At the HubSpot INBOUND conference in Boston, Simon Sinek delivered the morning keynote themed around why “Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Come Together, And Others Don’t.”

It’s widely known that many leaders at HubSpot, including co-founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah and (former) HubSpot Academy Leader Mark Kilens are huge fans of Simon Sinek.

And because of HubSpot’s major emphasis on its Culture Code, its disruption of traditional interruption-based marketing, and its astounding growth rate, it’s a particularly interesting backdrop to absorb Sinek’s lessons on creating a workplace environment where teams thrive.

Here are some of the big takeaways that ended up in my notes and that you may find particularly valuable:

  1. Create a workplace where people don’t fear their leaders. This requires creating a circle of safety.
  2. Trust and cooperation are feelings born from the environment that you’re in. It doesn’t happen by accident.
  3. Your employees must love your company before your customers ever will. This is all part of the HubSpot Inbound Methodology: Delight and #SFTC (solve for the customer).
  4. Pay attention to biochemical reactions that drive human behavior. “You know that amazing feeling you get when you cross something off your list? That’s dopamine!”
  5. If you don’t write down your goals, you may not achieve them. We like metrics that tell us that we’re making progress. (Because so much of success with Inbound marketing and Inbound selling starts with setting SMART goals and tracking metrics, this tip just flies off the page as incredibly relevant to INBOUND conference attendees.)
  6. Posturing, especially with alphas vs. betas, only happened more “recently.” For 40,000 years, we lived in communities of 150 people. For the past 10,000 years, we’ve evolved into hierarchical animals.
  7. We are perfectly comfortable with our hierarchies. But none of that stuff comes for free.
  8. Leadership is not a rank, but rather it’s a responsibility. The cost of leadership is self-interest.
  9. Our people will sacrifice for us when we are willing to sacrifice first. The essence of why “Leaders Eat Last.”
  10. Business is human for the very simple reason that we are human. So reflect on whether your business environment is truly human.
  11. When you're meeting with someone, putting your phone on the table upside down is not more polite. Put your phone away.
  12. You will never feel safe if you work in an organization that uses layoffs as its first line of defense to balance the books. Sinek highlighted the long-term morale damage that mass layoffs can cause.
  13. As a leader, ask yourself if you are truly willing to sacrifice yourself to save your people. Leadership is being willing to sacrifice a little bit of your things for someone else.

Were you in the audience when Simon Sinek taught HubSpot INBOUND conference attendees his lessons for teams and leaders? What really struck a chord with you? Let us know your take in the comments below.

And if you’re part of a B2B technology company and you struggle to lead your company’s efforts in generating more highly-qualified leads, revenue, and ROI, be sure to enroll now in our free 7-day eCourse: Go-to-Market Strategy 101 for B2B SaaS Startups and Scaleups.

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