Dont be misled by the title. Even if you are just a manager, supervisor, team lead or even a parent, that makes you a leader and you can learn a thing or two about your role in your team.The book is told via a fable. It tells the story of Andrew a first-time CEO who on the eve of this first presentation to the board found himself sharing a coach with Charlie in a midnight train on his way back home from his office.
During their conversation they were joined by 3 more people who attested to the five common pitfalls of a leader (again, not just CEO). They are the following:1. Status over Results. This is the most common one. Charlie asks Andrew: What is the most memorable day in your career so far? Andrew: When I became a CEO. Gotcha. Most leaders would answer this way, right? When I was promoted. When I became this and that. A successful leader who is focused on results should say: When I exceeded the sales target by 200% or When I finally implemented a difficult project.2. Popularity over Accountability.
Leaders are not meant to be popular because you are supposed to make decisions that can be painful to your people. This does not mean also that when you can fire somebody without feeling regrets, thats the measure that you are a tough leader. A leader should have a high EQ but not a stone heart.
Just like in the fable, firing his sales manager does not mean Andrew is not afraid of being unpopular but the fact that he did not give frequent evaluations when the sales manager was not meeting his expectation, that means he did not do his job as a good leader.3. Certainty over Clarity. With the many sources of data, with data available in myriad of ways via technology, the job of a leader is becoming more complex. Stick with the basics and use common sense. Otherwise, you will be a victim of analysis paralysis.4.
Harmony over Conflict. Loyal opposition is how my former boss calls this. It is better to argue during meetings and then afterwards support the one that the group decides to go with. Easier said than done especially in the Philippines when leaders can be overly sensitive about their opinion and all those who oppose are not seen as supportive.5.
Invulnerability over Trust. Dont be paranoid. Dont think that your subordinates are out there to take over your job. They are your allies. You have to trust your job with them so they will also trust you to support them.Very useful book. Easy to read. Can be finished in day or two. Well, I am a slow reader but really this book is meant to be read slowly so you will appreciate the lessons well.It is always nice to read non-fiction once in a while.