Great Leaders Grow | Kenneth H. Blanchard

Summary of: Great Leaders Grow: Becoming a Leader for Life
By: Kenneth H. Blanchard

Introduction

Embark on a transformative journey with ‘Great Leaders Grow: Becoming a Leader for Life’ by Kenneth H. Blanchard. This engaging book summary presents the inspirational journey of Blake, the son of a valued servant leader named Jeff Brown. When Blake seeks to understand his father’s final words about being a leader, he connects with Debbie Brewster, who was mentored by his father. Along the way, Blake discovers the true meaning of leadership, the significance of servant leadership, and the importance of continuous growth. Expand your understanding of leadership by examining self-knowledge, reaching out to others, and seeking wisdom.

The Power of Servant Leadership

Jeff Brown was a respected executive and a true servant leader who helped people from all walks of life. However, he died of a heart attack, leaving behind his only son, Blake. Before his death, Jeff’s last words to Blake were, “You can be a leader.” This propelled Blake to explore the meaning of leadership and how he could apply it to his life. This book highlights the importance of servant leadership and how it can shape individuals into effective leaders who serve others.

Lessons in Leadership

Blake seeks guidance from Debbie, a former mentee of his late father, Jeff Brown. Debbie shares with Blake the leadership traits that made Jeff a great leader, including his devotion to his family and his belief in high-octane work teams. According to Debbie, many leaders fail to gain knowledge because they’re too busy trying to accomplish too much. Jeff’s mentorship transformed Debbie’s team into the company’s top producing group, and she eventually became the director of leadership development and head of operations. Ultimately, the main lesson in leadership is to think of yourself less and to focus on the people around you.

Leadership Potential

Blake, a 22-year-old without any idea of leading anyone, gets coached by Debbie, who explains that everyone has the opportunity to lead. Leadership doesn’t always mean being a CEO or manager, but anyone who impacts the lives of others. Debbie advises Blake to find a company that aligns with his values and invests in his future, ultimately asking him to choose between becoming a leader in the company or contributing as an individual employee.

Serving Others: The Key to Leadership Success

Blake received valuable leadership advice from Debbie, who emphasized that great leaders serve others. To become an effective leader, Blake needed to gain knowledge, expand his world with leadership and life experiences, and walk towards wisdom continuously. Debbie also provided vital job search support by referring him to key people and top companies. Blake secured three interviews, leading to a job offer from one company and an invitation back for a third interview from Dynastar. With Debbie’s guidance, Blake learned that true leadership is not about position but influence, gained through serving others.

The Two Crucial Aspects of Leadership

Debbie advises Blake that to become a successful corporate leader, he must focus on two critical aspects of leadership- having a clear vision and an excellent implementation plan that generates positive results and fosters excellent relationships with everyone. Servant leadership is also a crucial element that helps leaders support their followers in achieving their goals, ultimately culminating in the success of the organization.

The Importance of Learning for Good Leadership

Blake’s encounter with Dynastar’s President Alan Smith highlights the company’s emphasis on hiring and cultivating good leaders. Smith believes that leaders must continue to acquire knowledge to improve their capacity to lead effectively. This philosophy is reflected in the company’s GROW model, which emphasizes the importance of personal growth as a crucial element of leadership. If leaders fail to grow, they become stagnant and unable to adapt to new challenges. Therefore, personal growth and continuous learning are crucial for aspiring leaders who want to succeed in their careers.

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