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Masterpieces are only lucky attempts.George Sand

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Leaders Eat Last

Leaders Eat Last

How can we foster cooperative behaviors that underlie beneficial team dynamics?

Author(s): Simon Sinek

Publisher: Portfolio Penguin

Date of publication: 2014

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How can the leadership style of the U.S. Marines inspire company leaders?

The chief of a Marines unit is the last to eat, though his rank entitles him to eat first. For the author, this concern and ability to step aside make it possible for people to demonstrate the vigilance toward others that is decisive on the battlefield. Even in less atypical organizations, such as companies, trust and cooperation are critical to obtain the engagement of employees. Citing neurosciences and brain chemistry, the author points out the difficulties of fostering cooperative behavior, which is not encouraged by our reptilian brain and can be established only when a feeling of safety is shared. On the other hand, observing acts of generosity and mutual assistance encourages us to do likewise. These acts stimulate the production of a hormone known as oxytocin, which gives us a sense of wellbeing.

Taking inspiration from homo sapiens, which has survived thanks to cooperation, leaders must in turn take care to ensure that their teams feel safe. They must also set the example.

Sometimes very detailed on brain chemistry, but illustrated with many cases and examples, this book will help any leader identify and implement behaviors that support beneficial team dynamics.