Thursday, May 31, 2012
Great Leaders GROW by Ken Blanchard & Mark Miller - Book review
Great Leaders GROW
Becoming a Leader for Life
By: Ken Blanchard, Mark Miller
Published: February 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 144 pages
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
"There's certainly more to leadership than growth, but growth is at the heart of what creates and sustains great leaders. Growth is the leader's fountain of youth", write chief spiritual officer of the Ken Blanchard Companies, Ken Blanchard; and vice president, training and development, for Chick-fil-A, Mark Miller, in their inspirational and wisdom filled book Great Leaders GROW: Becoming a Leader for Life. The authors describe the critical importance of continued personal growth for leaders, and why a failure to keep growing as a leader will cause a reduction in influence, and even a loss of leadership roles completely.
Ken Blanchard (photo left) and Mark Miller understand that great leaders don't sit back and rest on their achievements. Great leaders recognize that their is more to leadership than the authority proffered by the individual's ranking on the organizational chart. Instead, leadership is an organic, growing journey that continues throughout the leader's entire career.
As a leader advances ever higher, there must be more personal growth and development with every step. A person who is unable or unwilling to grow is unlikely to be an effective or influential leader. The authors present their leadership philosophy and skills in the form of a narrative, where Debbie Brewster serves as a leadership mentor to Blake, who is at the beginning stages of his career. Throughout the business parable, the concepts of leadership are expressed and illustrated through the medium of story.
Mark Miller (photo left) and Ken Blanchard recognize that leaders face constant challenges that test the leader's preparedness. For the authors, being a leader and a person of character are inextricably linked together. A leader must be ready to meet challenges in a visionary and effective manner. To fall back on the solutions of yesterday is evidence that the leader has failed to grow, or to understand the importance of personal growth. Simply put, a person's ability to lead is based entirely on their ability to grow.
The authors provide a lifetime plan for development as both a human being and as a leader. To that end, they share their GROW concept, which consists of the following principles:
* Gain knowledge in yourself, others, your industry, and leadership
* Reach out to others both formally and informally
* Open your world both at work and also outside of work
* Walk toward wisdom through self-evaluation, feedback, counsel, and time
For me, the power of the book is how Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller present their concepts of leadership effectively through the medium of a business fable. The authors present their GROW principles in a readily understood format utilizing the narrative format. The main characters in the story, Debbie and Blake, consider and delve into each of the various aspects of leadership and personal growth.
The authors make clear, through the voices of the characters, that leadership and the individual's desire to start on a lifetime path of growth, are very interconnected and are really inseparable. The parable guides the reader through the process of growing as a leader, and for meeting the challenges that test a leader's ability to grow.
I highly recommend the engaging and personally fulfilling book Great Leaders GROW: Becoming a Leader for Life by Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller, to any leaders who are serious about growing and improving not only their leadership skills, but also themselves as people. This entertaining book will transform your perspective on leadership to one of growth and of lifetime learning to achieve peak performance, greater influence, and superior results.
Labels: book reviews
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