Overall, Leaders Eat Last is a very enjoyable book on what incentivizes individuals, what makes high-performing teams, and how different generations have made their impact on civilization. The book does bog down at times as the author inserts his own agenda and repeats his point of view multiple times. The reviews and title of the book would insist that leadership lessons are told through military analogies, this turns out not be the case as there are only a few sprinkled stories throughout.
- The Greatest Generation emerged due to the fact that they had nothing during childhood due to the Great Depression, and then were impressed into military service thus losing more of their freedom. The Baby Boomers wanted for nothing and thus became the ‘Me Generation’ and created the environment of mass layoffs, Congress not working together, and a corporate culture of not caring about the individual. Millennials are starting to care about the whole, but are the distracted generation.
- Endorphins, Serotonin, Oxytocin and Dopamine are the reasons that we do the things we do. Virtual organizations are said to not work as well due to the lack of human contact and therefore no oxytocin buildup which establishes trust. We want to chase things due to dopamine. The four can be broken down into selfless and selfish and therefore creating a balance.
- The reason we are disappointed by banking executives is that we expect a risk/reward payoff. That individuals or organizations that receive a massive amount of compensation or perks should also take care of the herd. Since bankers and executives ended up negatively affecting people in their care, our core reward system was offended.
While the book presented quite a few interesting concepts, it was difficult to read towards the end. This difficulty was due to repeated analogies, an agenda by the author, and frankly it ran out of steam. I would recommend skimming rather than reading in depth. The one pro of reading this is having a handful of arguments to use when Millenial bashing occurs.