Leaders are the ones who run headfirst into the unknown.
They rush toward the danger.
They put their own interests aside to protect us or to pull us into the future.
Leaders would sooner sacrifice what is theirs to save what is ours
And they would never sacrifice what is ours to save what is theirs.
This is what it means to be a leader.
It means they choose to go first into danger, headfirst toward the unknown.
And when we feel sure they will keep us safe,
we will march behind them and work tirelessly to see their visions come to life
and proudly call ourselves their followers.
-Simon Sinek, "Leaders Eat Last"
From, Leaders Eat Last:
The Spartans, a warrior society in ancient Greece, were feared and revered for their strength, courage and endurance. The power of the Spartan army did not come from the sharpness of their spears, however; it came from the strength of their shields. Losing one's shield in battle was considered the single greatest crime a Spartan could commit. "Spartans excuse without penalty the warrior who loses his helmet or breastplate in battle," writes Steven Pressfield in his account of the Battle of Thermopylae (the battle upon which the movie 300 is based), "but punish the loss of all citizenship rights the man who discards his shield." And the reason was simple. "A warrior carries helmet and breastplate for his own protection, but his shield for the safety of the whole line."
Likewise, the strength and endurance of a company does not come from products or services but from how well their people pull together. Every member of the group plays a role in maintaining the Circle of Safety and it is the leader's role to ensure that they do. This is the primary role of leadership, to look out for those inside their Circle. (pgs. 22-23)
Questions to ask yourself and apply to your people and organization:
- Do we feel safe?
- Do we trust our leaders?
- Why? Why not?
- What can we do personnally?
- What can we do as an organization?
Learn more at SimonSinek.com.
Get the book Leaders Eat Last.