Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do

Ken Blanchard, Author, Mark Miller, Author, John C. Maxwell, Foreword by Berrett-Koehler Publishers $20.95 (124p) ISBN 978-1-57675-289-0
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 leader's 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, it's 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 you're 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.
Reviewed on: 01/01/2004
Release date: 01/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 152 pages - 978-1-4587-2013-9
Open Ebook - 132 pages - 978-1-60509-537-0
Paperback - 158 pages - 978-958-04-8485-1
Open Ebook - 138 pages - 978-1-60509-338-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-56511-944-4
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