The lowdown: This Leaders Eat Last summary will cover the in’s and outs of Simon Sinek’s hit book including why some teams work, while others fail.
Do you ever wonder how our society ended up the way it is?
It seems it is easier than ever before to ‘make it’. However, there is still a huge discrepancy in power. There are those who are powerful and do basically whatever they want, while others are basically hopeless.
Where does this come from?
In Leaders Eat Last, Simon Sinek discusses that leaders and followers are simply a matter of consequence and biology. Yep, we’re born this way.
The three main lessons from Leaders Eat Last are:
- The need for leadership is a part of our biology
- You need to be in close proximity to be a good leader
- Leadership is putting others before yourself for the greater good
Lesson One: The need for leadership is a part of our biology
As my sex-ed teacher used to say, hormones are a funny thing…
These hormones like dopamine and oxytocin used to help man survive when survival and safety were more of a luxury than it is in the 21st century. Similar to endorphins; endorphins used to help hunter-gatherers work beyond exhaustion to provide for the group. The necessity of these hunters elevated their status in tribes, where weaker individuals took part in less impressive jobs.
Now those endorphins help professional athletes and people like me lift small weights at the gym.
While we have different practical uses for these hormones than we did many years ago, the results are somewhat similar.
The hormones that separate the ‘strong’ from the ‘weak’ are still the backbone of our hierarchies.
Lesson Two: You need to be in close proximity to be the best leader
One of the driving forces towards brilliant leadership is being able to care for those who you’re working with.
This includes being able to have a high level of empathy, or, being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.
Placing an unneeded physical distance between yourself and those you’re leading, it can create a fracture in your ability to feel empathy; the decisions you make seem less real.
There is no better example of this than in the infamous Milgram Experiment. Where due to physical separation and persistent instruction from a man in a white lab coat, ‘teachers’ administered seemingly fatal shocks to their ‘students’. The teachers put their needs (not disappointing the scientist) over the needs of others.
You can learn more about the Milgram Experiment online. I suggest you do, I for one, found it incredibly interesting.
Lesson Three: Leadership is putting others before yourself for the greater good
As a leader, it is your role to set the path and ensure that everyone is following.
While every group member has their own drives (for example, reaching that yearly bonus), it is vital that the leader ensures cohesion between everyone in order to achieve the company’s goals.
A part of that is putting your team’s needs in front of your own.
This is optimized in the Marines, where leaders are the last to get their food at meal times.
My Personal Takeaway
When in a leadership role, I find that I have to try and ‘lead from the front’ which I know is a flawed method, after reading this book.
I love how Sinek talks about the biology of leadership in Leaders Eat Last, and how leadership is vital in society.
Put it into action
Set a vision for your team.
Do your team know the vision they’re working towards? I mean do they really know?
Set a clear vision and ensure your team know how to reach it.
You should consider buying this book if…
If you’re a business owner, business leader, or aspiring leader then you should read Leaders Eat Last.
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