Linda and I each recently read and really enjoyed a wonderful, easily read book called, “Learn Like a Leader,” edited by Marshall Goldsmith, Beverly Kaye and Ken Shelton. It was written by thirty-five best-selling authors, thought leaders and management experts, each contributing a short chapter, which are really snippets of great wisdom crafted around a personal story. The book came out of many of the authors meeting to share their stories and learning, which then spawned the annual tradition of meeting as The Learning Network, which I mentioned in my last post.
There are many, many wonderful contributions in the book. In fact, all thirty-five have their own sweet spot of impact. What I loved most about the book was the intimacy around the personal stories each author told, and how each was a wrapping for a profound insight or learning they had that highly impacted their lives. And this is all done in a chapter of no more than three of four pages. This makes the book easily read in a couple of sittings. Or, read it like I did, actually lingering over it for a couple months. I loved reading a chapter before bed or over breakfast. It was wonderful to think, “I wonder what Warren Bennis wrote about,” and then go read his contribution. I loved Warren’s, by the way. He wrote about “Writing Your Own Life,” and spoke about re-inventing one’s self. He shared about his roots, his army and school days, his role as a university president, and his time at USC, using the story of his life to highlight how authoring his life is important to him. I loved hearing how these stories of his life shaped his realization that he was he was never going to be completely happy with positional power, “the only kind of power an organization can bestow “, but what he really wanted was personal power, “influence based on voice.” He certainly achieved that, didn’t he?
The author list is extraordinary, including Jim Collins, Peter Block, Jim Kouzes, Stephen Covey, William Bridges, Marshall Goldsmith, Bev Kaye, and many, many more. Linda and I both highly recommend it. With the wonderful premise that “great leaders are great learners,” and written in a personal story format by great luminaries, how could it be anything but a wonderful read?
Please comment and let us know what you think of the book!