Great Leaders Make Their Employees Feel Safe

In Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk “Why good leaders make you feel safe”, Sinek discusses what makes a great leader, but more importantly, why good leaders are backed by amazing employees.

“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 [clearly] have it backwards.”

Sinek discusses the overwhelming sense of loyalty, trust, and passion of those in the military, and how there is a sense of dedication to protect and care for one another. But according to Sinek, in the right environment, “every single one of us has the capacity to do incredible things, and more importantly, others have that capacity too.”

If you go back 50,000 years, people became social creatures out of the necessity for survival. We needed each other to hunt, take guard, build, and travel. Those who instilled trusting relationships with their counterparts were the ones who survived. The same goes for surviving in the urban jungle today. When we feel safe inside the organizations in which we work, we are more likely to go above and beyond to protect our organization.

Sinek compares the qualities which make a great leader to the many similarities of a good parent. A great parent wants to give its child the opportunities to help grow and achieve more than what the parent could achieve. “Great leaders want exactly the same thing.” Charlie Kim, the CEO of a company called Next Jump argues that in hard times you would never consider laying off one of your family members, so why layoff the people inside of your organization? Charlie has implemented a policy of “lifetime employment” for all employees. Even in the face of a performance issue, you cannot get fired, but instead, they will coach you and train you to become successful, which in many ways is similar to what you would do for your child when, for example, they come home with a C on a report card.

“Leadership is a choice. It is not a rank.” So how do we distinguish ourself as a true leader rather than just a person with authority?

Leaders who have greater Emotional Intelligence skills possess empathy, listening skills, and flexibility to respond effectively to a diverse range of team members, along with the innovativeness to structure job roles and team processes in ways that leverage each individual’s strengths. Behavioral EQ tackles the challenges of collaboration in modern workplaces by building a foundation of mutual understanding and respect – the building blocks for effective workplace relationships.

Behavioral EQ teaches leaders to take a step back from their subconscious assumptions to gain deeper insights into how people with different backgrounds approach team dynamics, motivation and workplace relationships. All of this results in greater mutual understanding, trust and rapport between leaders and their teams.

Managers with strong Behavioral EQ skills learn to seek and accept input from a wide range of sources inside and outside of their own departments, and to put support systems in place to encourage.

Watch Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk on leadership.

Learn about Emotional Intelligence training here.