Book Notes: Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek

Date finished: 2018-02-03

It really took me way too long to finish this book, considering it is not particularly long (less than 300 pages on my eReader), and how much I liked reading it.

Things that stuck

Good leaders create a Circle of Safety and expand it as wide as possible.

The human brain responds to “Happiness Chemicals”: endorphins and dopamine, the selfish chemicals, and serotonin and oxytocin, the selfless chemicals.

Endorphins mask physical pain. They are the reason behind the “runner’s high”. They give us our ability to push through. Dopamine gives us a feeling of satisfaction when a task gets done or a goal gets reached.

Serotonin is the feeling of pride, or the feeling we feel when we know others like and respect us. Serotonin makes us strong and confident. Oxytocin is the feeling of friendship, love or deep trust. It’s the feeling you get when you are among your closest friends and colleagues.

Selfish chemicals are more about instant gratification, where selfless chemicals are long lasting.

The other chemical: cortisol (the “Big C”). Cortisol is there to help us respond to threats, it’s the chemical that flows through us when we hear a “bump” in the night, or when we are stressed. In short doses, it serves its purpose, but over long periods of time, it makes us selfish.

Workplaces/leaders with tendencies to layoff people and lookout for a very small group (investors, or anyone in the inner circle), have selfish employees because of the cortisol.

Leadership doesn’t happen in big boosts, it is a collection of small, constant actions.

Putting the needs of others before yours consistently will make others want to make sure you are taken care of.

Our current society has been rewarding selfish chemicals and the work force has suffered for it.

A more humane work environment might not make the most business sense right away, but is a winning strategy in the long term (example: Costco).

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