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Why good leaders make you feel safe | Simon Sinek

Why good leaders make you feel safe | Simon Sinek


There’s a man by the name of Captain William Swenson who recently was awarded the
congressional Medal of Honor for his actions on September 8, 2009. On that day, a column of American and Afghan troops were making their way through a part of Afghanistan to help protect a group of government officials, a group of Afghan government officials, who would be meeting with some local village elders. The column came under ambush, and was surrounded on three sides, and amongst many other things, Captain Swenson was recognized for running into live fire to rescue the wounded and pull out the dead. One of the people he rescued was a sergeant, and he and a comrade were making their way to a medevac helicopter. And what was remarkable about this day is, by sheer coincidence, one of the medevac medics happened to have a GoPro camera on his helmet and captured the whole scene on camera. It shows Captain Swenson and his comrade bringing this wounded soldier who had received a gunshot to the neck. They put him in the helicopter, and then you see Captain Swenson bend over and give him a kiss before he turns around to rescue more. I saw this, and I thought to myself, where do people like that come from? What is that? That is some deep, deep emotion, when you would want to do that. There’s a love there, and I wanted to know why is it that I don’t have people that I work with like that? You know, in the military, they give medals to people who are willing to sacrifice themselves so that others may gain. In business, we give bonuses to people who are willing to sacrifice others so that we may gain. We have it backwards. Right? So I asked myself, where do
people like this come from? And my initial conclusion was
that they’re just better people. That’s why they’re attracted to the military. These better people are attracted to this concept of service. But that’s completely wrong. What I learned was that it’s the environment, and if you get the environment right, every single one of us has the capacity to do these remarkable things, and more importantly, others have that capacity too. I’ve had the great honor of getting to meet some of these, who we would call heroes, who have put themselves and put their lives at risk to save others, and I asked them, “Why would you do it? Why did you do it?” And they all say the same thing: “Because they would have done it for me.” It’s this deep sense of trust and cooperation. So trust and cooperation are really important here. The problem with concepts of trust and cooperation is that they are feelings, they are not instructions. I can’t simply say to you, “Trust me,” and you will. I can’t simply instruct two people
to cooperate, and they will. It’s not how it works. It’s a feeling. So where does that feeling come from? If you go back 50,000 years to the Paleolithic era, to the early days of Homo sapiens, what we find is that the world was filled with danger, all of these forces working very, very hard to kill us. Nothing personal. Whether it was the weather, lack of resources, maybe a saber-toothed tiger, all of these things working to reduce our lifespan. And so we evolved into social animals, where we lived together and worked together in what I call a circle of safety, inside the tribe, where we felt like we belonged. And when we felt safe amongst our own, the natural reaction was trust and cooperation. There are inherent benefits to this. It means I can fall asleep at night and trust that someone from within
my tribe will watch for danger. If we don’t trust each other, if I don’t trust you, that means you won’t watch for danger. Bad system of survival. The modern day is exactly the same thing. The world is filled with danger, things that are trying to frustrate our lives or reduce our success, reduce our opportunity for success. It could be the ups and downs in the economy, the uncertainty of the stock market. It could be a new technology that renders your business model obsolete overnight. Or it could be your competition that is sometimes trying to kill you. It’s sometimes trying to put you out of business, but at the very minimum is working hard to frustrate your growth and steal your business from you. We have no control over these forces. These are a constant, and they’re not going away. The only variable are the conditions inside the organization, and that’s where leadership matters, because it’s the leader that sets the tone. When a leader makes the choice to put the safety and lives of the people inside the organization first, to sacrifice their comforts and sacrifice the tangible results, so that the people remain and feel safe and feel like they belong, remarkable things happen. I was flying on a trip, and I was witness to an incident where a passenger attempted to board before their number was called, and I watched the gate agent treat this man like he had broken the law, like a criminal. He was yelled at for attempting to board one group too soon. So I said something. I said, “Why do you have treat us like cattle? Why can’t you treat us like human beings?” And this is exactly what she said to me. She said, “Sir, if I don’t follow the rules, I could get in trouble or lose my job.” All she was telling me is that she doesn’t feel safe. All she was telling me is that she doesn’t trust her leaders. The reason we like flying Southwest Airlines is not because