A Book Review of “The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do”, written by Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller.
Though I have been a supervisor before, when hired for my latest assignment, I was thrust into a mix where the problems were known company wide and discord was the mood of the day. I knew I had to do something different if I wanted to get the team running smoothly in 6 months. In the management section of the local book store, I found “The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do”, written by the team of Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller. This is a wonderful book, just 125 pages, full of insights and steps that helped me accomplish my goal and earn an Employee Recognition Award after 6 months in my new position.
The main point of the book is this: A responsible leader must be able to See the future, Engage and develop others, Reinvent continuously, learn to Value results and relationships and Embody values in all team members. The most important point of the book is “a good leader is one who serves”. A brief summary of the points will help you understand why this book was so helpful to me. Each point is explained in detail.
Seeing the future does not mean using a crystal ball, but to have a plan and goals as to what the future should be. Have a workable plan and develop the steps to make the plan succeed is how you see the future. The future does not just happen; it is what you do today that makes the future of tomorrow.
Engaging and developing others is a great way to make your future succeed. No man is an island and all tasks go better with assistance. Ask others their opinions and their ideas. Encourage them to get involved in the process towards the new future and help them to succeed in the process.
Reinventing continuously means you must watch for constant opportunities for change and analysis. Just because something was always done a certain way does not mean it is the best way to do it today. Time management, delegation of duties, a shifting of job responsibilities and then new training of team member may be all you need to improve your team and see results.
Value project results and building strong relationships may be a new direction for you. Investing in the relationships of those in your team will build trust and understanding between all the team members. When you like the person you are working with, you feel freer to share ideas, discuss failure and find solutions. If your relationships are growing, so will your results. Its easy to value results, we all want to succeed. The harder part of the equation is to build and develop strong, trusting relationships with all team members.
Embody values in your team members, your relationships and your results for the team. True leadership is built on trust. If you don’t trust the person leading, you will not follow them no matter how great their plan is. To build trust, you must maintain and exhibit values others can relate to and embody. Trust, values and strong relationships are traits of great leaders. Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson all had unyielding values and strong relationship with those they served.
This book is written in a conversation style that is easy to read and I found enjoyable. It was insightful and humorous while at the same time, very instructional. I enjoyed the style of this book and found it to be an easy-read. The last few pages of the book have information about the authors and other training programs offered by them. Contact information is provided as well as phone numbers and web site information.
If you are a supervisor or learning to be one, read “The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do”, written by Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller. I am glad I did!