“Leaders Made Here” Book Review


I believe this is the fifth book review I have done for one of Mark Miller‘s “short and sweet” leadership titles.  While the perspective and the details shift from book to book, the universe which Mark shares with us remains consistently reality-based and believable.  

This time around, a leader once again faces  significant personal challenges, at the same time as they are tasked with the responsibility for creating a leadership culture in an organization.  The premise is compelling and I was reminded once again of the role of compassion in the workplace, especially since we have started to focus more and more on the diverse personalities we find in our workplaces, each with their own stories and their own personal and professional challenges.

As in life, everyone does not use the same approach or come to the same conclusions, other than a few shining principles featured toward the end of this short book.   Actually, we notice regularly throughout that everyone does not have to and should not agree to the same approaches or tools.   We are different from each other in many ways, and each person has to decide the ways that work best for them.

As always, Mark uses narrative style to effectively describe both people, places, and processes.  I have not always been a strong fan of narrative style, but Mark is steadily making a believer out of me.  He manages to pack quite a bit of learning and thought-provoking activity into each short chapter.  A few examples of his pithy  and direct phrasing are also sprinkled around this post.

My personal favorite section was the slow uncovering of the essential principles from the primary character’s exploration of effective leadership development at several different workplaces.   Rather than jump directly into the final list, we see  the “messier” work of a group of intelligent people grappling with how best to organize their learning and convey the core of that learning to others in a clear, simple, and effective way.

This is how real teams create outcomes, but many leadership books tend to treat this part of leadership like a miracle … the finished statements just magically appear.  Not so in Mark’s book and we are the better for it.

I could say many other positive things about Leaders Made Here, but at this point, you get my message:  This is another in a hopefully never-ending series of short and easy-to-read leadership books that brings great value in an attractive and engaging fashion.

Don’t believe me?   Read the book and draw your own conclusions … I’ll wait:)

 

Disclaimer:  I have received a copy of this book for promotion, just like all the other times.  I have also purchased extra copies to distribute to others, just like all the other times.

ABOUT MARK MILLER (from his website)

Mark Miller began writing over decade ago when he teamed up with Ken Blanchard on The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do. In 2011, he released The Secret of Teams, outlining the key principles that enable some teams to outperform the all the rest. Great Leaders Grow: Becoming a Leader for Life came next in 2012, followed by The Heart of Leadership in October 2013, the 10th Anniversary Edition of The Secret in September 2014, and Chess Not Checkers: Elevate Your Leadership Game in April 2016.

This spring, his latest book, Leaders Made Here, tackles the issue of creating a leadership culture in a company. Readers will again follow Blake as he encounters some of his greatest challenges yet — making sure he is growing leaders who can take the company into the future. With more than 700,000 books in print, Mark has been surprised by the response and delighted to serve leaders through his writing.

TO read even more about Mark and his remarkable journey, click here …

 

Advertisements

A Look Back …


50 Years of Me

While the rest of you were celebrating what is being termed “The Soggy Fourth” in the Midwest, I took some time out to travel north to the little town of Memphis in Scotland County up by the Iowa border.  This is farming country …

The occasion was the 50th anniversary of our high school graduation and I was there to reconnect and catch up with some very dear and “somewhat” old friends.

Some folks not as far along on the road might not appreciate how quickly 50 years can flow by, even with all the twists and turns of life.   I was a very callow young fellow in 1966, full of enthusiasm, spirit, and optimism… The times were changing.

We were a small class from a small town, by most people’s standards.   Less than 70 graduated and 16 have passed on since we burst forth with excitement after completing what I now know was a pretty good basic education.   Over 30 of us were able to join together this weekend to remember, laugh, cry, and catch up.

Class of 1966 - Tom Fender

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing these folks and the evening went by far too quickly.   As I drove back to St. Louis through the dark night rain, I had ample time to think about all this  and came up with a few thoughts to share.  Some of this relates to those with whom I grew up and some of it relates more broadly to my home community.

Be warned – this is a ramble, rather than a polished essay:

WE KNOW HOW TO CONVERSE WITH EACH OTHER ….

Continue reading

Doing and Deciding …


Doing Things - Gratisography.comKeeping it very simple this morning …

When we do something, we should best do it the right way for the right reasons.  This is both straightforward and easy to remember.

However, knowing what is right, instead of popular, easy, comfortable, or financially rewarding, is not always that simple.  Here are some general guidelines I have used over the years.  You will see glimmers of other much better-known guidelines throughout.  That is as I planned it to be …

Does what I plan to do support the general welfare or benefit a few at the expense of many?

Will others regard me more kindly or more suspiciously if I do this?

Am I committing an act of omission to avoid something unpleasant?

Would I be proud of this decision if my mother and father knew both what and why I chose?

How do I truly feel, in my heart of hearts, about my choice?

Trying hard to figure out what to do in the Heartland ….

John

Loyal To A Fault


Pledging Allegiance - Wikipedia Public Domain“Purpose is the recognition of the ‘loyalty of life’ … We receive from life what we are loyal to.” (p. 14 in The Power of Purpose)

When I encounter the word “loyalty”, I immediately remember saying the Pledge of Allegiance as a very young citizen of this country.  Loyalty seems to evoke images like the one above … a group of people earnestly promising to do and support things in a particular way.

As an adult, I have come to realize that loyalty has very little, if anything, to do with reciting oaths and making promises.  Sometimes your loyalty is to an ideal, which means that you resist the outward symbols and take issue with what is asked of you.  But that’s a post for another day …

The type of loyalty referred to in the quotation above is a much more personal type of loyalty. Continue reading

For The Ladies …


IWD Square logoI was asked earlier today Why do women need a special day anyway?  Aren’t both men and women equally important?

Sigh …

My response is the same as the one I give in response to questions about “Black Lives Matter” and other phrases which single out specific groups within the family of Man for attention and support. 

First, to say that someone or some group matters does not automatically mean you believe that others do not matter.  Of course, men matter too. Continue reading