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Leaders Eat Last Summary

Leaders Eat Last Book by Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek an inspirational speaker and author of five books including Start with Why and Leaders Eat Last which appeared on the best-seller lists of The New York times and The Wall Street Journal.

Simple Short Summary: The book shows how these four chemicals endorphin, dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin play a crucial roles in leadership and how you can build circle of safety for your employees and make positive difference in the organization.

Leaders Eat Last Summary

(Reading time: 4 minutes)

In this book, Leaders Eat Last, you will learn three lesson:

  1. Four chemicals plays a significant role in leadership
  2. Creating safe environment in organization for employees is leader responsibility
  3. Difficult circumstances make the team stronger and together

Lesson: A – Four chemicals plays a significant role in leadership

With the background in biology and anthropology, Simon explains why we do what we do. The book Leaders Eat Last revolves around these four chemicals and shows how these chemical play crucial role in leadership. These four chemicals are:

  1. Endorphin
  2. Dopamine
  3. Serotonin
  4. Oxytocin

Now for simplicity, Simon divides these four chemicals into two group. The first group, we call them ‘selfish chemicals‘ and another one ‘selfless chemicals‘.

Selfish Chemical‘— Endorphin and Dopamine

Selfless Chemical‘— Serotonin and Oxytocin

In these two groups, each group has its own purpose. The first group which is ‘Selfish Chemical‘ helps you to get things done while the second group which is ‘Selfless Chemical‘ helps you to build and strengthen your social bond, creates meaningful connection and collaboration.

  1. Endorphin

Endorphin is pain-masking chemical which hides your pain like you hide your face with mask. In unreliable climate or uncertain condition that injure you, this chemical makes you feel good enough to keep your body moving and covers up the pain.

This was especially useful in Paleolithic Era because you quest for prey rambling in the grueling heat or freezing cold for hours or days.

Today, endorphin helps in workout even when your muscles are tired but keep pushing you forward. You often get a surge of endorphins from running or weightlifting. That’s why it is also called ‘Runner’s High‘.

  1. Dopamine

Dopamine makes you feel good when you achieve your goal. It is dangerous because it makes you addictive. Alcohol, cocaine, nicotine, and your cell phone flow dopamine in your body whenever you use them. Thus, it makes those things highly addictive.

Every time you check your phone, response to the message, clear the notification, and read an email, the dopamine boosts up. Since dopamine makes us feel good, we instinctively do the activities that give us a surge of dopamine.

For example, you fill your time with doing low-value activity instead of doing the important one because performing meaningless activity will allow you to cross it off from your to-do list and give you a temporary boost in satisfaction.

Even achieving simple task, goal, or even getting things done give you a rush of dopamine. You get addicted to this chemical as it provides near-instant pleasure.

  1. Serotonin

On receiving respect and admiration, serotonin flows. Becoming leader of your tribe boosts serotonin flow which will build your confidence and make you feel splendid.

Under the leadership, if people are safe and protected, the leader becomes confident and more serotonin surges through his body. However, a leader gets too high on serotonin and doesn’t follow his responsibilities lose the group’s trust. Once he lost the trust, his serotonin level drops, so does his confidence.

  1. Oxytocin

Oxytocin rushes through your body when you spend time with your loved one, which means it depends on an emotional bond or receiving physical touch.

Leader that separates himself from his team never be able to form this kind of connection. If a leader gets out of his office and involve with his team, shake hands, give high-fives, and even give members one-on-one time to address issue, the leader not only makes his employees happy, but also form a deep connection with them.

Lesson: B – Creating safe environment in organization for employees is leader responsibility

You unite as a team in a circle of safety, help each other and create interdependence, and secure environment for all employees. With this, you not only survive but also thrive as you know others will help and protect you from danger.

In home your family provides a circle of safety where you feel safe, and supported. While in organization, it is a leader responsibility to create circle of safety for its employees.

To form a circle of safety, a leader must ask for honest feedback, empathize, and build secure environment for its employees.

Asking honest feedback is a leader responsibility. If a leader is ask for honest feedback, then you must give sincere and honest feedback to him. A leader also possess the skill of empathy to empathize with its employees. It is the ability to share the feelings of another.

Leader should also build safe and secure environment for its employees by providing job assurance and avoiding layoff even if new technologies taking people’s employment, uncertain stock market, and ups and downs in economy. As long as a leader provides the protection from the outside world, employees focus on the work, without worrying about the layoff.

READ: The 5 AM Club Summary.

Lesson: C – Difficult circumstances make the team stronger and together

When you rewind your office memories, you wouldn’t cherish your work, but you recall the moments of togetherness in a team. In fact, in adverse time the bond within team members become stronger. Thus, the adverse condition and conflict within the organization or outside must be face together.

With leadership and togetherness, a team can come out of bad situation in short time. It is leader responsibility to create a positive and fulfilling environment for its employees. With this, employees will give their blood and sweat to fulfill the leader vision.

READ: 12 Rules for Life Summary.

Leaders Eat Last Review

The book, Leaders Eat Last, sticks to science by discussing four chemicals that influence human behavior, and social mindset. Simson illustrates the concept of human psychology with biological mechanisms which help you to understand human behavior. It also gives you an explanation behind the good and bad leadership which eventually affects the team performance.

The book filled with detail examples of leader, Us military, politics and business, but the book is not ‘how-to‘ book. Simon prefer different approach and prospective for leadership.

Favorite Quote From The Book:

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