GreatLeadersGrowGreat Leaders GROW
by Ken Blanchard & Mark Miller

Learning isn’t optional if you want to be an effective leader. It is mandatory that it be life-long and aggressively pursued. That takeaway describes Great Leaders GROW, the second in a series of leadership short reads written as fables featuring character Debbie Brewster (introduced in The Secret). GROW now showcases Debbie as the mentor to  (Blake) the son of her own former mentor. The book moves through Blake’s experiences as a new executive in exploring the four behaviors that leaders must model in order to avoid stagnation and ineffectiveness.

The four paths are straightforward, yet I must concede, often hard to find the time to do consistently. Yet, effective leaders MUST prioritize these behaviors in order to gain perspective and knowledge that continues to build their own success. I know the hard way that becoming too busy to do them really did limit my own leadership effectiveness.

  1. Gain knowledge: Learn from sector, industry and professional sources and remain at the leading edge of knowledge, practices and skills. Step away from the business of what you have to do – “every leader is a learner”.
  2. Reach out to others: Share, teach, ask, help others learn and grow and be hungry in the pursuit of connecting, collecting and sharing knowledge.
  3. Open your world: The book offers a great list of how to open your world at work to increase your knowledge of other areas of a company through shadowing, taking on new tasks, leading work groups, etc. The authors advocate that opening your world outside work is equally important through travel, volunteerism, adventure, etc.
  4. Walk toward wisdom:  “Wisdom is the outcome” of applying the other behaviors.  “Self-evaluation, honest feedback, counsel from others and time” in the seat are the authors’ ingredients for gaining true wisdom.

Although the book is directed to those early in their careers, even we more “seasoned’ professionals can gain some insight as we compare our own journeys and success as a leader.  A short one to two hour read, this book is a great one in the true Blanchard tradition.

Purchase Great Leaders GROW