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The Secret: What Great Leaders Know -- And Do Hardcover – Oct 1 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Debbie, the heroine of this insipid business novella, is an archetypal customer relations executive who fails to wring improved performance from her micro-managed and dispirited subordinates. CEO Jeff takes her under his wing to impart the wisdom of "servant leadership" as exemplified by such figures as Jimmy Carter, Spartacus and, most of all, Jesus of Nazareth. Under his mentor, Debbie realizes that a leaders role is to inspire and empower underlings both in the workplace and in their personal lives. She learns to delegate so that she can focus on "vision" and "values." She commits herself to a project of "Reinventing Continuously" and she comes to understand that, since people are essences, not constructs, its better to leverage employees strengths rather than trying to fix their shortcomings; hiring decisions are therefore all-important and should involve no less than four exhaustive interviews. Armed with these principles, Debbie makes a spectacular new hire, gets her team to come up with the slogan "From Worst to First" and enlists them in continuous improvement of the work process. Soon performance skyrockets (exactly how remains somewhat mysterious), garnering Debbie a standing ovation and promotion to head of Leadership Development. Blanchard, co-author of The One Minute Manager, and Miller, an executive at the Chick-fil-A fast food chain, construct a rickety fictional matrix to support their high-minded but rather familiar leadership nostrums. Written in stilted business-school lingo ("Hi Deb! Looks like youre managing by walking around today!"), the narrative and dialogue elements come off as awkward filler that only accentuates the staleness of the truisms on offer.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Ken Blanchard is a prominent author, speaker, and business consultant. His phenomenal bestselling book, The One Minute Manager has sold more than ten million copies worldwide, is still on bestseller lists, has been translated into more than 25 languages and is regarded as one of the most successful business books of all time. Ken lives in San Diego, CA.
Mark Miller began his Chick-fil-A career working as an hourly team member at the company's Southlake Mall location in 1977. Today, he is the Vice President, Training & Development. He is also a member of the Operations Council, and the Strategic Planning Team for Chick-fil-A, Inc. When not working to sell more chicken, Mark teaches on a wide array of topics including: Leadership, Creativity, Team Building, and Evangelism. He lives in Atlanta, GA.
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Top Customer Reviews
Does she become a great leader? No, at least not by the book's conclusion, but that is not Blanchard and Miller's ultimate objective. Rather, their purpose (in my opinion) is to examine a process by which almost any executive can become a more effective supervisor. Specifically, they focus on specific skills that include situation analysis, setting priorities, making decisions, getting associates engaged and in alignment, avoiding or removing barriers, and meanwhile demonstrating the values of what Robert Greenleaf once characterized as "the servant leader" in an essay published in 1970.
In a second essay, "The Institution as Servant," Greenleaf observes: "This is my thesis: caring for persons, the more able and the less able serving each other, is the rock upon which a good society is built.Read more ›
I think this book makes great gifts for people you work with or family members. Don't be surprised if some folks don't "get it"...it's the people that do "get it" that are going to find amazing ways to apply these principles and impact the lives of others!
* Seeing and shaping the future
* Engaging and developing others
* Continuously Reinvent
* Value results and relationships
* Embody the values
Debbie learns whatever is needed to be a good leader, analyze her progress with examples, excercises and tips. In process with Debbie's example, Ken Blanchard has made successful attempt to teach the Leadership Lessons to all successful as well as troubled and failed Leaders. The Book provides a guide to solve problems that seem complex and make it easier with the concepts clear - A choice to Serve. Not always I guess, because while Serving too without being self-served, the Leader becomes a struggler if the Company policies and the Boss Attitude and vision is not focused. Sometimes wavelengths do not meet. However, based on the author's experience and drawn from examples of best leaders, this book gives an insight to improve upon one's own abilities and in serving others, tackle the situations with ease without struggling lamely. Ken Blanchard's experience speaks in volumes. A good Pick.
Most recent customer reviews
I recommend this book to anyone in a leadership position. I found the book to be an easy read, yet strong in content. Read morePublished on June 1 2004
This book really inspired me. I always thought great leaders were born, not made. This book demonstrates that by following five enlightened principles, anyone can become a positive... Read morePublished on May 28 2004
I found the book easy to read and adaptable for any leadership situation. The concepts were broad enough to use in any arena, yet specific enough that you know the goals you need... Read morePublished on May 28 2004