Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe


“You know, in the military, they give medals to people who are willing to sacrifice themselves so that others may gain. In business, we give bonuses to people who are willing to sacrifice others so that we may gain. We have it backwards. Right?”

In today’s post, I want to cover leadership through the wisdom of Simon Sinek. In this TED Talk Simon talks about the importance of fostering the feelings of safety as a leader. I believe this applies to those of us building businesses with internal stakeholders like employees as well as the solopreneurs and small businesses that only have external stakeholders like vendors and customers/clients. 


To paraphrase from Simon; when people feel safe there’s a natural tendency to cooperate. It’s cooperation that drives success. I don’t necessarily mean the play nice in the sandbox kind of cooperation, that counts too, but it’s the cooperation we earn when we ask of someone. The safety in knowing that your audience isn’t wasting their time or consuming bad content when you ask for your audience’s attention or better to spend their discretionary dollars on you. Being a good leader means creating an environment where the people around you feel safe enough to let their guards down so that there’s an opportunity to get to know, like and trust you. 

Getting people to know, like, and trust you are the foundational pillars for growing a business that lasts. 

Business development isn’t just a quantity game, it’s about developing yourself as a leader, regardless of your perceived position in life, professional experience, or technical knowledge. Leadership is also a choice you have to actively make every day. You know what’s also a choice? Investing about twelve minutes of your time today to help you think about how you’re doing your part to make the people around you feel safe so that you can authentically grow your business.

You choose. 

What makes a great leader? Management theorist Simon Sinek suggests, it's someone who makes their employees feel secure, who draws staffers into a circle of trust. But creating trust and safety - especially in an uneven economy - means taking on big responsibility.

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