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Leaders Eat Last

Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't
Written by: Simon Sinek
Narrated by: Simon Sinek
Length: 8 hrs and 5 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (270 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times bestseller by the acclaimed, bestselling author of Start With Why and Together is Better. Now with an expanded chapter and appendix on leading millennials, based on Simon Sinek's viral video, "The Millennial Question" (150+ million views).

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 to do remarkable things.

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.

Sinek illustrates his ideas with fascinating true stories that range from the military to big business, from government to investment banking.

©2013 Simon Sinek (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. Recorded by arrangement with Portfolio, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Don't waste your time!

Same issue with every other Simon Sinek book. Don't get me wrong he's great in 30 second clips on Facebook or whatever but when it comes to his books the truth is they just lacks substance.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Smart practical advice

I first listened to this when I got promoted to a management position where I work. Sinek’s wisdom helped me shape my perspective and approach. There’s a lot of wisdom here and some practical ways to incorporate it.

Leadership may not be for everyone, but this book can help you regardless of where you’re at in life. #Audible1

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Explains the "Why"...

...leaves you hanging with specific "how" and "what". Regardless, enjoyable listen and definitely will get you thinking.

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Excellent book

Great ideas well presented. As a long time senior leader this is very much on point.

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Lots of of rehashing

Sometimes this otherwise interesting book get's a bit convoluted, good information but not really a guide to better leadership.

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More people need to read this

Simon Sinek is a Genius. The stories he had related to the points he was pushing had a beautiful message and all the intent in this book are incredibly well intended. It is a well organized book never staying on one point to long and over doing the thoughts. Any one in any kind of management roll could learn a lot from this.

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SO good!

I just loved this book. So well read. Researched and insightful. It will make you a better person.

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A must if you want to be a leader

I've never listened to Simon Sinek before and I found it a great listen. I enjoyed the chapters where it talked about millennials and made me reflect on some of my colleagues and how I can improve. #Audible1

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Simon Sinek is Amazing

From the start to the end the book was full of great stories and gave great ideas in how to solve some of today's issues.

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Simon Sinek At His Best

Always wanted to read this book as I think Simon Sinek is an outstanding author, #Audible1 makes this easy I travel alot and it is very easy to listen too while driving. You can speed up the read in your settings as well

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  • Troyus
  • Pa USA
  • 2014-09-03

Excellent message but poor solution

The basic message of this book, that leadership is about taking care of people, is inspirational. The author goes to great lengths to talk about, and give excellent examples of, how companies with a people first approach can be very successful. The world could do well to listen.

Unfortunately, while the first half of the book pushes leadership and individual responsibility to make the world a better place the last half strongly pushes government regulation as a big part of the solution. He goes so far as to lament the government no longer forcing TV stations to devote a portion of their broadcasts to "public service". Worse, he pines for renewal of the Fairness Doctrine from the 1950's wherein public officials would decide if your programing was "balanced" enough.

Several of the issues the author hit on, particularly around regulation, were subjects I have followed for years and the author cherry picks the evidence that fit's his argument while ignoring both the opposing arguments and supporting evidence.

Were the Fairness Doctrine in place for books I believe the author would be forced to rewrite substantial portions of this book. I dare say that would give him a new and useful perspective on the very large downside of these regulations he supports.

Differences aside, overall the book was very inspirational and has caused me to look afresh at my management style. Companies can benefit from an employee friendly culture. Convincing companies that this is in their best interest is the surest course to propagating this idea. Having government try to enforce it is unlikely to have lasting success.

206 of 232 people found this review helpful

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  • J. Jackson
  • 2014-11-10

Disappointed.

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Not really sure with who this book would really resonate. The first quarter to third of the book was engaging and interesting. At the outset, Sinek's accounts are engaging and pointed. His discussion of brain chemistry is very interesting and his application of the information is useful. Then he flips a switch.

What was most disappointing about Simon Sinek’s story?

He starts blaming most bad human behavior on dopamine addiction and offers limp rational for the assertion after assertion. He offers a few assumptions that he says we can all agree on. Then he explains how everything wrong in America is one political party's fault. Take your pick of the party...such an assertion is absurd and blindly propagadizing.

I totally did not not expect this. At two separate instances, Simon references historical anecdotes to explain certain conclusions. I have read the books from which each comes. His description of both events are particularly selective and adapted to suit his conclusion. This is irresponsible and lazy.

Which scene was your favorite?

My favorite part of the books was during the brain chemicals discussion and the explanations of their effects on our actions.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Leaders Eat Last?

If I could edit the book, I would gladly cut out the last three quarters of the book.

Any additional comments?

I have been a fan of Sinek's "Start with Why" concept and have watched his discussion of it on YouTube many times. I also watch interviews about this "leaders eat last" idea. I like it, too. From here on out I plan to just watch Sinek on YouTube and spend my money on a Gladwell, Duhigg or Cabane book.

53 of 63 people found this review helpful

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  • Benjamin B Ferris
  • 2015-02-06

Should be required reading

Having spent countless hours in leadership classes, seminars, etc. while in the military and working for private / public companies as well as having read many books on leadership this book presents an awesome way of looking at leadership. Everyone who is in a position of leadership or aspires to be there in the future should absolutely read this book.Sinek also offers very sound explanations for why corporate America as well as the government are what the are today. I will be buying multiple hard copies to hand out as gifts.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Blair C
  • 2016-03-21

good but not great

looking for a seminal work on leadership? this ain't it.Simon's theory about what makes leaders is interesting but that's it.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • LeRoy R Konen Jr
  • 2014-08-07

Excellent Philosphy and Interesting Delivery

What did you love best about Leaders Eat Last?

The philosophy of how to build a leadership culture is great. If you would rather be a manager than a leader this book is not for you. Leaders really do care about their people and Mr. Sinek helps you understand why.

What other book might you compare Leaders Eat Last to and why?

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell because it is a series of stories that come together to help you appreciate how humans achieve great things.

What does Simon Sinek bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Simon's Performance helps bring context to the meaning.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Parts of the book made me chuckle but it really makes you think.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • DRYDEN, NY, United States
  • 2014-02-11

Absolutely great

What made the experience of listening to Leaders Eat Last the most enjoyable?

The author covers a very important and pervasive topic. His approach, from a biological/ sociological perspective is insightful. This book put the elements of a great leader into concrete terms, which reinforces what I have learned and experienced as a veteran.

What did you like best about this story?

The topic and the author's approach to the topic.

Have you listened to any of Simon Sinek’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not listened to any of Sinek's other works, but I am looking forward to doing so.

Any additional comments?

Anyone in a position of responsibility over people should read this book.

34 of 42 people found this review helpful

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  • Yitzhak
  • 2016-10-20

A lot of hot air

The author proclaims to be an expert without any experience to back it up, his evidence is anecdotal at best and probably selectively biased at that. While his message is accurate in general he takes it to the point of dogmatism.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2016-10-16

Disappointed

Almost decided to not even finish listening. Could not gain much from book. Some interesting ideas, but a ton of repetition

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Mommy C
  • 2016-03-09

100% Fluff

The reader does a good job on style, but the substance is missing. I got nothing out of this. Don't waste your time/money.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Angela Hermosillo
  • Breinigsville, PA USA
  • 2016-01-14

Good book on leadership

Overall not a bad book on leadership. I do have to say that after a few chapters into the book it seemed a little to the left politically. I like Jack Welch and I know no leader is perfect but he was repeatedly critiqued and Jack Welch must have done something right considering how successful GE was under his leadership. Some good material, but not a book I would listen too a few times.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful