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Here are the most valuable principles from Simon Sinek at Leadercast 2014. What questions do these raise for your organization? How about for your personal leadership?

  • In military, we give medals to people who sacrifice self for others’ gain. In business, we give bonuses to people who sacrifice others so we may gain.
  • Leaders are the ones who are willing to sacrifice themselves for their people.
  • A leader would never sacrifice people to save the numbers. They would sacrifice the numbers to save the people.
  • The idea of using mass layoffs to balance the books this year is a recent practice.
  • In one company, the CEO believes in heart-count, not headcount. Rather than cutting people, they asked people to take unpaid vacation at the time most convenient for them. “Better that we all suffer a little than that some of us suffer a lot.” Employee morale went up!
  • The only characteristic required for leadership: Courage.
  • True leaders want their followers to grow beyond where they are themselves.
  • Marine Corp tradition: The most junior person eats first. The most senior officers eat last.
  • But in business, we tell entrepreneurs, “Pay yourself first.”
  • When we put the well-being of others before ourselves, they in turn look after our own well-being.\
  • You can’t measure good leadership day-to-day. So we put our attention on the daily measurables (costs, revenue, etc.) and sacrifice longterm leadership. In time, neglected leadership shows its impact.
  • A good leader gives people the opportunity to pursue the things they wish they had.
  • I used to think that Congress was the problem with America. Now I believe that Congress is a reflection of us and our own leadership.
  • At the end of the day, we want to feel safe around the people we work with. Are you creating that safety for your team?

Want to see other sessions from Leadercast 2014? You can find notes for all of them here.

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