Sinek’s Circle of Safety

Kevin King —  September 22, 2016 — Leave a comment

I have been thinking a lot lately about the “Circle of Safety” as described by Simon Sinek in his book Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t.

I am a huge fan of this book and Sinek’s idea that strong organizations have a strong, but also porous circle of safety. The circles are strong in a way that members in the circle support the teammates on each side of them. If a threat is coming directly at them, they are confident that each flank is covered by someone they trust. In this scenario, an individual can give the threat their full attention. Successful circles of safety are porous because the leaders in this circle know to only let in individuals that will not cause havoc. The circle’s leader is tasked to make sure they keep it strong, porous and welcoming to all who are committed to the library’s mission.

It’s time to check your library’s circle. What can you do to strengthen it and at the same time keep it porous enough to let the right people in?

Kevin King


Kevin King is the Head of Branch and Circulation Services at the Kalamazoo (MI) Public Library. Previously Kevin led Teen Services at KPL, where he helped build a nationally recognized program. Kevin has presented all over the country on many topics including teen services, innovation, graphic novels, and programming. As a member of ALA, YALSA, PLA and the Michigan Library Association, Kevin has served on various committees and has luckily won a couple of awards. In his spare time Kevin obsesses over the Detroit Tigers, listens to music and does his best to be a kick ass dad to Abigail and Rachael.

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