Leaders Eat Last

  • by Simon Sinek
  • Narrated by Simon Sinek
  • 8 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Why do only a few people get to say "I love my job?" It seems unfair that finding fulfillment at work is like winning a lottery; that only a few lucky ones get to feel valued by their organizations, to feel like they belong.
Imagine a world where almost everyone wakes up inspired to go to work, feels trusted and valued during the day, then returns home feeling fulfilled.
This is not a crazy, idealized notion. Today, in many successful organizations, great leaders are creating environments in which people naturally work together to do remarkable things. In his travels around the world since the publication of his best seller Start with Why, Simon Sinek noticed that some teams were able to trust each other so deeply that they would literally put their lives on the line for each other. Other teams, no matter what incentives were offered, were doomed to infighting, fragmentation, and failure. Why?
The answer became clear during a conversation with a Marine Corps general. "Officers eat last," he said.Sinek watched as the most junior Marines ate first, while the most senior Marines took their place at the back of the line. What's symbolic in the chow hall is deadly serious on the battlefield: great leaders sacrifice their own comfort - even their own survival - for the good of those in their care.
The best organizations foster trust and cooperation because their leaders build what Sinek calls a Circle of Safety that separates the security inside the team from the challenges outside. The Circle of Safety leads to stable, adaptive, confident teams, where everyone feels they belong and all energies are devoted to facing the common enemy and seizing big opportunities. But without a Circle of Safety, we end up with office politics, silos, and runaway self-interest. And the whole organization suffers.
As he did in Start with Why, Sinek illustrates his ideas with fascinating true stories from a wide range of examples.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Excellent message but poor solution

The basic message of this book, that leadership is about taking care of people, is inspirational. The author goes to great lengths to talk about, and give excellent examples of, how companies with a people first approach can be very successful. The world could do well to listen.

Unfortunately, while the first half of the book pushes leadership and individual responsibility to make the world a better place the last half strongly pushes government regulation as a big part of the solution. He goes so far as to lament the government no longer forcing TV stations to devote a portion of their broadcasts to "public service". Worse, he pines for renewal of the Fairness Doctrine from the 1950's wherein public officials would decide if your programing was "balanced" enough.

Several of the issues the author hit on, particularly around regulation, were subjects I have followed for years and the author cherry picks the evidence that fit's his argument while ignoring both the opposing arguments and supporting evidence.

Were the Fairness Doctrine in place for books I believe the author would be forced to rewrite substantial portions of this book. I dare say that would give him a new and useful perspective on the very large downside of these regulations he supports.

Differences aside, overall the book was very inspirational and has caused me to look afresh at my management style. Companies can benefit from an employee friendly culture. Convincing companies that this is in their best interest is the surest course to propagating this idea. Having government try to enforce it is unlikely to have lasting success.

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- Troyus "Troyus"


This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Not really sure with who this book would really resonate. The first quarter to third of the book was engaging and interesting. At the outset, Sinek's accounts are engaging and pointed. His discussion of brain chemistry is very interesting and his application of the information is useful. Then he flips a switch.

What was most disappointing about Simon Sinek’s story?

He starts blaming most bad human behavior on dopamine addiction and offers limp rational for the assertion after assertion. He offers a few assumptions that he says we can all agree on. Then he explains how everything wrong in America is one political party's fault. Take your pick of the party...such an assertion is absurd and blindly propagadizing.

I totally did not not expect this. At two separate instances, Simon references historical anecdotes to explain certain conclusions. I have read the books from which each comes. His description of both events are particularly selective and adapted to suit his conclusion. This is irresponsible and lazy.

Which scene was your favorite?

My favorite part of the books was during the brain chemicals discussion and the explanations of their effects on our actions.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Leaders Eat Last?

If I could edit the book, I would gladly cut out the last three quarters of the book.

Any additional comments?

I have been a fan of Sinek's "Start with Why" concept and have watched his discussion of it on YouTube many times. I also watch interviews about this "leaders eat last" idea. I like it, too. From here on out I plan to just watch Sinek on YouTube and spend my money on a Gladwell, Duhigg or Cabane book.

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- J. Jackson

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-07-2014
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio