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Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Dont Hardcover – January 7, 2014
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Top Customer Reviews
Sinek begins with biology and outlines the roles of chemicals - specifically Endorphins, Dopamine, Serotonin and Oxytocin - and how evolution has dictated why we generate them and how we respond to them. Endorphins mask pain and help give you a `runner's high' or the intense satisfaction after a tough work out.
Dopamine leads to your `feeling good' upon accomplishing a goal whether that is bringing home dinner while evading sabre-toothed tigers or doing a bang-up job on a major presentation. Think of endorphins and Dopamine as the `individual achievement' chemicals. We need them to excel at what we do.
Serotonin is what gives you a feeling of gratitude and affection for the persons who supported you in your endeavors and the good feeling as they applaud you. Oxytocin is `love' chemical. It gives you the warm fuzzies you get when you hug someone or have a deep meaningful conversation. Think of Serotonin and Oxytocin as the `social' chemicals.
We, as humans, need both the individual achievement and social chemicals to progress. What has happened, unfortunately, in our society is that mores and values have changed to emphasize the former to such an extent that a deadly imbalance has been created. It is truly toxic - your job may be killing you. I used to think this was hyperbole but Sinek presents enough evidence for me to revise this opinion.
Central to Sinek's arguments is the `Circle of Safety'. When a sabre-toothed tiger attacks a herd of buffalos they gather together with their tails touching and horns out. Whichever direction that tiger attacks, it is met with impenetrable defense. This is the circle of safety.Read more ›
There's a great deal of hand wringing in this book, but almost no "how-to" that can be applied in everyday organizations. He even uses the word "polemic" late in the book as a description of what he's writing. We all know what needs to be done, but very few of us are doing it.
Yes, it was interesting to read about brain chemicals and current brain research. And it was okay to read some of his comparisons between/among companies that see profit as the purpose versus those companies that see profit as a means to greater purpose. The problem is that all of this could have been stated in a pamphlet, rather than a 216-page book. And, just as his TED talk on "Start With Why" offered everything in that book, his 99U video offers everything in this book--in less than 45 minutes.
I recommend lots of books to students in my leadership development classes but, in this case, I'll recommend that the students watch Sinek's videos and save their money.
Through surveys, scientific research, and stories, Simon Sinek describes the pain many suffer in workplaces. Instead of thriving, we are preoccupied with internal rivalries and distanced from fellow humans by abstraction and scale. The result is our defense mechanisms kick in, and the chemicals released make us more unhelpful, unhappy, and unhealthy.
There is a way out. Understanding that humans biologically evolved to cooperate and that leaders emerged to protect the group, organizations that create environments paralleling those early conditions will bring out the best in us. This means taking steps to avoid the allure of abstraction in modern life by keeping it real and avoiding the perils of scale by keeping team sizes that mimic those of human tribes.
The leader, then, plays a role in service to the group, protecting it from external threats. In short, quoting a Marine Corps general, Leaders Eat Last.
If you work with humans, you'll be delighted and reinvigorated.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book provides a very clear context for true leadership. It is an easy yet compelling read suitable for current or aspiring leadersPublished 18 hours ago by Amazon Customer
Brand new, great condition. not done reading, but is good so far!Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
Best book I've read ever on leadership and people. He has specific examples of what/how and why things work and the what/how why things don't work.Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
I loved the examples and stories. There is probably not a lot here that is terribly new, but Sinek presents a unique point of view that makes me want to be a great leader and to... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Rick L
Great use of story to make solid points about leadership. Nice tie into brain chemistry which may or may not be scientifically proven, but the key lessons about selfishness and... Read morePublished 7 days ago by AntDina
I couldn't put this down. Being a relatively new leader within a large organization, so many points in this book really hit close to home. Read morePublished 7 days ago by ellesee1234
I felt this book could have been half as long as it was. Too repetitious for me.Published 7 days ago by Mary Jo Garofalo