Are You Eating Last?

There have been many people who were called leaders yet they never truly led. They were only out for themselves and no one else.

Not their team. Not their coworkers. And sadly not even their family. The only one who mattered was covering their own butt, numero uno.

But, in his new book, Leaders Eat Last, Simon Sinek turns this leadership method on it’s head, and then kicks it hard to the curb.

The greatest question you’ll need to answer from Leaders Eat Last is “Am I eating last?”

Simon Sinek's latest bookSinek really reinforced the notion that leadership is less about the leader and more about the leader watching out for the team. Leaders go above and beyond to keep their teams together rather than tearing the team apart through layoffs and petty office politics.

Leaders Eat Last was littered with great leadership quotes and takeaways. I wanted to share my favorites with you in the hope you’ll take the time to pick up this great read and discover why you need to eat last.

Inside a Circle of Safety, we feel like we belong.


The definition of love is giving someone the power to destroy us and trusting they won’t use it.


Fame is supposed to be a byproduct of alpha status, not a way to achieve it. Tweet This


When we opt to stay above the clouds, relying only on information fed to us instead of going down to see for ourselves, not only is it harder to make the right moral decisions, it makes it even hard to take responsibility when we fail to do so.


Our bosses telling us how important our work is, is nowhere near as powerful as us getting to see it ourselves. Share this


We will judge a boss who spends time after hours to help us more valuable than a boss who simply gives us a bonus when we hit a target.


In a weak culture, we veer away from doing “the right thing” in favor of doing “the thing that’s right for me.”


Responsibility is not doing as we are told, that’s obedience. Responsibility is doing what is right.


Leadership is about taking responsibility for lives and not numbers. Click to tweet

Remember, young leaders, leadership isn’t about you. Leadership is about taking responsibility for others, for guiding them, for putting them above yourself.

When you’re able to grasp this leadership principle, you’ll begin to change the world.

Question: Are you eating last? How could eating last change your organization? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

And if you want to purchase Leaders Eat Last, you can do so through Amazon (affiliate link). It’s a great book and one I would recommend every leader read.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • This is such a powerful message. I learned this in the Army. A leader doesn’t eat till the troops have been feed. It becomes so ingrained that, thirty years later, I still gravitate to the back of the food line at church dinners.

    • Charles, if you read Sinek’s book, that’s where he actually learned this lesson. He’d seen in the Marines that the commanding officers ate after their subordinates. How have you seen this impact your leadership style?

      • Leaders are servers… This is how I learned to lead. Any success I may have had in my career is because of principles like this one.

  • There are some great quotes here, going even beyond leadership and into a life well lived. Staying with those you lead really does allow you to be more effective. And making sure theta they get theirs first shows a real commitment to them and the markings of a true leader.

    • I agree Ryan. Most of these, and other principles found in Leaders Eat Last, can be applied all of life and not just leadership.

  • Good post Joe! I love Simons work. I would love to say yes all the time. That would be a lie, though it is something I strive to be I don’t always eat last. Sometimes I am a selfish man. I am not were I need to be but thank God I am not were I use to be. Blessings to you today Joe.

    • All that means is you need to continue to work on it. I’m not the best at it either. You’ve at least recognized it and striving to eat last more often.

  • When eating, aren’t we suppose to save the best for last? So…eating last is a great way to practice one of the best leadership principle of putting others first.

  • KateNasser

    Mothers have been doing this for years. Glad to see the leadership world is expanding its definition to include them and all who watch out for others.

    • It’s definitely interesting to see the trend of leadership swinging back to caring about those you lead.

  • Dan Erickson

    I understand the idea of eating last, but if we always eat last our own health might be jeopardized and then we won’t be efficient leaders.

    • I can see your point Dan. There are times when our needs must be met, like Michael Hyatt mentions with the oxygen mask analogy. Yet, as leaders, our needs shouldn’t be the first thing on our minds. When we begin to put those we lead before us, they begin to trust us and look out for us as well.

  • Thanks for sharing these quotes Joe. I’m a fan of Sinek’s work–his encouragement to discover the “why” behind what you do was huge for me.

    • You’re welcome Sean. I’ve yet to read Start With Why but I know it’s had an impact on me because of the blogs I read that were impacted by the book. What was your biggest takeaway from Start With Why?

  • This can be a real challenge in a numbers-driven, corporate environment. As leaders, we have to fight to do the right thing and trust that the results will follow.

    • There are some organizations in the corporate world that has grasped this concept. Amazingly, they’ve performed as well, if not better, than those who are purely number driven.

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