I first came across Simon Sinek while looking through presentations on TED.com. His video, How Great Leaders Inspire Action, was grainy, made use of a paper pad, and lacked the polish that most TED videos demonstrate. But, there was something profoundly magical about it. Sinek, while clearly a skilled orator, has the ability to not just identify human behaviors, but to further articulate them through human biology. In the aforementioned TED talk, he discussed the human brain and how great leaders speak to our emotional selves. In his new book, Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't, Sinek writes about organizational dynamics and leadership through the lens of hormones: Serotonin, Oxytocin, Endorphins, and Dopamine. Equal parts business, self-help, and insights on human evolution, this book - simply put - will make you want to be a better person. It will make you want to be a leader.
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This book made me weep. I listened to it as an audio book on my iPhone. And, I would often times find myself sitting on the train or walking my dog and suddenly getting chocked up and glassy-eyed. This book is filled with stories of people doing beautiful things; of doing right by others; of seeing the bigger picture; of demonstrating empathy; of treating people with dignity; of being a leader when it wasn't profitable or easy or obvious.
People can be wonderful. And seeing that or hearing about it can be overwhelming for me. There are hormones that can explain this reaction: Serotonin - the leadership hormone - and Oxytocin - the bonding hormone. To be reading about this biology and feeling it at the same time gives this book a very fascinating meta-experience.
I hear about these leaders and I feel a deep sense of desire - a longing to improve myself and my organization. I feel inspired to lead. Leaders aren't just the men and women at the top. Leaders are spread throughout the organization at every level. Anyone can be a leader within their own circle. If you have the opportunity to build and foster a sense of safety and community, you have the opportunity to lead.
Usually, when I read a book, I like to highlight passages that are meaningful or significant. However, since I consumed Leaders Eat Last as an audiobook, I feel a bit disorganized; I can't share anything specific. All I can tell you is that I highly recommend this book. I think it will inspire you as it has inspired me. And, I think it will allow you to observe your own organization and your own leaders with a more critical eye. If nothing else, you should check out Simon Sinek's talks and interviews. You will not be disappointed.
I'm not a leader, and this review made me want to read this book! I am a supporter and 100% fine with supporting roles. I love my job, it pays the bills, and I am satisfied and happy where I am at. This was a great review, though, not just for leaders, but for those who are ok just blending in and flying below the radar. I'm now wanting to run out and buy this book. Thanks for the great review.
Very cool! I really hope you enjoy it as much as I did.