Simon Sinek is a name that needs no introduction in the world of literature. His famous books like “Start with Why”, “The Millennial Question” and several others have won the hearts of millions of Bibliophiles globally. However, his last publication, "Leaders Eat Last", is something special.
Sinek has always focused on self-evaluation and personal growth for professional and personal betterment. Let us talk about some hidden dynamics in his last book, which serve as a beacon for readers ahead.
Hidden Dynamics of Leaders Eat Last
Sinek explores reasons why some leaders do not become successful or aren’t able to make a positive impact on others. Following are some interesting things you can extract from his about leadership.
Care for your Followers
Several leaders fail in their leadership because they forget that their employee health and happiness is their concern. Most leaders start operating in their vision with a good heart but start overlooking these things with time.
They fail to care about the people they are supposed to lead, which can impact their overall popularity and impression on the followers.
Sinek argues that real leadership develops when leaders genuinely care about their followers and allow themselves to get attached and indulge themselves with others.
He claims that once these followers see that you care, they start appreciating you, and their loyalty increases too.
Prioritize Safety for Progress
Providing follower safety is one of the most fundamental responsibilities for a leader. This doesn’t refer to the daily employee/follower safety, rather focusing on their overall well-being and development.
It is because leaders cannot expect followers to do their best if these followers are not well themselves. However, ensuring your follower's safety will help you reap better benefits in the long run.
Assist Employees towards Goals
The human brain’s perception of development and achievement has experienced some serious changes in the last few years. Most people are happy with small achievements and daily life tasks, such as changing profile pictures. However, these aren’t true achievements and do not serve a meaningful purpose.
It is a leader’s responsibility to ensure all employees/followers use their skills to their true potential. This means the leaders should assign followers with real tasks, even if it seems difficult.
The followers will develop a sense of true pride once they overcome their respective challenges. Simply put, the leader is also responsible for their follower’s development and growth as a whole.
Understand the Difference between Visions and Goals
All great leaders must understand the difference between vision and goals. Leaders need to have both, but this does not apply to everyone.
Goals are things you can mark easily, and can see as a mark in near tasks. A vision, on the other hand, is more abstract and needs refining.
Leaders can create better strategies, implementations methods, and approaches towards these goals once they realize this difference. Moreover, it is okay for leaders to take a step back and revise their approach if they believe they aren’t moving towards their goal.
Sacrifice your Interests
Bearing the responsibility of a leader means you need to consider all possible kinds of issues that you need to tackle. The biggest issue is setting employee mindset with a true example. You cannot expect followers to do what you tell them to do if it seems impossible.
While verbal motivation matters, setting examples is a crucial role for a leader. Once you show a follower that they should focus on your example, and give live examples, they will have a better response.
For instance, you can teach your followers punctuality all you want. However, it will not do much if you as a leader do not follow the same example. Instead, your followers may also lose their trust in you and consider you as a hypocrite. Therefore, Sinek believes in setting examples through personal sacrifice.
Learn to Trust
Some leaders remain a manager because they do not truly trust their followers to carry out a job properly. They have a perfectionist attitude towards life, which often leaves them overburdened. Moreover, it also makes the followers feel unimportant, incompetent and disheartened.
Therefore, all leaders must focus on making their employees and followers feel valued. The easiest way to do this is to trust them with simple tasks instead of trying to do everything yourself. Leaders need to delegate and learn to trust their followers.
You shouldn’t face trouble while trusting your followers with tasks as long as you have been a good teacher, and have inspired your followers to carry out tasks like you.
Ensure Employee Autonomy
Autonomy within reason is a major player for leader strengthening. It will be difficult for you to make the most out of your followers when they start feeling like they are overmanaged. Instead, a healthier way is to provide these followers with the much-needed freedom.
This doesn’t mean letting the followers do whatever they want. However, they should still have enough freedom to make some decisions on their own. This will not only make them feel special but will also ensure they feel like an important part of your goal and vision.
This is also great for employee growth as a whole too. It is because leaders that “spoon-feed” their followers will never see true workers. Instead, they will always look up to the leader for every single decision. Thus, leaders need to develop a sense of autonomy in their followers.
Think of the Bigger Picture
It is nearly impossible to achieve goals if you remain short-sighted towards your goals. The biggest responsibility for these leaders is making the right decisions. You can leave the short-term goals in your manager’s hands. However, always ensure you make your company’s long-term decision.
The best way to do this is to forecast your next few steps once you decide something. Planning will help you stay on track with your primary ideas. Moreover, investing in a single-decision approach for major changes also reduces the chances of facing a dispute over these matters.
Avoid the “Welch Way”
Sinek featured GE leader Jack Welch, who focused on a short-lived leadership campaign with tons of flaws in it. He impacted the whole setup greatly, as his profits were consistently fluctuating. He also fired many of his trusted managers, workers, and loyal employees.
He didn’t want to admit the mistakes he made and continued his irrational behavior. Welch tried ruling with the upper hand. While he had a lot of power and options, his leadership was not successful in the long run.
Therefore, it is important to understand the profound differences between leadership and dictatorship. Instead, you should focus on creating an approach that suits everyone, and works for the collective good.
Don’t Switch Roles
Sinek also helps potential leaders understand the importance of sticking to an executive position for better leading. He connects the Welch story to bad and short-term planning. The main aim of a leader should be to stick to an executive position before joining it.
Consistent switching not only shows indecisiveness but also disrespect to the task. While this will not have an immediate impact on your career as a leader, it will damage you eventually. You cannot expect followers to take you seriously. They will never have the respect for you that a leader deserves.
That said Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek is the perfect guide for aspiring leaders. It provides hidden dynamics that can help forge your leadership most effectively. Ensure following the principles we have highlighted and you will see results.
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