Here to talk about Simon Sinek's book, Leaders Eat Last, is Steve Goble. He's an independent certified coach, teacher, and speaker with the John Maxwell Team. After reading Steve's book review, I need to head to the bookstore and pick up a copy of this book—and you should too.
“Everything rises and falls with leadership.” This is a quote from internationally recognized leadership expert John Maxwell, a mentor of mine. As a practitioner and student of leadership, I’m always looking to learn more and invest in myself so I can go farther; so I can help others go farther.
When I was introduced to Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek, I knew it was a book that would add value to me if I read it, and I wasn’t disappointed.
In his research on leadership, Simon Sinek visited with leadership from the military, namely the US Air Force and the US Marine Corps, to learn from them about leadership within their highly organized and highly effective teams. On one such occasion, he had a conversation with a Marine Corps general, and it was discovered that “officers eat last,” and that symbolism remained ingrained in Sinek’s mind as he walks the reader through the rest of the book.
As an army brat myself, even though I’ve never served or worn the uniform, I can relate to the lifestyle that exists in a world that most civilians only know of through movies or on fake shows on their television.
Early in the book, Sinek discusses the concept of a “Circle of Safety” that must exist to get the most out of your team. He tells a story of a young marine recruit, George, who has just been thrust into the experience of Marine Corps boot camp. Excited at first to become a marine, George now doubts his original choice and feels helpless, isolated, and alone. Yet this tried and true process is ultimately proven once when the young graduates are issued their Eagle, Globe, and Anchor pins. They’re put through boot camp not only to focus on the skills they’ll need when faced with combat situations, but to build themselves into a team player who cares more about the guy in the foxhole than the guy in the mirror. It’s understood that “the ability of a group of people to do remarkable thing hinges on how well those people pull together as a team,” and that’s the true purpose of boot camp.
Another concept that Sinek shares in the book and ties to the direct success of the “Circle of Safety,” is a focus on the internal chemical reactions each of us have in our bodies to certain situations and environments. While our bodies have many chemical reactions, Sinek focuses on endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin and their relationship to our ability to function in a team environment. He educates his readers on the difference of each chemical reaction we experience, when we’re more likely to experience the effects, and how each of these reactions relates to our actions and involvement within a “Circle of Safety.”
Through the whole book, Sinek continues to provide examples and tell stories that tie back into the overall concept of leadership and team building. He shares key rules he sees that can help those be successful by managing the abstraction, and leadership lessons that focus on the culture and the people of the organization. Everything leads back to the all-important “Circle of Safety” that we as humans need to feel if we’re to truly be successful.
If you’re a student of leadership—and we all should be—you’ll want to invest the time in yourself to read Leaders Eat Last, and then take what you’ve learned and put it into action.
About the Author:
Steve Goble is a founding partner of the John Maxwell Team and owner of the Goble Group. Steve is an independent certified business coach, trainer, and speaker, who partners with you to find solutions to problems, accomplish your goals, and achieve your dreams. For more information, please visit www.thegoblegroup.com, email Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call at 717.682.3198.