Leaders Eat Last

What makes a great boss? Author/speaker Simon Sinek believes that true leadership is the willingness to place the needs of others above their own. Take care of your people and they’ll go the extra mile.

Say what?

This is America, where the elite dictate and the rest obey. Where fat cats claw their way to the top and feel entitled to stand first in line.

I got mine, now go get yours.

Then there’s the more enlightened leadership of the U.S. Marine Corps. They honor an unspoken code at chow time. They line up by rank – in reverse order. The lowest-level Marines are served first, while the officers eat last. This isn’t dictated in the Marines’ handbook. It’s totally voluntary. You see, Marine officers view leadership as a responsibility, not a rank. They use their influence to lift people up, not rule over them. They know that strong leaders don’t demand respect. They command it.

Here’s my take: I was intrigued by the notion of ‘going last’ in a recent meeting. I usually offer opinions right away. But the first ideas are rarely the best. So I held back and kept my ego in my pocket. Like a guitarist waiting to solo, I waited my turn. Rather than trying to impress, I let the discussion unfold as new twists adjusted my perspective.

Once everyone had their say, I stepped forward. Like a Marine.

Next week: Dare Mighty Things

Beau Phillips is President of Rainmaker Media. 
He’s a creative marketing consultant, strategist and speaker.
Reach him at 203-256-9347   

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