Being a Leader People Want to Follow


I love the way Mark Miller writes. He is very similar to Patrick Lencioni in writing business/leadership fables. His latest book The Heart of Leadership: Becoming a Leader People want to Follow (kindle version) is no different.

Here are a few things I highlighted:

  • If your heart is not right, no one cares about your leadership skills.
  • I’ll let you in on a little discussed fact about leadership: As important as the skills are, lack of skills is not what derails most leaders; skills are too easy to learn. If you want to predict people’s ultimate success as leaders, evaluate not their skills but their leadership character.
  • There is a lot more to leadership than great individual work
  • You can lead, with or without, a title. If you wait until you get a title, you could wait forever.
  • Ninety percent of our success as leaders will be determined by what’s below the waterline. It’s our leadership character that ultimately drives what we do, and why. It is a true reflection of who we really are as human beings.
  • Leadership character is the primary driver of your success as a leader.
  • The lack of skills is not what derails most leaders—skills are too easy to learn. It is ultimately leadership character that determines our opportunity for influence and impact.
  • When leaders fail to thrive, the culprit is often their leadership character, not their lack of skills.
  • The servant leader constantly works to help others win.
  • Don’t confuse opportunity with leadership.
  • Get ready to lead and opportunities to lead will not be your problem.
  • Many people in the world see events as they are; leaders are different in that they see things that could be. And the future they see is always a better version of the present. We believe we can make a difference; we think we can make the world, or at least our part of it, better. Leaders are generally more optimistic than nonreaders.
  • People generally rise to the level of expectations placed on them.
  • When faced with a challenging or difficult situation, the best leaders most often respond with courage; less mature leaders, or nonleaders often choose another path—a path with less risk, less conflict, and less personal discomfort.
  • Leaders usually don’t wait—they initiate.
  • Leaders get what they create and what they allow.
  • Leaders respond with courage when they: Articulate the vision for the future. Build relationships with challenging people. Challenge people to grow and change. Mend broken relationships. Confront difficult problems. Make hard or unpopular decisions.
  • When leaders lead well, not everyone is going to be happy.
  • If there were no challenge, there would be no need for courage—or leadership.
  • To blame others is not the path leaders take. Leaders accept responsibility, in part, because they are sold out to the vision.
  • Leaders are different. They see the world differently and they cultivate different character traits.

If you are a leader and you are looking for a quick, insightful leadership book to read, this is it.

If you want to see some of the past books I’ve reviewed, go here.