Leaders Eat Last | Part 8: Becoming a Leader

October 25, 2018

Part 8 of Leaders Eat Last focuses on how we can implement ideas from the book into making us better leaders. Read along to see how Optus employees reacted to Part 8.


The main takeaways from Part 8 are:

  • Serving others is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
  • Everything about being a leader is like being a parent.
  • Just like the 12 step program, we too need to lead and help others get through what they’re struggling with at work. Because, we’ve all struggled too.
  • Leadership is not about who has the power but who can help others to move up in their career or even in life.
  • A team needs a purpose, a challenge that outsizes the resources they have available.


  • “Human beings have thrived for 50,000 years not because we were driven to serve ourselves, but because we are inspired to serve others.”
  • “Leadership is not a license to do less; it is a responsibility to do more. And that’s the trouble. Leadership takes work. It takes time and energy. The effects are not always easily measured and they are not always immediate. Leadership is always a commitment to human beings.”
  • “Leadership, true leadership, is not the bastion of those who sit at the top. It is the responsibility of anyone who belongs to the group.”
  • “Leadership is always a commitment to human beings.”
  • “It is not the work we remember with fondness, but the camaraderie, how the group came together to get things done.”


Our employees had a lot of great ideas for how they could implement ideas from Part 8 into their day-to-day lives.

  • Putting more work and effort toward my job and everyone around. The more we support each other the more we can get accomplished.
  • I now realize that we were built for service. If that is the case, not only does it “feel good” but also there should be many opportunities to serve people if I would look for them.
  • By living by the notion that “‘our best days at work’ were the ones where we helped each other endure or overcome hardship.”
  • Chapter 25 says “It is much harder to become addicted to dopamine in a system in which trust and love run rampant”(Page 275). That is something that stuck out to me that applies to both my professional and everyday life. We are only as stable as the foundation we create. “We are not victims of our situation. We are the architects of it”(Page 272).
  • I must choose to have empathy second by second, day by day. You never know what someone is going through and empathy can make the biggest difference.


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 from Part 8 include:

  • If my goal is to find success year over year for several years, I have to have the courage to deny short-term gratification. Whether I have to tweak the culture or completely overhaul it, in either scenario it doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s not mechanical. Share a vision, one that doesn’t simply account for numbers or a generalized goal, rather a focused, tangible vision that people understand and can learn to believe in. It’s not about being easy, in fact, it should be difficult, and it should take everyone contributing to achieve.
  • Setting an example and becoming a leader I wish to have.
  • Take more responsibility and do more than I’m asked.
  • Create an environment where failure is ok and change is, too.
  • Give my team something to work towards that isn’t attainable. This helps create a vision.


  • Know your team
  • Leaders serve others
  • Becoming a leader
  • Serve your team
  • We not me

We hope you join us next week for the Appendix: A Practical Guide to Leading Millennials.

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