Leaders Eat Last

Leaders Eat Last

Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't

By Simon Sinek

Portfolio, Hardcover, 9781591845324, 244pp.

Publication Date: January 7, 2014

Description
Why do only a few peopleget to say I love my job ?It seems unfair that finding fulfillment atwork is like winning a lottery; that only afew lucky ones get to feel valued by theirorganizations, to feel like they belong.
Imagine a world where almost everyone wakesup inspired to go to work, feels trusted and valuedduring the day, then returns home feeling fulfilled.
This is not a crazy, idealized notion. Today, inmany successful organizations, great leaders arecreating environments in which people naturallywork together to do remarkable things.
In his travels around the world since the publicationof his bestseller "Start with Why," Simon Sineknoticed that some teams were able to trust each otherso deeply that they would literally put their lives onthe line for each other. Other teams, no matter whatincentives were offered, were doomed to infighting, fragmentation and failure. Why?
The answer became clear during a conversationwith a Marine Corps general.
Officers eat last, he said.
Sinek watched as the most junior Marines atefirst while the most senior Marines took their placeat the back of the line. What's symbolic in the chowhall is deadly serious on the battlefield: great leaderssacrifice their own comfort even their own survival for the good of those in their care.
This principle has been true since the earliesttribes of hunters and gatherers. It's not a managementtheory; it's biology. Our brains and bodies evolvedto help us find food, shelter, mates and especiallysafety. We ve always lived in a dangerous world, facing predators and enemies at every turn. Wethrived only when we felt safe among our group.
Our biology hasn t changed in fifty thousandyears, but our environment certainly has. Today sworkplaces tend to be full of cynicism, paranoiaand self-interest. But the best organizations fostertrust and cooperation because their leaders buildwhat Sinek calls a Circle of Safety that separates thesecurity inside the team from the challenges outside.
The Circle of Safety leads to stable, adaptive, confident teams, where everyone feels they belongand all energies are devoted to facing the commonenemy and seizing big opportunities.
As he did in" Start with Why," Sinek illustrateshis ideas with fascinating true stories from a widerange of examples, from the military to manufacturing, from government to investment banking.
The biology is clear: when it matters most, leaderswho are willing to eat last are rewarded withdeeply loyal colleagues who will stop at nothing to advance their leader's vision and their organization sinterests. It's amazing how well it works.


About the Author
Simon Sinek, an unshakable optimist, is the author of the bestselling book Start with Why, which challenged traditional assumptions about how great leaders and great companies inspire people. He has presented his ideas to Fortune 100 companies and small start-ups; to nonprofits and members of Congress; to foreign ambassadors and the highest levels of the U.S. military, among many others. His TEDTalk based on Start with Why is the second most popular video of all time on TED.com. He lives in New York City.