The Secret—What Great Leaders Know and Do

The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do

Here is the simple truth of leadership from one of the most concise books on leadership I’ve ever read. This is actually the 10th anniversary edition and marks over half a million copies sold. So, I guess I’m not the only one who appreciates this one. Of all the books on leadership, this is by far the very best. It is the gold standard of leadership books.

First, of all the company leaders that I work with, the very best ones are those who intentionally study their craft. (Actually, that is true of anyone who is good at anything). The book is written in the form of a parable; it is the story of Debbie, a young, up-and-coming leader on a search for the secret to great leadership.

We follow her journey as she discovers the true secret of leadership which is (spoiler alert) creating a path to the success for the people you are leading. It is to unselfishly do whatever it takes to create the vision of the future that is so inspiring that your team will follow you anywhere to accomplish that future.

Some of the gems for the book:

  • Ask yourself if you are a self-serving leader or a serving leader? Guess which one is the most successful?
  • A true leader leads people to success. She leverages their strengths and helps them succeed.
  • A true leader inspires people to succeed much further than they thought they could reach.
  • People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
  • And my favorite: Creating a compelling vision is one of the privileges and most serious demands of leaders.

I don’t think I have ever read a book that packs so much value in so short a time. Even if you don’t like to read, even if you read one book a year, do yourself a favor and make sure it is this one.

Dan Beaulieu is president of D.B. Management Group.

The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do

Authors: Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller

Publisher: MJF Books

Copyright: 2014

Pages: 134

Price: $22.95