USQ Sri Lanka Alumni Chapter successfully concludes ‘Leaders Eat Last’

Friday, 25 May 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

University of Southern Queensland Sri Lanka Alumni Chapter conducted a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) program on 16 May at The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka. The program was titled ‘Leaders Eat Last’ which was carefully designed based on the inspiring book ‘Leaders Eat last’ by Simon Sinek. The program was conducted by much sought-after trainer, facilitator and Coach Bill Roy and soft skills, communication and leadership trainer Jonathan Graham. The event saw a participation of both members and non members representing diverse industries. 

University of Southern Queensland Sri Lanka Alumni Chapter President Niranjalli Wickramasinghe introduced the trainers and welcomed the participants. She further stated that Bill has conducted training in many parts of the world; including blue chip companies and since 2011 he conducted many innovative coaching sessions in Sri Lanka at HSBC, Hatton National Bank, Commercial Bank Of Ceylon, Union Assurance, Dialog Axiata PLC, HNB Assurance, etc. She also stated that Jonathan is a Senior Training Consultant at BRC Partnership and is experienced in designing and delivering training courses and seminars; not only in soft skills, communication and leadership but also in business development, team building, presentation skills, problem solving, time management and leadership. 

Proposing the vote of thanks University of Southern Queensland Sri Lanka Alumni Chapter Vice President CPD Dhamitha Pathirana thanked the trainers and participants for attending the event. He also thanked the Business School of CA Sri Lanka and the Executive Committee of the Sri Lankan Alumni Chapter for all the assistance to make the event successful. 

Some extracts from the presentation are presented below for the benefit of the reader:


builds trust

The single most motivating factor for people in teams is the belief that their team members will stand by them and protect them in the hour of need. The sentiment that “my manager and my team would do the same thing for me” is priceless as it builds trust among the team. Empathy builds trust and trust strengthens relationships. Strong relationships results in shared values and clarifies team’s vision. Empathy would distance people from individuality and create a conducive environment to discuss vulnerabilities and their insecurities. When each team member understands each other’s vulnerability and insecurity they can protect each other better and seek help when required. 

Empathetic leaders’ sense anxiety and vulnerabilities of the team and as a result will sense external challenges much faster. Leaders should be able to admit these issues amongst the team. Bringing in examples from the not for profit organisation “Alcoholics Anonymous” Jonathan stated that it’s important for people to understand that they have a problem and accept it. And it is also important to inspire others to get out of the insecurities they are facing. Leaders who sacrifice for their teams inspire others.

Circle of safety

Creating a circle of safety within the team will build confidence and a sense of belongingness which will make the team stronger to face external challenges. We often talk about external challenges and give less attention on facing internal challenges. A circle of safety can be built by ensuring the following:

1.Create a direction for our team

2.Help me believe in myself

3.Help me define my role on the team  

4.Provide me protection from external politics

5.Providing support and encouragement to make changes

6.Help me feel secure in my team

Simon Sinek describes what he calls the “Circle of Safety” with this simple story: 

‘A lion used to prowl about a field in which four oxen used to dwell. Many a time he tried to attack them; but whenever he came near they turned their tails to one another, so that whichever way he approached them he was met by the horns of one of them. At last, however, they fell a-quarrelling among themselves, and each went off to pasture alone in a separate corner of the field. Then the lion attacked them one by one and soon made an end of all four’.

Identifying purpose

Purpose refers to “why” a person or organisation exists. Purpose will help to mobilise people for a common objective and gives a reason to come to work every day. Most organisations are busy articulating their key value proposition and determining how efficiently this value proposition can be delivered, but spends very little time to discover the purpose of their existence. 

A purpose-driven organisation is a simple idea. It’s an organisation of people who show up for the same reason, who work together to achieve something and will sacrifice so that the others may make it. Those are the great organisations; those are the organisations and the people that change the world. Imagine what it would feel like to go to work each day knowing that you’re a part of something much bigger than you.


Leaders should continuously build trust and a sense of belongingness among their team members which will result in a shared purpose and great results. A good leader will sacrifice on behalf of his team and inspire others to do better things. Good leaders provide for their team before providing for themselves. That’s why good leaders eat last.