Leaders Eat Last - Notes

A10 Johnny Bravo example – empathy most important to help him do his job, helping out the SF troop on the ground.

Importance of our evolutionary biology – system to encourage cooperation iot to survive

P15 According to Deloitte shift index 80% of people are dissatisfied with their jobs

Barry-Wehmiller – http://www.barrywehmiller.com/ example of exemplary company changing culture Bob Chapman CEO trusted employees and rewarded by changing attitude and engagement. During the financial crisis avoided layoffs by having mandated unpaid furlough for all staff including CEO, allowed them to keep all staff. We’ll each suffer a little so none of us has to suffer a lot.

Profit in this company is a fuel not a destination

Circle of safety – psychologically and physically safe inside the group, no intimidation, humiliation, fear feeling dumb useless rejected etc. Goal of leadership to set a culture where we are safe from each other achieve this by creating sense of belonging inside the group.

No circle of safety, paranoia, self interest and cynicism flourish

We trust fully when we feel safe and only when we feel safe

Endorphins – capacity for endurance in spite of pain

Dopamine – Neurotransmitter that incentivises progress – clear goals we can see or image in the minds eye. But addictive so can get hooked on particular behaviours – eg social media because highly driven by attention and novelty. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolutionary-psychiatry/201105/dopamine-primer

Oxytocin – the love hormone very important in bonding and picking up on social cues. In combination with serotonin it is the reason we are able to form cooperative groups


Serotonin – helps regulate mood, plays a major role in digestion but also a neurotransmitter believed to contribute to feelings of happiness and well being.

The cost of leadership is self-interest – Lt Gen George Flynn USMC

Leadership is the choice to serve others with or without formal title or rank. A responsibility built on character (choice to act in a particular way)

Leadership not a licence to do less it is a responsibility to do more.

Responsibility of all in the team not just the top person.

P67 Anecdote of the Under Sec of Defence – ceramic cup vs Styrofoam

For true social benefit of trust it must be reciprocal.

Trust relies on honesty. Making all the right decisions does not make us trust, mistakes are allowable. Being honest makes us trustworthy we look for it in others

Limbic brain feeds gut decisions it controls our feelings, ability to trust to cooperate and socialise all come from here. It is our abiity to get things done together that makes us so successful.

Trust is like lubrication. It reduces friction and creates conditions much more conducive to performance.

Dunbars No. British Professor of Psychology @ Oxford 150 about the max number possible in an effective group cant have meaningful relationships with more than this number. Eg of Gore factories always kept small for this reason p113

P116 meet the people you help examples of how human connection changes motivation examples of fund raising and customer care.

Money has relative value. Value of time is absolute so we prize it more highly.

P134 3m Innovation and the post it note story, x-dept interaction. Spencer Silver trying to develop a strong adhesive – he failed but he shared the finding. A few years later another employee Art Fry was trying to bookmark his music for choir but kept losing the bookmark. He remembered the weak adhesive. Collaboration and sharing at the heart of 3m culture. 80% of patents have more than one author the company has over 20,000 patents and was awarded 500 in 2012 alone.

P139 O’Neill as CEO of MerrillLynch destroying the culture

Marquet as Capt addicted to being in control and crew conditioned for compliance.

Integrity diagram / quotient | what you think | what you say | what you do

Honest when we agree and when we don’t.

Zen Buddahist – how you do anything is how you do everything

P168 Demolition of Jack Welch real effectiveness at GE

Costco under co founder James Sinegal ran company from 83 – 2012 people first culture that proved good for business. Performs better than GE in terms of growing value because built for good and bad times. Over the long term better to minimize turnover and maximise productivity all about the people

Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first

Few incentive schemes in companies reward cooperative and collaborative behaviour

Gen Y said to have a sense of entitlement but in fact impatient of the time it takes to get places, used to and want instant gratification – too easily distracted.

12 steps – step 12 is commitment to help another, its all about service those who are successful on the programme go through all the steps


hardship helps drive the need for cooperation (oxytocin therefore bonds us) struggle defines us and the value of our pursuits, in its absence we get lost