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Simon Sinek: Why Leaders Eat Last

About this presentation

In this in-depth talk, ethnographer and leadership expert Simon Sinek reveals the hidden dynamics that inspire leadership and trust. In biological terms, leaders get the first pick of food and other spoils, but at a cost. When danger is present, the group expects the leader to mitigate all threats even at the expense of their personal well-being. Understanding this deep-seated expectation is the key difference between someone who is just an “authority” versus a true “leader.”

For more on this topic, check out Sinek’s latest book Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t now available for pre-order.

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3:30 Happiness breakdown (4 chemicals)
5:53 1) Endorphins
7:16 Importance of endurance
7:59 2) Dopamine
8:19 Dopamine is to make sure get stuff done
9:10 Goals must be tangible – we have to see the goal to stay focused
10:17 Dopamine is dangerous when unbalanced
15:07 Feel safe
15:40 In our organization, danger isn’t a constant it is a variable
17:05 The responsibility of leadership is 2 things: 1) Determine who gets in and who doesn’t 2) how big do we make the circle of safety
17:33 Great leaders extend safety to the outermost of the org
17:53 3) Serotonin – leadership chemical
19:30 Trying to enforce relationships
22:22 Value of group-living
22:28 Being alpha comes at a cost
26:01 The cost of leadership is self-interest
27:15 Makes you feel safe
27:34 4) Oxytocin
29:03 Businesses aren’t rational, it’s about feeling safe. “It’s human — physical touch”
29:27 “Human bonds matter”
29:29 Act of human generosity
32:19 Leaders spend time/energy not money
37:30 You have to make sure you can trust others as leaders because you won’t have time to help everyone
38:47 Cortisone – the feeling of stress and anxiety
40:59 Needs to shut down during times
41:42 Cortisone inhabits oxytocin
42:18 “Our jobs are killing us.. leaders are responsible”
43:12 Leadership is a decision, a choice.

About Simon Sinek

A trained ethnographer and the author of Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, Simon Sinek has held a life-long curiosity for why people and organizations do the things they do. Studying the leaders and companies that make the greatest impact in the world and achieve a more lasting success than others, he discovered the formula that explains how they do it.

Sinek’s amazingly simple idea, The Golden Circle, is grounded in the biology of human decision-making and is changing how leaders and companies think and act.

His innovative views on business and leadership have earned him invitations to meet with an array of leaders and organizations, including Microsoft, Dell, SAP, Intel, Chanel, Members of the United States Congress, and the Ambassadors of Bahrain and Iraq.

Sinek recently became an adjunct staff member of the RAND Corporation, one of the most highly regarded think tanks in the world. He also works with the non-profit Education for Employment Foundation to help create opportunities for young men and women in the Middle East region. He lives in New York, where he teaches graduate level strategic communications at Columbia University.

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  1. I found out about this man with his millenial speech and im so happy that i did….facts dont lie….together is stronger and when everyone decides to put away their pride and work together to accomplish ANYTHING then we can accomplish EVERYTHING….love this man simon sinek

  2. I laughed so hard (especially with the gazelles part) that I could actually feel the endorphins causing pain in my body:))Thank you Simon for everything that you do

  3. Favorite speech of all time! But is the title of this video correct? Shouldn't it be Why Leaders Eat First? He explains how humans adopted hierarchical systems to benefit the survival of the group, and how alphas (leaders) eat first, not last. Help me on this one please, thank you

  4. Recognizing scammers like you is easy, Simon Sinek. You probably have a complex from wearing glasses and someone in your childhood told you "alphas don't wear glasses". Since then, you are producing this non-conflicting entertainment material that you think can make you into an alpha, while powered by your fears and neuroses. Think for a bit, if you were an alpha, you wouldn't have to produce these cavemen-conforming materials. You are a beta by choice.

  5. ….Alcoholics Anonymous is a really terrible example. It tried to project the idea that it's effective but it actually isn't. Most people who stay off alchahol do so inspite of the AA program, not because of it.

  6. I heard somewhere that it costs thousands of dollars to rent a graduation gown… So I guess I won't be getting that dose of serotonin. Too rich for my blood apparently.

  7. This dude is fucking amazing, I can't stop listening to him talking, just an incredible amount of great information in such a small amount of time and with a passion to inspire others. I am absolutely hooked

  8. i have a guilty confession.after he said watching others do acts of generosity gives us a hit of oxytocin…my next thought was quick i need to find a video of people doing nice things for each other…please dont judge me to harshley…im currently suffering from complex post traumatic stress and post natal depression ..i only wantded to watch this video to help be a better mum and partner for my family…but i feel guilty becouse wanting to cheat by getting easy oxytocin in an easy way dosnt feel totaly right even though my intentions are to get self healing for my own and familys benifit….love this video totaly worth it.

  9. I'm more interested in the people who ended as ground meat in the mountain than Johny Bravo, american imperialist killing savages on the borders of the empire. Did those people get shaped into dependable military tools by behavioural science ?

  10. Unfortunately, there is another way to do things. "I will do something for you, but I don't expect you to do anything for me, no! Quite opposite, I want you to feel in dept. I want you to feel like you owe me something. And then I'll do it again. And again. And again. Constantly showing that you can't possible do anything for me in return. Just because I don't need it (whatever you offer), and also because I will not accept it. So you just owe me… a favor. And the one day I will come to you and I will remind you and demand (in shape of form) to do for me something all the sudden immediately important. And because you aren't selfish pig, you will do it." Thant's how it works. That's how you go for work, because you must earn money, because you have to pay your bills, because your family depends on it, because you have to care for them, because you were told so and because you are in such a depressing scenario since when you remember.
    This is very unfortunate, but this is how capitalistic society works.

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