The Best Leaders Make People Feel Safe


It’s not just Simon Sinek who says that leadership, real leadership, is about creating safe environments.  There’s a recent Harvard Business Review article by Sunnie Giles that backs it up with data.  First, the HBR article, then the Sinek video.
If you are a leader or a leadership coach or work with executives who wish to prioritize their leadership focus, then you’ll be pleased to know the top 10 leadership competencies, grouped into the top 5 themes:
Source: Sunnie Giles at
Here are your top priorities to improve as a leader:

  1. Demonstrate strong ethics and create an environment of trust
  2. Empower others to self-organize once you provide clear direction
  3. Foster a sense of connection and belonging
  4. Show openness to new ideas and encourage organizational learning
  5. Commit to growing your people and nurture their development

You can read the details at
This talk by Simon Sinek is longer than his TED talks, but well worth the 45 minutes it will take you to watch it.  An entertaining storyteller, ethnographer and leadership expert Simon Sinek reveals the hidden dynamics that inspire leadership and trust. In biological terms, leaders get the first pick of food and other spoils, but at a cost. When danger is present, the group expects the leader to mitigate all threats even at the expense of their personal well-being. Understanding this deep-seated expectation is the key difference between someone who is just an “authority” versus a true “leader.” He also delves into the brain chemistry behind it, and gives a great overview of the 4 main brain chemicals of happiness and the impact on the circle of safety that leaders must create.

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