they necessarily hire better people. It’s because they don’t fear their leaders. You see, if the conditions are wrong, we are forced to expend our own time and energy to protect ourselves from each other, and that inherently weakens the organization. When we feel safe inside the organization, we will naturally combine our talents and our strengths and work tirelessly to face the dangers outside and seize the opportunities. The closest analogy I can give to what a great leader is, is like being a parent. If you think about what being a great parent is, what do you want? What makes a great parent? We want to give our child opportunities, education, discipline them when necessary, all so that they can grow up and achieve more than we could for ourselves. Great leaders want exactly the same thing. They want to provide their people opportunity, education, discipline when necessary, build their self-confidence, give
them the opportunity to try and fail, all so that they could achieve more than we could ever imagine for ourselves. Charlie Kim, who’s the CEO of
a company called Next Jump in New York City, a tech company, he makes the point that if you had hard times in your family, would you ever consider laying
off one of your children? We would never do it. Then why do we consider laying off people inside our organization? Charlie implemented a policy of lifetime employment. If you get a job at Next Jump, you cannot get fired for performance issues. In fact, if you have issues, they will coach you and they will give you support, just like we would with one of our children who happens to come home with a C from school. It’s the complete opposite. This is the reason so many people have such a visceral hatred, anger, at some of these banking CEOs with their disproportionate
salaries and bonus structures. It’s not the numbers. It’s that they have violated the
very definition of leadership. They have violated this deep-seated social contract. We know that they allowed their people to be sacrificed so they could
protect their own interests, or worse, they sacrificed their people to protect their own interests. This is what so offends us, not the numbers. Would anybody be offended if we gave a $150 million bonus to Gandhi? How about a $250 million bonus to Mother Teresa? Do we have an issue with that? None at all. None at all. Great leaders would never sacrifice the people to save the numbers. They would sooner sacrifice the numbers to save the people. Bob Chapman, who runs a large manufacturing company in the Midwest called Barry-Wehmiller, in 2008 was hit very hard by the recession, and they lost 30 percent of their orders overnight. Now in a large manufacturing company, this is a big deal, and they could no longer afford their labor pool. They needed to save 10 million dollars, so, like so many companies today, the board got together and discussed layoffs. And Bob refused. You see, Bob doesn’t believe in head counts. Bob believes in heart counts, and it’s much more difficult to simply reduce the heart count. And so they came up with a furlough program. Every employee, from secretary to CEO, was required to take four weeks of unpaid vacation. They could take it any time they wanted, and they did not have to take it consecutively. But it was how Bob announced the program that mattered so much. He said, it’s better that we should all suffer a little than any of us should have to suffer a lot, and morale went up. They saved 20 million dollars, and most importantly, as would be expected, when the people feel safe and protected
by the leadership in the organization, the natural reaction is to trust and cooperate. And quite spontaneously, nobody expected, people started trading with each other. Those who could afford it more would trade with those who could afford it less. People would take five weeks so that somebody else only had to take three. Leadership is a choice. It is not a rank. I know many people at the seniormost levels of organizations who are absolutely not leaders. They are authorities, and we do what they say because they have authority over us, but we would not follow them. And I know many people who are at the bottoms of organizations who have no authority and they are absolutely leaders, and this is because they have chosen to look after the person to the left of them, and they have chosen to look after the person to the right of them. This is what a leader is. I heard a story of some Marines who were out in theater, and as is the Marine custom, the officer ate last, and he let his men eat first, and when they were done, there was no food left for him. And when they went back out in the field, his men brought him some of their food so that he may eat, because that’s what happens. We call them leaders because they go first. We call them leaders because they take the risk before anybody else does. We call them leaders because they will choose to sacrifice so that their people may be safe and protected and so their people may gain, and when we do, the natural response is that our people will sacrifice for us. They will give us their blood and sweat and tears to see that their leader’s vision comes to life, and when we ask them, “Why would you do that? Why would you give your blood and sweat and tears for that person?” they all say the same thing: “Because they would have done it for me.” And isn’t that the organization we would all like to work in? Thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause) Thank you. (Applause)

