Continuing my trend of allowing a book to speak for itself instead of me presenting a formal book review, I am sharing my favorite quotes from Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek.
“When the people have to manage dangers from inside the organization, the organization itself becomes less able to face the dangers from the outside.” (p. 14)
“The strength and endurance of a company does not come from products or services but from how well their people pull together. By creating a Circle of Safety around the people in the organization, leadership reduces the threats people feel inside the group, which frees them up to focus more time and energy to protect the organization from the constant dangers outside and seize big opportunities. Without a Circle of Safety, people are forced to spend too much time and energy protecting themselves from each other.”(p. 22)
“We’re built to work together. We are, at a deeply ingrained and biological level, social machines. And when we work to help each other, our bodies reward us for our effort so that we will continue to do it.”(p. 36)
“The cost of leadership explains Lieutenant General George Flynn of the United States Marine Corps, is “self-interest.” We wouldn’t give them (leaders) all those perks for nothing. That wouldn’t be fair. This is the reason we are so offended by the exorbitant and disproportionate compensation of some of the leaders of the investment banks. If our leaders are to enjoy the trappings of their position in the hierarchy, then we expect them to offer us protection.”(p.65)
“We don’t just trust people to obey the rules, we also trust that they know when to break them.”(p.74)
“Trust is like lubrication. It reduces friction and creates conditions much more conducive to performance.”(p.77)
“When we divorce ourselves from humanity through numerical abstraction, we are, like Milgram’s volunteers, capable of inhuman behavior.”(p.101)
“The goal of the leader is to give no orders,” Captain Marquet explains. “Leaders are to provide direction and intent and allow others to figure out what to do and how to get there.”(p.146)
“Building trust requires nothing more than telling the truth.”(p. 154)
“Cooperation doesn’t mean agreement, it means working together to advance the greater good, to serve those who rely on our protection, not to rack up wins to serve the party or ourselves.”(p. 164)
“There’s a growing body of evidence that the companies that are most successful at maximizing shareholder value over time are those that aim toward goals other than maximizing shareholder value.” (p.171 Justin Fox and Jay Lorsch wrote this in Harvard Business Review in July-August 2012)
“Leadership is about taking responsibility for lives and not numbers. Managers look after our numbers and our results and leaders look after us. All managers of metrics have an opportunity to become leaders of people. Just as every doctor in our country learned the importance of sterilizing their instruments, so too must every leader of every organization do the little things necessary to protect their people.” (p.183)
“It is not the work we remember with fondness, but the camaraderie, how the group came together to get things done.” (p.208)
“Human beings have thrived for fifty thousand years not because we are driven to serve ourselves, but because we are inspired to serve others.” (p. 213)
Readers will also want to pay attention to Next Jump as Sinek points out its lifetime employment policy.
Which major company approved a $1.50 per hour wage increase in April 2009 during the heart of the recession? You’ll have to read the book to find out!