Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek

Part 7 – A Society of Addicts

  • 22. At the Center of All Our Problems Is Us – Enlightenment: In 1843 one doctor published a paper stating that doctors themselves were responsible for the spread of disease. It took ten years before this notion was accepted and doctors started washing their hands and serializing their instruments. The larger question for leaders is “am I part of the problem?” AOL is sited as a company where incentives in one part of the company were bad for a company as a whole. The lesson, make sure that any incentives you put in place encourages cooperation, sharing information, and reaching out to ask for help. Also, make sure incentives don’t pit people against each other.
  • 23. At Any Expense: Here we focus on the impact of regulations meant to protect the public. There needs to be a balance so that companies can make a profit and that the public is protected from harm. Two examples stand out. The first is how the FCC eased up on rules requiring broadcasters to commit part of their air time to public service. As a result, we went from the news we need that was mostly balanced to the news we want that is much more biased and partisan. The other is the lessening of regulations on banks that lead to the 2008 stock market crash. While many leaders admit the mistakes after the fact what we need are leaders who can look ahead and see problems coming as the result of too few regulations.
  • 24. The Abstract Generation – The Biggest Losers: Baby boomers had better childhoods than their parents who grew up during the Depression and World War II. In turn, many have engaged in over parenting the millennial generation. As a result millennial employees and their baby boomer bosses often don’t understand each other. Younger people routinely engage in multitasking, which has been shown to cause more mistakes and negatively impact memory. Extensive use of social media increases anxiety and depression, especially among teens. Nothing can replace face-to-face relationships. Simon believes that many young people are developing an addiction to distraction. The problems caused by social media appear to be much more of a problem for girls. Simon recommends that everyone take time to disconnect and engage in real face-to-face relationships.

Part 8 – Becoming a Leader

  • 25. Step 12: Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has a twelve-step plan. The 12th step is the commitment to help another alcoholic beat the disease. In the world of work, the 12th step would be service to the real, living, knowable human beings with whom we work every day. All AA meetings are face-to-face as the connections required to beat addiction must be real, not virtual. AA is a perfectly formed Circle of Safety. Even when things aren’t going well, we can put up with a great many hardships when we have people to help see us through. This is the kind of environment leaders should strive for.
  • 26. Shared Struggle: Want Not, Waste Anyway: The big idea is that we value something more if we have to struggle to obtain it. We grow closer to people who we share hardship with. Our best days at work are the ones where things went wrong and we persevered to get things done. Smaller companies are more innovative because they can’t rely on massive resources possessed by big companies. Leaders, therefore, need to offer their people challenges that outsize their current resources but not their intellect. They should believe that they have a greater responsibility to their people than to those who profit from their labor. They need to give us good reason to commit ourselves to each other.
  • 27. We Need More Leaders: Leadership isn’t a license to do less; it is a responsibility to do more. It takes work and the effects are not always easily measured and they are not always immediate. Leadership is always a commitment to human beings. Everything about being a leader is like being a parent. They must have non stop empathy and be willing to sacrifice. We must all start today to do little things for the good of others. Let us all be the leaders we wish we had. Thanks, Simon.

Simon Sinek

  • Simon is an unshakable optimist who believes in a bright future and our ability to build it together. Described as “a visionary thinker with a rare intellect,” Simon teaches leaders and organizations how to inspire people. With a bold goal to help build a world in which the vast majority of people wake up every single day feeling inspired, feel safe at work, and feel fulfilled at the end of the day, Simon is leading a movement to inspire people to do the things that inspire them. Simon is the author of multiple best-selling books including Start With Why, Leaders Eat Last, Together is Better, and Find Your Why. His new book, The Infinite Game, was released October 15, 2019. Check out his blog at startwithwhy.com.
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