100 comments

Nah…seen many good leaders who sacrificed a lot for their team but their team didn't help them a bit…there is no such "natural response" in the corporate world where individualism is rewarded.

This is one of the prime reasons why the Japanese automotive model still produces quality vehicles. I know someone who works in a Canadian Honda assembly plant. He made a mistake that shut down the line and caused anywhere from $10,000-100,000 of losses in production. Instead of firing him, he was given additional training at the cost of the company. He will never make that same mistake again.

"They sacrificed their people to protect their own interests" – Organizational suicide. No upward stream of information. No accountability of leadership. Worker dissatisfaction, alienation, withholding of talents. Internal rot that customers can smell, no matter the official PR propaganda. Eventual loss of growth and revenue. the ship (good workers) leave the rats (poor management) behind.

Productivity Management – Cooperation – Dealing with Men – F.W. Taylor
https://nraoiekc.blogspot.com/2019/12/productivity-management-cooperation.html

There are many aspects to good leadership. One of the most important is the inclusion of those you lead. Without including them and making them feel that they are important and cared for you will manage them but not really lead them.

This speech was much needed. Too many people believe that being a leader is being able to command and manipulate, when in reality, being a leader means to build a team and work together as equals.

Thank you so much!
"It's better that we should all suffer a little, than any of us should have to suffer a lot, and morale went up"
"If you get a job at Next Jump, you cannot get fired for performance issues, in fact, if you have issues, they will coach you and they will give you support, just like we would with one of our children. who happens to come home with a C from school"
Almost cry when I watched these two

After 14 years, I was put on unpaid leave due to a bad quarter at my company. I had zero notice, just blindsided one day. FOURTEEN YEARS of loyal work, working after hours and weekends when necessary for the company to be successful. Many others were just let go full stop, and I was supposed to be "lucky" to "only" be put on unpaid leave for an undetermined period. Maybe forever. I wish I could send them this video, it actually made me cry. I thought that was the kind of company I worked for, but then "growth" happened. All the times I chose my company over my family time, for nothing. NEVER AGAIN.

He was spot on with companies typically rewarding those who step on others to get ahead, instead of rewarding working together. Not to stereotype, but I've found it's usually the younger people (w/very little experience, no less) who tend to be like that. No allegiance to anything but their own advancement. Companies don't get that they may be happy w/the initial results, but they lose the bigger battle when people spend energy trying to outdo one another, instead of working together for a common goal. Very short-sighted.

Words won't buy groceries, go out and find other overachievers and make your own team. Don't waster your time on people who are concerned about work-life balance or feelings, complaining solves nothing.

What a great lecture. You have defined leadership in such a poetic and simple way that i couldn't simplify it better myself. Thank you!

“Why would you sacrifice your blood, sweat, and tears for this person?”

Because, he, Jesus Christ, already sacrificed his life for me.

Help be one of good thinks me be right more a time to free world access latest it set try Google all index flow me why ago me ark which not get to see it try page me login that time ok will slow but sure end bad every sever ? How much to cach and share drive me go fun plane it flow through to we getting from it lincen and privacy we wrong it cache out load save be back up to it if we hear pc we same tools spec in broad computer we it alert not yes standard befor go to it use work of your money bank account number it find befor bing and bling women bad it find to vivo my family me me check give my mother of my son me be farther son to be profile in social and background acer aspire i5 olo useing or not bad iy do lincen that [email protected] it havk just growing profile or delete ago to not know Google gmail it use be 2 fc to me not use and unknow have safe get

His futile attempt to stretch his skills beyond his first talk. First talk was excellent this talk, well, he should stick with the first talk.

Great caption. Leaders make their managers or Boss safe because of their inputs to make them feel confidence. As long as their is love and understanding among themselves. They will surly hold your back behind their back is a sign that their leaders are in a save environment. Nice to see.

This is a fantastic Ted Talk. This guy has hit it on the head. My organization builds up the leaders within small businesses for the own so that someone with this gift is empowered to lead even if they do not have all the skills required by today's society. KickstartU is the plat form that we help businesses scale by loving and training key players. If you're a small business owner and are wanting help email me at [email protected]

There's this great person and many more like him, that lived, live and will live.

This Great Person, in his lifetime – no, not in his life time, but in a span of 8 – 9 years of his lifetime, fought 83 wars, never, ever for his own sake but for the safety and security of his followers.

He lost a few and won a few battles, but he won both the hearts he fought against and fought for.

True LEADERS are awesome! Would always like to stay with them, live with them and bleed with them. 😇😇😇

asprier might abel but indo to use software explorer beyuoud limited external why remove today sir

list of it sir jow bad refin computers it need me use sd mod taplel ? near but not same pilot sd card be not tap 285 me พัง เำราะ มันแน่นอน มากกว่าตำว่าเหี้ย จริงๆ

amazing yaar …its truly amazing ..today i came to know what leadership is all about … thank you so much man

this was the best TED talk i have ever heard, and as cheesy as it sounds, i feel really inspired to be a leader and maybe start a company/business in the future. absolutely outstanding.

Who is, good? GOD'DAT'–Good information Hawaiian. SPGODERX—Septuagint(Hawaiian history books), not Greek scripture! good, surfer conditions.

CIR'CLE'-Sir cell, that is, called, it's mine. Hackers lie, Hawaiian! Or, I said, cell calls, sir. Im=gaydom, peach–mouths of brothers, in families? BAAAD, intel committee–dungeon meets. Kaldean. Vindman- expert vine– navigator.

Well said Simon. The people at the top may wield the authority and the leverage resulting out of the authority, but that does not necessarily make them leaders. We definitely do not want to be part of those organizations. All totally agree on the common denominator of a good leader – they are all exemplary human beings. … "Why would they do that? Because my team would do the same for me"

the real life behind leaders
#family
-less time
-weak personality
-slow actions
-ignorance

#Work/job
-more time
-strong personality
-high actions
-erudition

35% family
65% work

Leaders have higher visual motivation than sound
Leaders words are very loud
Leaders its not genuies or smart
Leaders is a grinder machine, embrace tons,numbers of anything. Then sort make it fine and more finer for the better.

Real leader is (LIAR) a Masterpiece of Reality lies

I see this in the work place…. I feel like the ones you stab in the back are up first and the ones they step on are left behind😢

WOW!!!! This is awesome and I'm sharing wherever I can…. what could the world look like if every company followed this strategy / Ethos?

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