Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't

Leaders Eat Last

The idea of what a leader is and why a leader chooses to lead has always intrigued me. Since my days as a young man the topic of leadership has grasped my attention and thoughts. How do we lead? Why do we lead? What is the best method to lead? Are leaders born or made? If I lead, will you follow? Do we lead from the front or from some distant location? Do we allow others to participate or do we direct from the top? Do we allow input from others and inspire them to take initiative, or do we control every move people make, like a puppet on string? What is leadership by example? What is discipline, what is its purpose and how and why do we discipline? Is there one best way to lead or are multiple methods more effective at inspiring others towards positive outcomes? Why is morale so important and yet so fragile? There are so many more questions I have and I am sure you do as well. The key question for me is how do we create and nurture the right command climate so we effectively execute while working together towards common goals? Is it possible? Simon Sinek says it is and I believe him.

How do you develop trust or better yet “mutual trust” and a strong common outlook between leaders and those to be led? Simon Sinek, in his latest book; “Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't”describes the types of organizational cultures that thrive “working together” and the types of leaders who create and nurture that type of culture. These types of leaders make people feel safe. Safe to work, safe explore new ideas, and safe to experiment with them. They encourage their people to push the limits and learn from the success and failure of every opportunity in an effort to continually improve themselves and others.

The term Leaders Eat Last I first heard over 30 years ago while I was in the United States Marine Corps. Leaders Eat Last is a metaphor representing selfless leaders. You know those leaders who understand their job as a leader requires more work and sacrifice (not less) and that is paramount put their people first, yes, even before themselves.

Simon explores this topic of leadership through science; art the human condition and I believe nails the topic in an enlightening way that will make the reader much more aware of how people tick in organizations. Selfless leaders (leaders who eat last) are leaders who set the conditions for positive outcomes. As Simon explains in the book,

“More important, in the right conditions, the people with whom we work would choose to do those things for us. And when that happens, when those kinds of bonds are formed, a strong foundation is laid for the kind of success and fulfillment that no amount of money, fame or awards can buy. This is what it means to work in a place in which the leaders prioritize the well-being of their people and, in return, their people give everything they’ve got to protect and advance the well-being of one another and the organization. These exceptional organizations all have cultures in which the leaders provide cover from above and the people on the ground look out for each other. This is the reason they are willing to push hard and take the kinds of risks they do. And the way any organization can achieve this is with empathy.”

Management is not enough to sustain meaningful and lasting change and Leaders Eat Last digs deep into the types of people who drive success or failure and how it is based on leadership excellence and not managerial acumen. Leaders eat Last does not offer any new theories or principles but instead skillfully expounds what makes the difference between positive and negative leadership and how to help an organization or people that you lead to feel happier and more satisfied. What a great thought!

I highly recommend this book.

Stay Oriented!