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The Secret: What Great Leaders Know-And Doby Kenneth Blanchard
Synopses & Reviews
The Secret answers the question, ""What do I need to do to be a great leader?"" Books on leadership abound, and most of them emphasize one or another of the ideas explored here. But only The Secret pulls all of the five essential concepts together into a coherent plan for achieving leadership success.The core idea, based on the authors' years of experience and drawn from examples of the best leaders, is that leadership comes from service. The five ways in which leaders can succeed through service are seeing and shaping the future; engaging and developing others; reinventing continuously; valuing results and relationships; and embodying the values. Each strategy is explained in detail, with exercises and tips for integrating them into the leadership matrix.The Secret is not dry dogma; the authors show their ideas at work by following the example of a struggling leader who enrolls in a mentoring program at her company. It traces her progress in understanding and applying these concepts, and her subsequent transformation into a respected and effective leader.
"Debbie, the heroine of this insipid business novella, is an archetypal customer relations executive who fails to wring improved performance from her micro-managed and dispirited subordinates. CEO Jeff takes her under his wing to impart the wisdom of 'servant leadership' as exemplified by such figures as Jimmy Carter, Spartacus and, most of all, Jesus of Nazareth. Under his mentor, Debbie realizes that a leader's role is to inspire and empower underlings both in the workplace and in their personal lives. She learns to delegate so that she can focus on 'vision' and 'values.' She commits herself to a project of 'Reinventing Continuously' and she comes to understand that, since people are essences, not constructs, it's better to leverage employees' strengths rather than trying to fix their shortcomings; hiring decisions are therefore all-important and should involve no less than four exhaustive interviews. Armed with these principles, Debbie makes a spectacular new hire, gets her team to come up with the slogan 'From Worst to First' and enlists them in continuous improvement of the work process. Soon performance skyrockets (exactly how remains somewhat mysterious), garnering Debbie a standing ovation and promotion to head of Leadership Development. Blanchard, co-author of The One Minute Manager, and Miller, an executive at the Chick-fil-A fast food chain, construct a rickety fictional matrix to support their high-minded but rather familiar leadership nostrums. Written in stilted business-school lingo (''Hi Deb! Looks like you're managing by walking around today!''), the narrative and dialogue elements come off as awkward filler that only accentuates the staleness of the truisms on offer." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Debbie, a struggling leader, finds herself about to lose her job due to poor performance. In a desperate attempt to save her career, she enrolls in a new mentoring program and learns to become a serving leader rather than a self-serving leader.
About the Author
Mark Miller is Founder and Editor of EndUserSharePoint.com. Founding member of NothingbutSharePoint.com He is currently Director of Global Strategy and Senior Storyteller at Fpweb.net. His main expertise is in developing and building live online communities built around specific market verticals. He also speaks extensively on the SharePoint circuit.
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