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Review of The Fearless Organization and Leaders Eat Last

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Kirstin Ferguson

The Fearless Organization – Amy C. Edmondson

It’s imperative that leaders enable cultures where everyone feels able to speak up and there’s a sense of psychological safety so they know their concerns will be heard and they won’t be judged, penalised or silenced.

Edmondson, a professor of leadership and management at Harvard Business School, has written a practical book filled with examples of organisations that have failed to create such environments, invariably, those businesses have failed or faced significant decline.

The book also has useful examples of how leaders can turn their workplace into one where everyone knows they opinions are valued and concerns can be raised, which is essential when it comes to building trust and a mutually respectful culture.

Leaders Eat Last – Simon Sinek

A conversation with a United States Marine Corps general inspired the title of Simon Sinek’s book. He learnt that senior military officers always let more junior ranks eat before them in the mess hall.

This is a lesson I distinctly remember being taught as a young military officer in training at the Australian Defence Force Academy at the start of my career and it epitomises the idea of leaders forgoing their own comfort for the good of those they lead.

Using practical examples, Sinek challenges the view that workplaces must be driven by cynicism, paranoia and self-interest and instead shows that successful organisations – led by those prepared to put others first – create environments where people naturally work together to achieve remarkable things.

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