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Great Leaders Grow: Becoming a Leader For Life [Hardcover]

Ken Blanchard , Mark Miller
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Mar 2012
The Secret introduced people around the world to a profound yet seemingly contradictory concept: to lead is to serve. With that as the foundation Great Leaders Grow takes the next step, showing leaders how to ensure that they’ll be able to effectively serve throughout their careers.

The Secret’s protagonist, Debbie Brewster, now an accomplished leader herself, becomes a mentor to Blake, her former mentor’s son. She teaches him not just how to lead, but emphasizes the critical importance of continually learning and developing his leadership abilities throughout his career. She identifies four areas in which every leader must continue to GROW - Gain Knowledge (of themselves, others, their industry and the field of leadership); Reach Out to Others, both formally and informally; Open their World, at work and outside of work; and Walk toward Wisdom (through self-evaluation, feedback, counsel and over time). This book is for any leader in any organization that needs more and better leaders faster. Its blueprint for culture transformation is a simple yet revolutionary path to sustainable achievement.


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler (1 Mar 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609943031
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609943035
  • Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 1.7 x 22 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 262,036 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Ken Blanchard is chief spiritual officer of the Ken Blanchard Companies. He is the author or coauthor of 50 books that have sold more than 20 million copies, including the iconic "One Minute Manager(R)."Mark Miller is vice president, training and development, for Chick-fil-A. During his career he has served in corporate communications, restaurant operations, quality and customer satisfaction, and numerous other leadership positions. He began his Chick-fil-A career in 1977 working as an hourly team member. He is the author of "The Secret of Teams "and the coauthor of "The Secret. "

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4.0 out of 5 stars great leaders grow 12 Mar 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
easy to read and understand
describes situations in a realistic way and makes the theory easy to apply
useful background reading for leadership course at university
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Leaders Grow 4 April 2012
By Rolf Dobelli TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
With millions of copies of his titles in print, including his bestseller, The One Minute Manager, Ken Blanchard is one of the business world's most popular authors. Corporate executive Mark Miller teamed up with Blanchard to create 2009's The Secret. Their newest collaboration, Great Leaders Grow, is an instructive fable that explains why leaders must keep growing. Readable and easy to understand, this business novella presents a tidy, mainstream message about self-development. Blanchard and Miller discuss the requirements of "servant leadership" and encourage readers to expand their personal and professional understanding. getAbstract recommends this tale to the authors' dedicated fans and to aspiring leaders seeking an accessible book as a bridge to something a little more challenging.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  32 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read, but fell a little short 4 Feb 2012
By Joshua Reich - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
First off, what I loved about the book was how quick of a read it is. I finished it in one night. It is similar to Patrick Lencioni's books in that it is written as a fable.

The book hits on a topic that is important to every leader. How a leader grows and develops. No leader wants to stay put. By definition, leaders are about influence, change, pushing the status quo. But many leaders are not sure what that means, where that goes or how to do it.

This book gives a clear plan on how a leader develops, how they grow and use their talents to their full extent.

Here are a few things that jumped out in the book:

-Leaders who grow help others grow.
-There's certainly more to leadership than growth, but growth is at the heart of what creates and sustains great leaders. Growth is the leader's fountain of youth.
-Our capacity to grow determines our capacity to lead. It's really that simple.
-The best teams always do life together.
-We all make mistakes, and we do our best to learn from them. That's one thing leaders do extremely well.
-Anytime you influence the thinking, beliefs, or development of another person, you're engaging in leadership.
-When a person's core values are not aligned with a company's values, it's rarely a great situation - short term or long term.
-If you don't feel like you want to be a leader, you shouldn't pursue a leadership position.
-If, in your heart, you can't honestly say that you want to serve people, you shouldn't pursue leadership.
-Great leaders serve.
-Growing, for great leaders, is like breathing. It is not optional. It is not something you do in addition to your real job.
-Your capacity to grow will determine your capacity to lead. If you get too busy with your job to grow, your influence and leadership will stagnate and ultimately evaporate.

If there's one criticism I'd give about this book it is that it stops at the leader. At the end of the story, the CEO says, "Being a leader dedicated to lifelong learning and personal growth is not the same as creating a culture of growth." I was hoping that the authors would have dug into this topic because I believe this is one area so many churches and organizations struggle. It's one thing for the leader to grow, it's another thing to create a culture of growth within your organization.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Caught me by surprise 14 Feb 2012
By David Witt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I read a lot of business books and I picked up Great Leaders Grow for a blog post I was writing. Career growth (or the lack of it) is a big issue in most of today's organizations but there hasn't been much written on the subject. Great Leaders Grow looks at the topic from the perspective of a 20-something. Being closer to 50 myself, I was enjoying the story as an observer, watching as the young lead character learns four important elements of growth: Gain Knowledge, Reach Out to Others, Open Your World, and Walk toward Wisdom.

