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Summary ofLeaders Eat Last

Why do people feel stressed at work? What separates the leaders of great organizations from others? How do you inspire deep trust and commitment to the company and one another? Simon Oliver Sinek is a British-American author, motivational speaker, and organizational consultant. In “Leaders Eat Last”, he cites the Marine Corps for having found a way to build a culture in which men and women are willing to risk their lives because they know others would do the same for them. It’s not brainwashing; it’s actually based on the biology of how and when people are naturally at their best. If businesses could adopt this supportive mentality, employees would be more motivated to take bigger risks, because they’d know their colleagues and company would back them up, no matter what.

Key points


When ​people have to manage dangers from inside the organization, the organization itself becomes less able to face the dangers from outside

Captain Mike Drowley and his wingman provided air cover for a team of twenty-two men who were operating deep inside enemy territory and had just captured a “high-value target (HVT).” The team needed to escort the HVT to a safe house but they must go through a horde of terrorists in a deep valley in a mountainous part of Afghanistan. They were trapped. The cloud cover was thick and no one in their right senses would fly an A-10 through that kind of cloud. Except for​ Johnny Bravo (the nickname Capt. Drowley was given). His courage and empathy on that August night made the difference for the twenty-two-man team. All of them got home alive.

Empathy is what drives great leaders to do the things they do. Most folks want to be recognized when they pull off heroic acts but people like Johnny Bravo have a culture of sacrifice and service which makes them see themselves as just pieces of a much bigger puzzle. The knowledge that others would do the same for you is what drives most people to give their best and even risk their lives for the good of the organizations that they work for.

Leaders must learn to provide cover from above and the people on the ground must look out for each other if any organization hopes to become exceptional. Recognize that employees are human too and listen to them. Your employees will work without coercion and work together to advance the company when they feel valued.{2} Truly human leadership protects an organization from the internal rivalries that can shatter the culture of trust and cooperation. Returning from work feeling inspired, safe, fulfilled and grateful is a natural human right to which we are all entitled and not a modern luxury that only a few lucky ones are able to find.

Leaders should be responsible for the lives of their employees

Every single employee is someone’s son or someone’s daughter. Like a parent, a leader of a company is responsible for their precious lives.
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Misery may love company, but it is the companies that love misery that suffer the most


A sense of community and certain chemicals are the forces that drive most of our actions and feelings


When leaders eat last, they are repaid with loyalty and hard work


Trust is like lubrication. It reduces friction and creates conditions much more conducive to performance


Too many of the environments in which we work today frustrate our natural inclinations to trust and cooperate


The cycle of abstraction endemic to our brand of capitalism is easily seen when we take a broader view of Milgram’s experiment


Businesses need to hold themselves to a higher moral standard rather than just trying to spot loopholes in the rules and evade responsibility


In a weak culture, we veer away from doing “the right thing” in favor of doing “the thing that’s right for me”


Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first


Leadership is about taking responsibility for lives and not numbers


For over seventy-five years, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has successfully helped people beat the dopamine addiction of alcoholism


It is not the work we remember with fondness, but the camaraderie, how the group came together to get things done



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