Leaders Eat Last Notes – Quick Take

I made a goal in 2019 to read a book a week, which for me is quite the stretch as I’m naturally a slow reader. In fact, I’ve struggled with “read a book a month” in the past, so I’m hoping this goal will help to improve my reading times drastically.

With quick reads comes quick summaries, so here’s my brief take on Simon Sinek’s Leaders Eat Last.

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One Sentence Summary: Good Overall message, way too long.

Simon’s one of my favorite speakers. He’s captivating, charismatic, and a world-class story-teller. Unfortunately, his writing tends to be overly drawn-out, as if he’s trying *too hard* to bring home a point. This book was roughly 280 pages, but could have easily been 50. The last 8-10 chapters were very, very, very, redundant. (like this sentence!)

The message of the book, however, is fantastic! Simon studies humans (and leadership) on an anthropological-level, to show how leadership should look in today’s corporate America and what that would *feel* like to the group or company organization. Simon discusses how, biologically; through chemicals in the body such as Endorphins, Dopamine, Serotonin and Oxytocin, we are designed to be social beings with leaders who exist to look out for the protection of the tribe; not for self-preservation.

Now, several leadership books talk about how or why a Leader should put their team’s needs before their own, but what’s unique to Simon’s take is that he shows how doing so effects our bodies *chemically* (Dopamine, Serotonin, Oxytocin, Cortisol, etc.), which quite literally, has profound effects on our physical and mental health. Simon makes a pretty compelling case for Leadership as a means to combat and/or improve the literal health of the PEOPLE inside the organization, not just the *health of the organization itself* as most books do. If you’re into health and wellness, or believe that improving as a leader will help you both personally and professionally, this book is for you.

My advice? Read the first 10 chapters or so and move on to your next read. The chapters on ENDSO and Cortisol are must-reads, the last few chapters are wasted paper.

Full Notes on the book HERE.

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5 Morning Habits that Ensure a Successful Work Day

It’s true, your morning routines will either set you up for a successful, or unsuccessful, work day. Early successes set the tone for the rest of the day, by sending subconscious messages to your brain that “today is going to be a good day.” My goal is to help you make every morning a good day, so here are 5 tips that will ensure your morning is successful:

  1. Get Up Early: Like really early. The last thing you want is to feel “rushed” in the morning. Your mornings should be peaceful, productive, and stress-free, but if you’re getting out of bed 30 minutes before you need to leave for work, you’re going to feel rushed/stressed before you even walk out the door! This is not the tone you want to set before your day even begins. I recommend getting up 3 hours before you have to leave for work. So, if you need to be out the door by 8:30 AM every morning, you should be waking up at 5:30 AM.
  2. Drink a Large Glass of Water: Before you do anything else, go into your kitchen, find your largest glass, and fill it with water. Sleep can dehydrate you, as can coffee, so before you go “doubling-down” on dehydrating yourself by reaching for the coffee mug, start with water. Dehydration can lead to feeling anxious or easily irritated, two feelings we’re trying to avoid this early in the morning.
  3. Make Goals for the Day: Give your day some purpose by writing down your goals for the day. By taking 5-10 minutes every morning and writing down the 3-5 things you want to accomplish that day, you’re giving yourself direction, which will make you feel much more purposeful throughout the day. Life can be distracting, and it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind of ‘feeling busy’, easily forgetting what you woke up for. By writing down your goals first, when it’s quiet and there are no distractions (yet), you’re setting yourself up for a successful, meaningful, day.
  4. Start on Your Most Important Goal Right Away: Don’t wait until you get to the office, do it NOW. By knocking out your most important goal of the day before leaving for work, you’ll walk into the office already feeling productive and stress-free. Instead of being the person at work who’s freaking out about potentially missing a deadline, you’ll be the calm, collected one spending your time helping others with their tasks, since you’re already done with your own. Your calm and collective demeanor will set the tone for your entire team, making your morning habits not only an advantage for yourself but for those around you as well. Now that’s a leader.
  5. Exercise: Last but not least, get a sweat in! The extra oxygen to your brain, the blood pumping, and warming up those cold, stiff muscles that have been still all night will make you feel alive and invigorated for the day! It doesn’t need to be intense, even a 15-minute jog or a walk with your dog will do the trick. The key is just to get moving, and warm your body up before leaving the house and beginning your commute! Again, this will have you feeling calm, but excited, for your day, instead of stressed, and anxious.

The true purpose of work is to create value for others, by either creating a product that people use and enjoy or performing a service that people need. And only once you’ve taken care of yourself, first, can you go to work and take care of others. That is what makes a morning to yourself, a successful one.