Book Review: Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
“The goal for any leader of any organization is to find balance. When dopamine is the primary driver, we may achieve a lot but we will feel lonely and unfulfilled no matter how rich or powerful we get. We live lives of quick hits, in search of the next rush. Dopamine simply does not help us create things that are built to last. When we live in a hippie commune, the oxytocin gushing, but without any specific measureable goals or ambition, we can deny ourselves those intense feelings of accomplishment. No matter how loved we may feel, we may still feel like failures. The goal, again, is balance.When the system is in balance, however, we seem to gain almost supernatural ability. Courage, inspiration, foresight, creativity and empathy, to name a few. When those things all come to bear, the results and the feelings that go with them are simply remarkable.”
Simon Sinek made me a fan a long time ago. His TED talk on leadership was either the precursor or result of his first book Start With Why (which I haven’t yet read). I jumped ahead to this one and pushed it up the list on my iBooks shelf due to Simons excellent talks.
Leaders Eat Last both confirmed some things I subconsciously knew and taught me a ton of new things about not just leaderships, but motivation, energy, emotion, and human behavior.
Simon did a ton of research for this book, providing detailed stories of leaders on both ends of the spectrum from all walks of life (many in the business world). I picked up several ideas of how I will operate better in my own business life by reading about what does –and doesn’t — work with people.
Simon gets scientific on you (in a good way), explaining the chemicals our bodies release when we experience certain situations/outcomes. And they all make perfect sense. For instance, the warm and fuzzies we feel when we know we’ve done something to help others? That’s a requirement of strong groups. The feeling of achievement we get when we run another mile or check something off our to-do list? That’s dopamine, the achiever chemical that drives businesses to chase the bottom line over caring for their people. But I’ll let Simon tell it, as he does it expertly in Leaders.
If you’ve are, have ever been or strive to be in a position of leadership (even better), you need to know the principles shared in Leaders.