The marine corps has a maxim that says “leaders eat last”. And that’s not just a saying. Literally, soldiers are served by rank with the highest ranking soldiers eating only after everyone else has been served.
We think that leadership is giving orders and being on the top of the food chain – getting perks and advantages that others in the company don’t have.
That’s not leadership. Leadership is about sacrifice and giving up rights, not getting more rights.
The person who’s lowest on the corporate ladder has the most rights. They can call in sick, they can complain if something doesn’t go their way. They can go home at the end of the day and forget all about work.
The person at the top of the pyramid has laid down all of those rights. They have to think about everyone else all the time. Work is rarely (if ever) turned fully off. They have to get in first and leave last. They can’t complain because if they do, everyone will follow their lead and nothing will get done.
So if you aspire to be a leader, be prepared to give up your rights and start serving others. Leaders eat last.