author: Simon Sinek
The main message of Leaders Eat Last is simple -- the buck stops at the leader’s desk. In other words, those of us that lead may not always understand the impact that our leadership roles actually have on those we lead.
The depth and breadth of leadership cascades down from the executive board to management, which in turn cascades down to the soldiers that march in and out of the battle field of the organization on a daily basis shaping the culture of the environment… which comes full circle back up to the one that leads, as a direct reflection of his or her leadership.
Sinek’s Circle of Safety tells us that we should focus on helping each other rather than “one-upping” each another to make management happy. It also tells us that when we know + trust that the people inside the Circle of Safety will look out for us and protect us from the dangers of the outside, we’re more likely to freely exchange information and ideas that will move the organization forward vs keep things to ourselves because we’re afraid someone might “steal” our idea.
So, what’s amongst one of the biggest habits you can develop in order to cultivate your Circle of Safety?
In a word... EMPATHY.
Empathy is a crucial commodity these days, and we need leaders like Johnny Bravo in our corporations and companies; in our businesses and organizations… To truly lead. Because when people know that their leaders are providing protection from above, they can work hard on the ground, without being concerned about the dangers of the outside. (Empathy = the ability to recognize or share the feelings of another.)
- Treat your employees with respect and dignity and you’ll see the benefits (as results) in every dimension of your life and business.
- A core tenet of workplace management, human relations, leadership, and basically everything else in life, is that when we feel hopeless and devastated (like many of us do with our work situation) about some area of life, and we feel like we have no control, then the result is rarely positive (at least until we overcome it).
Lack of control at work = stress + emotional strain. One in three employees considered leaving their jobs in 2010-2011 (according reports from consultancy firm Mercer, LLC). This tells us two things:
That there are A LOT of people that want to quit their jobs, and/or
People feel like they’ve got no other option but to stay put (due to money, family, and insecurities about being unable to find other work)
ENVIRONMENT IS EVERYTHING.
When the environment at work is one of encouragement, and one that meets the basic human needs to live, to learn, to feel valued and significant, we do more than just survive — we thrive. We soar higher than expected. It’s the leadership’s responsibility to set up the right conditions/environment for this to happen. We do not have the power to “change people”. We must enhance the environment. “Change” —whether good or bad — is the result of environment. And if we want to see “change” — we need to focus less on ourselves and more on others/“the team”/organization/etc…