I was jolted out of my observer role a little later in the story when a long time leader in the company is being let go for not keeping his skills current. Instead of growing during his 14 years with the company, he has simply repeated his first year's experience 14 times! He fell into the trap of complacency and it cost him his job.

Ouch--that hit close to home. I wasn't expecting that.

Let's just say that I read the remainder of the book a little more closely. I explored the material with the intent of applying it to my own career. (The authors make this easy by including some action steps and key questions at the end of the story.)

Great Leaders Grow is a good resource for someone just starting out on their leadership journey, but it might be an even better resource for someone who is in the middle of their career and needs a boost. I know that was my experience. It's a quick read (about 1 to 2 hours) and well worth the time--even potentially life changing. Highly recommended.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Changing, Career changing title. 11 Feb 2012
By Curtis A. Cecil - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Successful leaders don't rest on their laurels. Leadership must be a living process, not a title on a business card, and life means growth. As Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller write in the introduction, "the path to increased influence, impact, and leadership effectiveness is paved with personal growth . . . Our capacity to grow determines our capacity to lead. It's really that simple." Great Leaders Grow shows leaders and aspiring leaders precisely which areas to focus on so they can remain effective throughout their lives.

As the book opens, Debbie Brewster, an accomplished leader herself, becomes a mentor to Blake, her late mentor's son, as he begins his career. Debbie tells Blake, "How well you and I serve will be determined by the decision to grow or not. Will you be a leader who is always ready to face the next challenge? Or will you be a leader who tries to apply yesterday's solutions to today's problems? The latter will ultimately fail. The difference: the decision to grow. And not a short-term decision but a decision to grow throughout your career and throughout your life. This single decision is a game changer for leaders."

Over the next several weeks Debbie reveals what this means in practical terms. She and Blake explore four ways that leaders must continue to grow, both on the job and off, because who you are as a leader is inextricably connected to who you are as a person. Whether you're a CEO or an entry-level employee, you'll be inspired to reflect on your own life and to design your own unique long-term growth plan, leading to not only continuing professional success but personal fulfillment as well.

Ken Blanchard, co-author of Great Leaders Grow: Becoming a Leader for Life, is one of the most influential leadership gurus in the world, respected for his groundbreaking work in leadership and management. He is the author or coauthor of dozens of books, including the blockbuster international bestseller The One Minute Manager® and the giant business bestsellers Raving Fans and Gung Ho!. His books have combined sales of more than 20 million copies in 27 languages. In 2005 Ken was inducted into Amazon's Hall of Fame as one of the top 25 bestselling authors of all time.
Ken is the cofounder and chief spiritual officer of The Ken Blanchard Companies, an international management training and consulting firm headquartered in San Diego, California. He serves on the board of trustees at Cornell University and the College of Business at Grand Canyon University bears his name.
Mark Miller, co-author of Great Leaders Grow: Becoming a Leader for Life, is vice president, training and development, for Chick-fil-A. During his career he has served in corporate communications, restaurant operations, quality and customer satisfaction, and numerous other leadership positions. He began his Chick-fil-A career in 1977 working as an hourly team member. He is the author of The Secret of Teams and the coauthor of The Secret.

Personal Thoughts:
It's amazing how a book comes along at the right time for you. This book has many tips, tools, and topics that line up directly with where I feel I am at in my leadership in my company.
We need some fresh perspective and this book does offer that.

I have already mentioned this book to many of my Store Managers, co-workers and pastor..
This will be a life changing, career impacting book for you!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Be a Lifelong Learner 11 Feb 2012
By Jim Estill - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Great Leaders Grow is written "storybook style" - not my favorite style but it does get the point across. And I like that it is short since this means more people are likely to read it. Someone once said that great leaders are great readers which I fear is lost in the age of Twitter etc.

Quotes from the book:

"Anytime you influence the thinking, beliefs or development of another person, you're engaging in leadership"

"Great leaders don't think less of themselves; they just think of themselves less" (this was in a chapter called learning to serve) Later in the book " Trying to help you - helps me."

" My capacity to learn determines my capacity to lead. If I stop learning, I stopped leading."

" Many leaders fail to gain knowledge because they have too much to do - they're going too fast and trying to accomplish too much." (this is partly why I am such a Time management nut. I always advocate spending time on the important and not just the urgent.)

" If you get too busy with your job to grow, your influence in your leadership will stagnate and ultimately evaporate."

" Wisdom is the application of knowledge, discernment, insight, experience, and judgment to make good decisions when the answer may not be obvious."

The book uses an acronym space-GROW:

Gain knowledge.

Reach out to others.

Open your world.

Walked toward wisdom.

I agree with the thesis of the book which is captured in the title - Great Leaders Grow.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Typical Blanchard 31 July 2012
By M. Slee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great story. mentors are necessary for everyone now much more than ever. New arrivals to a job will beenfit from this and veterans need to read this and be prepared to pay it forward.
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