that focuses on leaders creating a Circle of Safety to positively influence success by caring for members of the team so that they can work together to provide protection from outside influences. The book starts off with a description of a fighter pilot, acting on a hunch, to protect his troops below, risking his own safety to look out for his team. This example reinforces the importance of prioritizing the well being of the team – while not all teams would have life and death situations, loyalty is fostered when the team looks out for each other. Sinek stresses the importance of listening, telling the truth, trust, empathy and treating every member of the team the same regardless of whether they were management or front line staff.
Sinek talks about the Circle of Safety and how leaders can encourage trust and cooperation within the company to build a stronghold against pressures from outside that are beyond the organization’s control. With a strong Circle of Safety, self-preservation is unnecessary and members trust that the organization will look after them.
The book describes the era of consumerism and disposability. How it started that organizations started to employ layoffs as tools to increase profitability at the expense of the team. Sinek tells how political parties would once work together behind the scenes, even socializing to lead to positive results. He compared this camaraderie to the politics of today when politicians prioritize themselves and their parties. He described how companies look at situations in terms of numbers, not thinking that each number may represent a person with a family who is impacted by decisions. As the metrics become the focus, there is less focus on the individual and the team.
“When a leader is able to personally know everyone in the group, the responsibility for their care becomes personal”
Leaders Eat Last is an inspiring read that makes the reader understand how important a team can be in sticking together, caring for each other and standing strong against outside threats. For those of us living in Ontario, it is interesting to think of the principles that Sinek shares when considering the events leading to the June election. Are these leaders looking out for the good of Ontarians? Are they considering gaining our trust, caring for individuals and setting a positive tone?
“if your action inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader”