Fort Riley, Kansas



Leadership expert, author speaks with 1st Inf. Div. Soldiers

By J. Parker Roberts | 1ST INF. DIV. PUBLIC AFFAIRS | June 11, 2015

Author and leadership expert Simon Sinek visited Fort Riley May 7 where he experienced a variety of daily training activities for Soldiers and spoke to a group of 1st Infantry Division troops about his leadership philosophy.

“Trust and cooperation are absolutely essential, not only for our survival, but for our ability to thrive,” Sinek told the group of officers and noncommissioned officers gathered at Riley’s Conference Center. “The problem is that trust and cooperation are not instructions; they’re feelings. I cannot order you to trust me.”

Sinek said those feelings come directly from the environment a person is in.

“That’s why we have leaders,” he said. “Leaders set the environment and leaders set the tone inside the organization.”

The author of “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” and “Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t” discussed the various ways leaders can motivate those they lead and which of those methods result in lasting positive behaviors.

“When we do things for our people, our people do things for each other,” he said. “The reward of being a leader is the exact same reward for being a parent – the little glimmers you get for all the sacrifices you’ve made that didn’t always seem worth it, and the work that was so hard to do.”

Sinek is an adjunct staff member with the RAND Corporation think tank and speaks about leadership with military and government audiences, as well as corporations like 3M, Disney and JetBlue.

“It was a great opportunity to get some leadership training,” said Sgt. 1st Class Nigel Algoo, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Inf. Div. “It was a good class. It definitely opened my eyes to react to situations differently. It showed you how to open your heart more and understand where other people are coming from.”

Algoo, a telecommunications operations chief, said he would be able to directly apply the lessons Sinek shared in leading his Soldiers.  

Tag Resilience