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I read Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek around

Review: ★★★

The emphasis on biology could make this book hard to digest for some world views, but that shouldn’t be a distraction.

The big posits are:

  • Providing safety for your tribe frees you up from focusing on inside threats, so you can instead take on your outside threats with camaraderie.
  • We’re biologically wired to have dopamine, serotonin, cortisol, and oxytocin released in various situations.
  • The current business emphasis on short term gains undermines the “social animal” that requires social bonds to thrive.

Like most philosophies that have a value underpinning, I’d ask if it’s short sighted to reach back to “the good ol’ days”, rather than progress forwards towards not needing these primitive chemical drops. Underpinning his entire argument is that death is bad, life should be fulfilling, and happiness should be expected along the way. Any argument that’s rooted in evolutionary biology ultimately cannot stand. Anchoring to “the way things are” is fighting against the progress of “the way things could be”.

While this wasn’t a philosophy book, it found me thinking about the beliefs underpinning our values, motivations, and actions. Why make an organization that lasts rather than cash out for billions? Why prefer selflessness to selfishness? Are those currently held values because of social evolution, and would we serve the long-term-greater-good by abandoning them to further progress? Or are we hard wired that way by a benevolent creator? In the same way Simon cites those who serve someone higher than the lab coats, we’re faced with a decision to choose our values, what their ultimate source is, and serve that source unwaveringly.


Leaders Eat Last
Simon Sinek
9781591845324 (find it on Bookshop, IndieBound, WorldCat, or Open Library)