Simon Sinek’s recent book, “Leaders Eat Last” got me to thinking about what leaders do because they are leaders. If you haven’t read his book – at least watch the video.  As I continued thinking, I realized – leaders leave last!

Have you noticed that often – everyone wants the role and title of leadership and yet many either do not know the price or are unwilling to pay it. I have had several roles and jobs throughout my life. Some I have enjoyed others, not so much. One thing I have noticed is leaders know how to finish. When a project first begins there is the rush of people who want to be a part of the new initiative. Then … the new rubs off and people leave. A good leader not only starts well they finish well. Early on I was a part of a church that had set up and tear down at a local high school. As a staff we lived out this value that leaders leave last. It was formative in the development of our mantra, “Whatever it takes”! I believe several messages are sent when the leader leaves last:

  • It tells everyone else the leader values them first
  • The leader practices servant leadership – which is caught more than it is taught
  • It builds the value of TEAM
  • It allows the leader to express personal appreciation to everyone as they leave.

I also believe several messages are implied when a leader leaves first:

  • The leader looks like they feel entitled
  • This behavior often removes them from the Team and puts them far above.
  • Others seem of less value because the leader leaves early
  • Often conversations are had (once the leader leaves) that are less than kind to the leader and the organization.

I have also been one of the guys who said to the leader – I got this you go home. That sent a message of honor to the leader for everyone. I have also been told (when I was the point leader) get out of here we got this. A leader with a good fix on reality and self-awareness understands when to leave and when to stay.


Leave a comment – my next post is “Leaders get there first”!