Creating a Circle of Safety

Joan Garry wrote a great blog a few weeks ago, "The Top 10 Books Every Nonprofit Leader Should Read." I was pleased to see that I'd read several of them, and I added a few to my to-read list.  One of the books, Simon Sinek's newest, Leaders Eat Last, will likely be on Joan's next Top 10 list. Sinek writes that true leaders create an organization that makes all of its members feel safe, so that they work together with trust and cooperation and are better able to face external threats and seize the opportunities before them. This "circle of safety" enables people to achieve together things that none of them could achieve alone. It also allows people to feel inspired and fulfilled by their work, rather than threatened or useless. Sinek says that organizations built around this conceptual framework are more stable and perform better across the board.

One of the more important points for me was that the circle only works if it is all-inclusive. That is, leaders don't just protect their managers and leave other people out. It's about protecting everyone, creating the environment that fosters trust and cooperation. And that, my friends, leads to organizations accomplishing great things-  together.

For more, watch Sinek's TED talk. And get in touch with me at