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

by Simon Sinek

The New York Times bestseller by the acclaimed, bestselling author of Start With Why and Together is Better. Now with an expanded chapter and appendix on leading millennials, based on Simon Sinek's viral video "Millenials in the workplace" (150+ million views).Imagine a world where almost everyone wakes up inspired to go to work, feels trusted and valued during the day, then returns home feeling fulfilled. This is not a crazy, idealized notion. Today, in many successful organizations, great leaders create environments in which people naturally work together to do remarkable things. In his work with organizations around the world, Simon Sinek noticed that some teams trust each other so deeply that they would literally put their lives on the line for each other. Other teams, no matter what incentives are offered, are doomed to infighting, fragmentation and failure. Why?The answer became clear during a conversation with a Marine Corps general. "Officers eat last," he said. Sinek watched as the most junior Marines ate first while the most senior Marines took their place at the back of the line. What's symbolic in the chow hall is deadly serious on the battlefield: Great leaders sacrifice their own comfort--even their own survival--for the good of those in their care.     Too many workplaces are driven by cynicism, paranoia, and self-interest. But the best ones foster trust and cooperation because their leaders build what Sinek calls a "Circle of Safety" that separates the security inside the team from the challenges outside.Sinek illustrates his ideas with fascinating true stories that range from the military to big business, from government to investment banking.
Download Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't epub
ISBN: 1591845327
ISBN13: 978-1591845324
Category: Business
Subcategory: Business Culture
Author: Simon Sinek
Language: English
Publisher: Portfolio; 1 edition (January 7, 2014)
Pages: 368 pages
ePUB size: 1629 kb
FB2 size: 1166 kb
Rating: 4.4
Votes: 321
Other Formats: azw txt lrf lrf

This book is for leaders looking to improve their organization and it uses the military leaders ethic as its backbone. I am an army officer and commander and have been one for over 20 years, so this is right up my alley. Most of the information is on point, but it is so obvious it reads like an army manual. The mantra of "put your organization first, serve your subordinates, be thankful and humble, and be quick to give credit where credit is due, if you don't care who gets credit for good work then everyone wins" is hard to stretch out over 200 pages, and sometimes it seems that way. However, most of the book is right on and I would recommend it.
Sinek combines interesting perspectives from anthropology, biochemistry, history and business practice to weave together his narrative in support of his premise that great leadership is predicated upon behaviors of empathy and trust. Drawing on examples from the US military, medicine, business, finance and history, Sinek keeps the book engaging with stories and examples that bring his ideas to life, although I found he got repetitive and "preachy" from time to time.

A memorable segment was Sinek's discussion of our biochemistry as human beings involving endorphins, dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin. His explanation of the ways these chemicals differentiate us from all other species provided insight into our success as human beings by driving cooperation and receiving neurochemical benefits from advancing the greater social good.

Much of the book is not new, and Sinek tends to make broad generalizations that could easily be challenged. But as a conversation starter, the book is a refreshing addition to leadership literature and brings some new information and perspective to a discussion of leadership, while prompting consideration of broader issues of the values modern society embraces.
There are many books on Leadership that have little to say. Sinek's book has both new insights and an inspiring vision.

Sinek begins with biology and outlines the roles of chemicals - specifically Endorphins, Dopamine, Serotonin and Oxytocin - and how evolution has dictated why we generate them and how we respond to them. Endorphins mask pain and help give you a `runner's high' or the intense satisfaction after a tough work out.

Dopamine leads to your `feeling good' upon accomplishing a goal whether that is bringing home dinner while evading sabre-toothed tigers or doing a bang-up job on a major presentation. Think of endorphins and Dopamine as the `individual achievement' chemicals. We need them to excel at what we do.

Serotonin is what gives you a feeling of gratitude and affection for the persons who supported you in your endeavors and the good feeling as they applaud you. Oxytocin is `love' chemical. It gives you the warm fuzzies you get when you hug someone or have a deep meaningful conversation. Think of Serotonin and Oxytocin as the `social' chemicals.

We, as humans, need both the individual achievement and social chemicals to progress. What has happened, unfortunately, in our society is that mores and values have changed to emphasize the former to such an extent that a deadly imbalance has been created. It is truly toxic - your job may be killing you. I used to think this was hyperbole but Sinek presents enough evidence for me to revise this opinion.

Central to Sinek's arguments is the `Circle of Safety'. When a sabre-toothed tiger attacks a herd of buffalos they gather together with their tails touching and horns out. Whichever direction that tiger attacks, it is met with impenetrable defense. This is the circle of safety. We want to feel that there are persons we can trust who will look out for us. Where we can let our guard down and be ourselves.

