The next book in our series of Surveyorhood book reports is Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek.
Part 1 of this book is titled “Our need to feel safe” and with the current uncertainty surrounding us, so much of the language on the contents page speaks volumes “belonging”, “the courage to do the right thing”, “ at the centre of all our problems is us”, “ shared struggle”… maybe in our current crisis I might just be reading too much into this.
I like Simon’s work. He is optimistic. He envisions a brighter future I believe in, it starts with why and brings us together because it’s better.
Recounting a US military encounter he uses it to illustrate the example because:
The lessons are so much more exaggerated when it is a matter of life or death.
Exceptional organisations have cultures where leaders provide care from above and the people on the ground look after each other.
The next chapter strikes another chord with me at this time, whilst so many that can, work from home. The use of factory staff versus office staff here shows the transformation from the lack of trust and autonomy that crushes people to a workplace culture that treats everyone the same.
This was going to be the new normal.
Simply by changing the environment in which people worked, the same people started acting differently toward each other.
My takeaway here is that when we’re dealing with a crisis internally- high turnover of staff, high sickness absence, loss of trust – we cannot then deal with our response to exterior crises. Like now.
We have to be in this together. Kinder, truly human leadership, protects an organisation. Because if an organisation is at war with itself, we all suffer.
But when trust and co-operation thrive internally, we pull together and the organisation grows stronger as a result.
People first leadership.
It’s simple – as a leader your sole responsibility is to protect your people, in turn they look after everything else.
I can’t help but think of that scene in the first Avengers movie when Loki asserts his leadership and the natural state of subjugation when reaching Chapter 8 Why We Need Leaders.
Stay with me here.
I’m not saying Sinek takes a darker turn here to say we were made to be ruled.
It is the opposite.
We are comfortable with having alpha’s in our society, we know the advantages of leadership don’t come for free, and accepting that price isn’t for everyone.
The trade off for the position and pay, is that you do right for your people.
But seriously, read the book, it is inspiring and thought provoking with multiple experiential evidence.
It will shift your thinking.
You can read more about Simon here: