Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Some Don’t is a self-help book written by Simon Sinek in 2014. In this Leaders Eat Last summary, we dive deep into Sinek’s winning leadership principles.
It is not enough for companies to be successful with a good product or high advertising budgets. They need a good plan, team, and leaders to lead that team. Simon Sinek explained the effect of leaders on the success of companies in his book. By learning the characteristics and duties of successful leaders, we can improve ourselves to be good leaders.
Leaders Eat Last Summary with 20 Lessons Learned
Here are the 20 lessons to learn from Leaders Eat Last Summary:
#1 Really Caring
There is no company without employees. That’s why you should care about your employees no matter what their job is. In general, you have to show that you care about them. People are happier and more industrious where they are cared for and respected. This also strengthens their loyalty to the company.
If you don’t value your employees enough, they will stop working with you for another company where they can make a little more money. If your employees feel that they are loved and respected, their loyalty to your company will increase.
If your employees do not want to lose their salary and working conditions, they tend to show high performance. You don’t need to use it as a threat against them. Just give signals that company conditions will get better and better. They also do their best to be a part of this business.
Do not try to raise the conditions of your employees suddenly, if you make a promise that you cannot keep, you will lose trust. Confidence is the most important element in business life, if you pay your employees late once, it means danger signals for them.
#3 Real Success
When we are successful, dopamine is released in our body and we feel good. However, with the development of technology, our body can release dopamine even in a way as simple as sharing a photo. This effect reduces our employees’ desire for success. Guide them on what true success is and what they should pursue.
Reward your employees when they achieve something, even a concert ticket can be a small gesture of appreciation. You have to create the impression of a thoughtful leader, this will make them feel secure.
#4 Common Purpose
Leaders need to provide their employees with a common goal to pursue. Employees must see the big picture and know how great value they are actually there to create. As a leader, you must show them your vision and inspire them.
If your team does not see a great reason to work, you cannot motivate them with just a salary and you cannot get enough efficiency. Talk about the future of your company, what it will change in this world, and show how determined you are about it.
#5 Leader’s Roadmap
The goals ahead of your company should be achievable and calculable. As each goal is achieved, you continue to work for the new one. This process continues until they achieve incredible success. These great achievements are also limited by the imagination of the leader.
As mentioned earlier in this Leaders Eat Last Chapter Summary, define the goals your company must achieve before it can achieve great success and share it with your employees. Tell them passionately about your dreams and show them that you want to continue with them all the way.
#6 Always Being Ready
A successful leader does the right thing no matter how he feels. Even on the day when he is angry or unhappy, his behavior towards his employees does not change. There must be consistency in your behavior within the company. Your employees should draw strength from you.
When you go to your company, you should leave behind the problems you have outside because if you reflect these problems to your employees, they will think that you are weak and no one wants to work for a weak leader.
#7 Feeling of Confidence
The better a leader you are, the better team your employees will be. Employees who have an inspirational leader create a sense of trust. They take pride in working with you and act with confidence that things will work out when they do what you say. Their self-esteem rises.
Your employees should not be afraid of making mistakes, if you criticize them too much, they will lose confidence and have a hard time doing their best. You won’t turn a blind eye to their mistakes, you just shouldn’t exaggerate the subject of criticism.
#8 Don’t Always Help
If you constantly interfere in the affairs of your employees, it becomes a habit for them. People tend to choose the easy one. Your employee shouldn’t want you to bring every job they do to you and ask you to fix it. If you don’t trust your employee’s work, fire him.
Be knowledgeable about every subject related to your business, but do not interfere in every business, this shows that you do not trust your employees. Employees who feel that they cannot be trusted experience anxiety and fear that they will lose their jobs.
#9 Working Environment
A good employee can find many alternative companies. For him to want to work with you, you must be a good leader and provide a good working environment. To have the best employees, you must offer them the best conditions.
Your employees should be happy when they come to the company, you should give them a nice office. If the working environment is nice, they start to come to work more stylishly and affect each other positively. People want to dress stylishly in places where they feel good, and they do their jobs more fondly.
#10 Long-Term Plans
Your leaders don’t bother with the possible goals of the company. Company employees take care of those goals. Leaders should focus on the big goal. He should consider the success of his dreams, creating a world-class business. As a leader, you should only be there to control short-term goals. Your job is about big goals.
You should manage the people, not the business, your priority is to focus on the work and believe in your project. If even one person in your team has a motivation problem, it will start to affect other employees as well. While it may seem like a good idea to fire that person, you should first take the time to convince that employee of your project.
#11 Blaming Someone Else
In case of failure, the easiest thing to do is to fire company employees. Blaming failure on team members is not the hallmark of a good leader. Moreover, if you created that team, you will be responsible for the failure. The leader takes responsibility and corrects mistakes.
You must work to detect problems, but more importantly, you must detect problems before they arise. To achieve this, your communication with your team must be very good, if you have a team that is afraid of you, it will not be possible to notice the problems until the last second.
#12 Leader’s Career
You should always work in places that recruit long-term prospects. Do not prefer places that work to get you together a little bit and then take over the business from you. Work in places that will completely entrust the company to you and give you a real leadership position. You cannot show yourself otherwise.
