Leaders Eat Last | Part 1: Our Need to Feel Safe

September 13, 2018

Welcome to Part 1 of our blog series, #LeadWithOptus. Over the next nine weeks, we will be reading and sharing feedback from the book Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek. Optus employees have been asked to read and reflect on the ideas in Leaders Eat Last to help them challenge their thinking and develop their leadership skills. Here at Optus, we believe that while everyone may not be in a leadership role in the traditional sense, everyone can lead and help advance the company.

The blogs are going to be structured in the following format:

  • Takeaways – overarching themes of each part
  • Quotes – employees favorite quotes
  • Day-To-Day – how we can incorporate the ideas into our day-to-day lives
  • Lead The Way – how we can utilize the ideas to make us better leaders
  • Sum It Up – each part summed up into three, easy words

We hope you will read along with us on this journey to become better leaders. Don’t forget to follow along with us on LinkedIn each week with the hashtag, #LeadWithOptus.


The overarching themes from Part 1 are trust, empathy, sacrifice, and selflessness. Leaders who are empathetic and willing to sacrifice themselves for their team create a circle of safety where employees can truly trust their leader and feel more confident with their own decisions. Those same employees take risks and work harder to move the company forward each and every day. The domino effect is everyone feeling like a team and using the term “we” instead of “me” and placing the betterment of “all” over “I.”


  • “A leader who takes care of their people and stays focused on the well-being can never fail.”
  • “Misery may love company, but it’s the companies that love misery that suffer the most.”
  • “We cannot tell people to trust us. We cannot instruct people to come up with big ideas. And we certainly can’t demand that people cooperate. These are always results – the results of feeling safe and trusted among the people with whom we work.”
  • “The true price of leadership is the willingness to place the needs of others above your own. Great leaders truly care about those they are privileged to lead and understand that the true cost of the leadership privilege comes at the expense of self-interest.”


Our employees had a lot of great ideas for how they could implement ideas from Part 1 into their day-to-day lives.

  • Be first to extend trust to co-workers. This, in turn, will help you earn their trust.
  • Bringing ill feelings from work home with you will negatively affect your relationships with your kids and spouse. If you enjoy what you do, even if you work long hours, your home life will be happier.
  • Invest in getting to know your team on a personal level.
  • Understand that all actions have a ripple effect.
  • Put others first.
  • Be more empathetic.
  • Treat everyone with respect, no matter their position or title at work.


Being a leader means more than being in a management position. Leadership can take many forms, whether at work or at home. Some great ideas for how to improve your leadership skills include:

  • Make your team members feel safe. This safety will open the door for better communication, creativity, and innovation.
  • Make sure that our employees know why each of their roles is important.
  • Include others outside of your direct department in your circle of safety so that the company is strong as a whole, not just departmentally.


  • Trust other people.
  • Invest in others.
  • Protect your team.
  • Change is good.
  • Empathy, Biology, Trust
  • Responsibility, Trust, Team

We hope you join us next week for Part 2: Powerful Forces.

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