Summary of Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe

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“Leadership is a choice. It is not a rank.” Exceptional leaders, explains Simon Sinek, protect employees by putting their workers’ interests ahead of their own. Only in an environment of “trust and cooperation” can people produce great, even heroic, work. getAbstract recommends this oration to all leaders – those with titles and those without.

About the Speaker

Simon Sinek is an adjunct at the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit global policy think tank. He wrote Start with Why.



When his military column came under attack in Afghanistan in 2009, William Swenson, a captain in the US Army, selflessly risked his life to rescue wounded soldiers and recover dead bodies amid live fire. Swenson justified his bravery: “Because they would have done it for me.” While remarkable, Captain Swenson exemplifies the potential within everyone to perform with excellence in an environment of “trust and cooperation.” Humans evolved into social animals as a survival mechanism. Ancient tribes had to work and live together in a “circle of safety” for shelter from danger. Dangers...

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    G. S. 7 months ago
    Very inspiring. When I think back to the all the leaders I have worked with, the ones I have "followed" or even walked over hot coals for, have always stretched me within a safe environment and supported me when I've made mistakes.
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    j. w. 4 years ago
    #30DaysOfSummaries This is an ideal concept of leadership. However, from what I perceived, sometimes there're people taking advantage of the good will from the leader, and eventually make the whole organization less and less efficient.
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    R. S. 4 years ago
    Very inspiring. When I think back to the all the leaders I have worked with, the ones I have "followed" or even walked over hot coals for, have always stretched me within a safe environment and supported me when I've made mistakes.
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    K. S. 4 years ago
    #30DaysofSummaries I absolutely loved this one. I sent this to all the female leaders I look up to in my organization.
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    D. H. 4 years ago
    An inspiring summary ...the only question that comes to mind is - how many leaders in the world today make you feel safe?How many CEOs are like Charlie Kim?
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    A. A. 4 years ago
    Keep putting other people’s well-being first and soon you'll be reading - That Used to be Us. Charity starts at home, and you can only be a good leader if you take care of your own safety and wellbeing first because if you won't do it no one else will.
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    C. P. 4 years ago
    Thank you for the reminder that trust and feeling safely is the first step for trustful cooperation and that leaders can help to build up the right settings so that a relationship among coworkers and even business partners become really "personally engaged". Great talk! #30DaysOfSummaries
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    K. F. 5 years ago
    From the perspective of a lifetime, individual contributor, employee going strong in year 35, trust is priority #1. Without the foundation of trust, it is next to impossible to find the self-determination to produce excellence in the workplace. Leaders must give their employees a reason to give their all...and that means showing them you genuinely care about them as people, not just as assets and resources, but that you'd actually stand up for them even at the cost of your own reputation.

    It takes a great leader to see the person behind the employee number and an even greater leader cares and takes the time to know them on a personal level. There is great risk in that, of course. You risk personal heartbreak should the business relationship have to end. Yes, but as in love, it is worth the risk to have cared and lost, than to never have cared at all. The reward outweighs the risk.

    The business is NOT just about work and busy-ness, it is PERSONAL...the work will not get done without the Personnel. Humanize the business and value your most valuable assets...your people will love you for it and will work their assets off for you!
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    D. O. 5 years ago
    Really great talk. I don't see a great deal of this behavior at Zurich. Our Performance Management goes against this and there's still a mindset amongst employees and managers that finding and correcting behavior or knowledge issues has a negative connotation. As leaders, we can create a safe environment for coaching. We need to help our teams feel safe to accept that feedback and view it as a longer term positive. This is the challenge we still face. It will take time.
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    A. S. 5 years ago
    It is stunning how most leaders do not cultivate a feeling of safety. I think one reason people feel safe is when they feel understood as individuals. And understanding others is hard work. It doesn't happen by accident.
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    D. N. 5 years ago
    He really is one of the best and most inpiring leadership speakers. You can learn so much not just from content but also how he presents it!
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    P. G. 5 years ago
    What an excellent talk about what defines leaders and the roles leaders need to play in an organisation