Companies that want to work with you may not want to work with you for a long time if they only tell you about projects they want to realize in a few years, not about their future plans. You have to show that you have the potential to change a company’s future, and you should say that they have bigger plans for you.
#13 Making a Profit
Although making a profit is the sine qua non of this business, our priority is human life. The health and quality of life of even the lowest-level employees should come first. Don’t push people too hard to make more profit. It’s useless in the long run.
Forcing people to work for one more hour at the end of working hours or asking them to still do something for the company when they get home will cause them to leave your company at the first opportunity. If you want your employees to make sacrifices for your company, you must gain their loyalty and gain their trust.
#14 Using Time Correctly
You should also devote time to your employees as much as to work. You should make them feel like you’re making time for them. When they see that you truly value them, they begin to form a bond with you. They don’t feel like anyone else working in the company.
While trying to establish intimacy, be careful not to question their social lives, they don’t have to tell you how they spent the day and the weekend. You can ask them questions about their hobbies, recent books they have read, and bonding in this way will increase their loyalty to their work.
#15 Mutual Respect
Whether you’re working for a million-dollar firm or a social welfare organization, always prioritize respect. If there is no mutual respect within the company, your leadership quality starts to disappear. This will bring the end of your company.
Make sure employees respect each other, so everyone will feel valued. It doesn’t matter who does what, no matter who takes more responsibility, the important thing is to get everyone working for a common purpose.
It is not enough for your employees to behave well towards you. Because you are already in the top position, they have to show respect. What matters is how they treat each other. If there are personnel who are disturbed by each other’s behavior in the workplace, the whole team begins to be affected. You must constantly observe and communicate against such situations.
Do not allow your employees to belittle each other and react harshly when you see such a situation. In workplaces where people do not treat each other well, competition becomes social and people start to fight each other rather than succeed.
#17 Top Employees
You may have built a good team, but as your company grows, your team needs to keep up. You should allow the people who started working with you to develop themselves. In this way, you will get loyal, high-level employees. People like to work where they can add something to themselves.
Both you and your employees may not have previous large company experience. As your company grows, you should recruit new teammates, but the most important trait of these teammates is that they have great company experience. Both you and your employees can benefit from them and get through this transition period very well.
#18 Reduce Stress
There must be pressure on your employees, but this pressure should not be such that they worry them. A little stress is fine. It keeps your employees on time and attentive, but too much is harmful. It prevents them from thinking clearly.
If your employees are afraid of making mistakes, their performance will decrease and their creativity will begin to stagnate. Instead of producing solutions to problems, they try to hide them from you. You may think that things are going well, you have established authority, but when the company goes bankrupt, they have no difficulty in finding a new job, you will be left alone with bankruptcy.
#19 Doing Everything With Care
As mentioned earlier in this Leaders Eat Last summary, pay attention to how the employees you recruit on your team behave in matters other than their jobs. Are their desks messy? Are the shirts ironed? These show the importance they attach to their work. Thanks to these tips, you can evaluate them better.
A good leader is a good observer and can analyze details. A messy desk can mean a teammate who has lost control of the work rather than a teammate who works hard. Analyze, question, and try to spot problems before they arise.
#20 Give Hope
No matter how good your product, employees, or advertisements are, something will definitely go wrong. Employees must trust their leaders to avoid panic in the company when things go wrong. Employees must have a leader who gives them hope so that they can stay calm during setbacks in the company. Reassure them that they can overcome any problem once they are with you.
You have to show your team that you are capable of accomplishing anything, you have to ignore minor problems and you have to make them feel powerful too. It should be noted that together you can achieve anything, and each of them is specially chosen.
If there are more lessons you would like to include in this Leaders Eat Last Chapter Summary, please let us know!
Top 10 Quotes from Leaders Eat Last and Chapter Summary
1. “Nearly every system in the human body exists to help us survive and thrive. Thousands of years ago, other hominid species died off while we lived on . . . and on and on.”
2. “A close study of high-performing organizations, the ones in which the people feel safe when they come to work, reveals something astounding.”
3. “Yet sadly in our modern world, given the systems we’ve developed to manage our companies, the number of organizations that inspire employees to truly commit themselves is a slim minority”
4. “When the time is taken to build proper relationships and when leaders choose to put their people before their numbers when we can actually feel a sense of trust for each other, the oxytocin released in our bodies can reverse many of the negative effects of operating in a high-stress, cortisol-soaked environment.”
5. “When living in populations of about 100 to 150 people, as our ancestors did, clearly the whole tribe couldn’t just rush in and grab food; chaos would ensue.”
6. When we perceived someone as dominant to us, instead of fighting them for the food we voluntarily stepped back and allowed them to eat first.
7. “Even though we can indeed raise our status with material goods, the feeling doesn’t last. There is no social relationship associated with that burst of serotonin. Again, the selfless chemicals are trying to help us strengthen our communities and social bonds.”
8. “Our brain interprets the information we receive with our survival in mind. If we suspect our leaders are bending the truth to favor their own interests, then our subconscious mind prefers we don’t climb into a foxhole with them.”
9. “Leadership comes from telling us not what we want to hear, but rather what we need to hear. To be a true leader, to engender deep trust and loyalty, starts with telling the truth.”
10. “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.”
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