Unsuccessful Leaders Work as Hard as Successful
Unsuccessful leaders often work just as hard, if not harder, than successful. What’s the difference?
Lackluster leaders are unremarkable because they know too much and grow too little. There are other success factors like good fortune and talent, but every successful leader I’ve met is hungry to learn, grow, and adapt.
During an interview with Ken Blanchard, he said, “If you stop learning, you might as well lie down and let them throw the dirt on you.”
On another occasion, I asked Ken what he was learning. He replied, “I’m learning that I still have things to learn.”
If you feel like you don’t know, there’s hope.
Learn, grow, and adapt with meeting openers:
Don’t just meet, grow.
- What are you reading?
- What are you learning?
- What surprises have you encountered since our last meeting?
- What are you unlearning?
- What would you like to learn?
- Think of yourself five years ago. How are you different today?
- What are you learning from failure/success?
Learn, grow, and adapt by reading:
“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” Harry Truman
Books Leadership Freaks read in January and recommend:
The Seed: Finding Purpose and Happiness in Life and Work, by Jon Gordon.
Everyone Communicates, Few Connect, by John Maxwell.
Talk Like TED, by Carmine Gallo.
Good Communication that Blocks Learning, HBR article by, Chris Argyris.
The 21 Indefensible Qualities of a Leader, by John Maxwell.
The Unity Factor: Developing a Healthy Church Leadership Team, by Larry Osborn.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain.
(See the complete lists from Facebook fans and followers.)
The 3 Gaps, by Hyrum Smith.
The Anatomy of Peace, by the Arbinger Institute.
Managers as Mentors, by Chip Bell and Marshall Goldsmith. (re-read)
Rising Strong, by Brene’ Brown
What prevents leaders from learning, growing, and adapting?
How might leaders learn, grow, and adapt?
Another book I’m enjoying now: Give and Take by Adam Grant
Thanks Glen. That’s on my reading list for February. 🙂
I found, “The Way of the Shepherd: 7 Ancient Secrets to Managing Productive People by Kevin Leman and William Pentak” to be a great short book on leading a team. I’m sharing it with my managers this year in the belief that it will be easy to implement the changes they will need in order to begin growing as leaders.
Thanks Kevin. Wow! I talked with Kevin years ago. He wrote the Birth Order Book. It’s a small world. Thanks for your recommendation.
I totally agree with you. I try to read at least one book per week choosed according to a specific theme. The goal is to improve my knowledge on various area of expertise. So I follow your advice but one thing I’m sure of is that I’m not yet a perfect thought leader. The way is long and exiting 🙂
Thank you for the list of books. I hope some of them can be found in French otherwise it’s another opportunity to improve my English too!
Thanks Romain. I love the global readership of Leadership Freak. Great hearing from you. I feel your spirit in your comment and wish you the best for the journey.
What books have had a big impact on you? Cheers
I recommend 7 habits of highly effective people (Stephen R. Covey)
ahhhh… that’s a good one. Best
Great article – great reading least too; how about Man’s Search for Meaning, By Viktor Frankl. Attitude being the key to open most doors 🙂
Philip : )
Anatomy of Peace is a fascinating read Dan – I’ve given it to several people (including all my staff in Virginia), Brene Brown is big in this house too. I’m reading So Rugged and Mountainous by Will Bagley – about the Oregon trail – it underpins the travesty of poor assumptions, poor communication, a lack of compassion, arrogance and misplaced stereotypes and there dreadful impact on the native American Indians.
Thanks Richard. It’s cool to share an appreciation of those books. I’m getting ready to dig into Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. It’s loooong! Happy reading.
I just completed “Making Yourself Indispensable” by Mark Samuel. Great read on accountability.
Thanks Mark. I’m glad to hear of a book that I hadn’t heard of. 🙂
Hi Dan! Thank you for giving me such input in my everyday worklife! 🙂 I have a question for you and the readers; I read a lot of books both leadership and other business books. And this gives me a lot but most of what I read is something you have to work on.. a lot… to implement in your worklife, although the concepts seems simple. Do you have any advice on this? Implementing concepts from books to pratice? And also how to pinpoint the main themes of books and theories and making it easy to adapt in practicle worklife?
Thanks a lot! 🙂
Regards from Norway!
I’d be interested to know if anyone has a recommendation for moving from “doer” to “leader”. It’s not as easy of a transition as I thought! Any advice would be appreciated!
“Leadership of Public Bureaucracies: The Administrator as Conservator”, by Larry Terry. A brilliant brief book that addresses everything one needs to be mindful of so as to preserve the authoritativeness of one’s institution. Because, as the late Larry Terry illustrates so profusely, one’s legal authorities can only take you so far. After that, stakeholder buy-in rests largely on the institution being perceived as the repository of sound and considerate judgment about its area of concern.