‘Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t’
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 create environments in which people naturally work together.
In his work with organizations around the world, Simon Sinek noticed that some teams trust each other so deeply that they would literally put their lives on the line for each other. Other teams, no matter what incentives are offered, are 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.
Too many workplaces are driven by cynicism, paranoia and self-interest. But the best ones 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. ♦
‘Principles: Life and Work’
In 1975, Ray Dalio founded an investment firm, Bridgewater Associates, out of his two-bedroom apartment in New York City. Forty years later, Bridgewater has made more money for its clients than any other hedge fund in history and grown into the fifth most important private company in the United States, according to Fortune magazine. Dalio himself has been named to Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Along the way, Dalio discovered a set of unique principles that have led to Bridgewater’s exceptionally effective culture, which he describes as “an idea meritocracy that strives to achieve meaningful work and meaningful relationships through radical transparency.” It is these principles, and not anything special about Dalio — who grew up an ordinary kid in a middle-class Long Island neighborhood — that he believes are the reason behind his success.
In “Principles,” Dalio argues that life, management, economics, and investing can all be systemized into rules and understood like machines. The book includes hundreds of practical lessons, which are built around his cornerstones of “radical truth” and “radical transparency.” While the book brims with novel ideas for organizations and institutions, “Principles” also offers a clear, straightforward approach to decision-making that Dalio believes anyone can apply, no matter what they’re seeking to achieve. Here is a rare opportunity to gain proven advice
unlike anything you’ll find elsewhere. ♦