In such a trusting environment we can focus on doing the best we can and this greatly benefits both us, individually, the company. This feeling of `belonging' is what has disappeared from the corporate workplace to a large extent. It has been replaced by an ethos of `everyone for himself and the Devil take the hindmost'. And, sadly, even the `winners' in this environment are actually losers because of the personal price they pay in terms of insecurity and lack of meaningful relations, not to mention health side effects.

What I found really useful in the book is the way in which Sinek takes concepts from fields such as psychology and shows how they are relevant to what we experience in the workplace. I found these to be penetrating insights and they lead to many `aha' moments as well as to a change in the way I conduct some of my own programs.

For example, take the Milgram experiments. These are some of the best known - and most shocking - experiments in psychology and the implications are truly horrifying. In the early sixties, shortly after the Adolf Eichmann capture, trial and execution, there was a lively debate on whether Nazi collaborators were simply `following orders' or had a sense of responsibility and ownership for what they did.

Yale professor Stanley Milgram devised a series of experiments in which a volunteer was asked to deliver electric shocks to a subject each time he made an `error' in a lesson. Unbeknownst to the volunteer the subject was actually a confederate of the professor and an actor who affected great pain and suffering as the level of electric shocks increased. In reality there were no shocks and no pain but the volunteer did not know this.

When volunteers demurred from administering painful electric shocks the white gowned Milgram told them in various ways that they were required to continue even when they thought that the shocks they were administering were severely harmful to the subject.

The shocking result was that huge numbers of `normal' persons - readily or with mild trepidation - continued to administer potentially lethal shocks to subjects even as they howled with pain and demanded that they be released from the experiment. And this happened simply because they were told to do so by an `authority figure' with no threats or rewards for doing so.

Obviously this has great implications for why dictatorships form and survive and the debate on this continues to this day.

What Sinek points out is that this same experiment is played out in our companies every day at huge human toll. I had never thought of it in these terms before but parallel is exact. Many `managers' willingly take actions that they know will bring hardship and suffering to others - mass layoffs, reductions in benefits, changes in working conditions etc. - simply because they have been directed to do so. Even worse, we have evolved a business `philosophy' where formal directions are no longer necessary - this is simply the way to do things.

Sinek talks about how to bring the balance back in our workplace so both companies and individuals can thrive side by side in a symbiotic relationship. And he gives lots of examples such as the Barry Wehmiller companies where CEO Bob Chapman is dedicated to `building great people who do extraordinary things. And Charlie Kim, CEO of Next Jump who implemented a policy of lifetime employment.

I particularly like his comparison of the results achieved by James Sinegal, CEO of Costco and Jack Welch the much touted former CEO of General Electric. Welch's paradigm of pitting executives against each other created a high stress environment and the gains were short-lived and unsustainable.

In contrast Sinegal built a strong `circle of safety' for his people, paid wages which were nearly double those at Walmart and did many things to engender loyalty and trust. Costco employees are loyal and have built it into the second largest retailer in the country and the growth is both balanced and continuing.

This book will make you think differently about the business systems that prevail in our society and also give you a way to make the workplace more humane.

I hope you join the `Truly Human Leadership" bandwagon set rolling by Bob Chapman, CEO of the Barry Wehmiller companies. Be sure to watch his TEDx talk. Google it to get the URL.
“When it matters, leaders choose to eat last.”

When you look at humanity through the eyes of evolution, things are really interesting. Humans are incredibly different from others animals. The thing that really separates us is our ability to cooperate and work together. It is simply unmatched. Human teamwork has created huge civilizations and amazing scientific discoveries. We spend a good part of our life working for the good of others while other work for our good. It is quite amazing.

In Leaders Eat Last, Simon Sinek explores this unique ability to work together and how leaders make that happen. Sinek examines the chemicals that course through our veins; the ones that tell us we are happy, sad, angry or stressed. These emotions are the ones leaders must move with and against to create change.

This is a great book. I assumed that the book would focus more on the concept of leaders humbling themselves and putting others first. Though that is a theme, it was not highlighted very brightly. A more accurate title would be the The Chemicals of Leadership.
Sinek is a great author. He is interesting and easy to read. I would recommend this book.

Here are a few great quotes:

“Leadership is about taking responsibility for lives and not numbers.”

“All we need are leaders to give us a good reason to commit ourselves to each other.”

“Let us all be the leaders we wish we had.”