Book Summary: Launching a Leadership Revolution Written by Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady

Everything rises and falls on leadership. The fate of our country in the coming years will be determined by jobs and small / medium sized businesses. To run these organizations effectively, leadership is needed. Orrin and Chris do an excellent job profiling the five stages of leadership.

Why is this important to me?

I don’t want to waste your time and I want you to get actionable information from this summary. With that said, there are a couple of components that I want to point out as it relates to influence. Leaders sell the difference between their vision and today’s reality. If the vision is compelling and the leader has character and integrity, people will follow.

People need to be hone-able, honorable and hungry to become leaders. Leadership takes effort. I can personally tell you that leading people is not easy. I am also a beginning leader with a lot to learn. To gain mind share of people, you have to influence them and compel them to the cause.

Launching a Leadership Revolution discusses 5 levels of influence on the leadership staircase. For the sake of time, I will profile each part in summary. Leadership can be like herding cats because people are different. To that end, it is the goal of the leader to unite people toward the common cause.

1. Learning – Continuous learning is required now for any field especially leading. You have to be committed to learning every day. This needs to be a habit. You cannot influence people in mass if you are not willing to take the hits and do the work. Learning leads to better performance and enlightenment. Without it, you cannot lead. The world is to sophisticated today for ignorance. You need to be a lifelong learner.

2. Performance – It is not the number of hours you put into an endeavor but the effort you put into the hours. Leaders have to perform. NFL Coaches have a three year life span. If they do not perform and create a winning team, they are fired. People expect performance and want to follow winners. Everybody remembers Muhammad Ali and George Forman. Do you remember Ernie Shavers or Jerry Quarry? These two fighters were good but they were not the champions. There are a couple of keys to performance: 1. 80/20 Rule – focus on what matters and discard what doesn’t and 2. Parkinson’s Law – Focuses on effectiveness and states that a task swells to its allotted time table. Shorten the deadlines on tasks and they will get done. In college, how many of you finished term papers in the last week before they were due? This is Parkinson’s Law in its negative affect. The term paper could be done in one week instead of 15 weeks.

3. Leading – “To serve is to rule” – Leaders know that they have to serve others to get the job done. Selfish egotistical leaders will typically be stuck in positional leadership which is the lowest rung on the leadership ladder. Lee Iacocca was a good leader but not a great leader. He lost his focus and started focusing on his ego after the Chrysler turnaround. His focus became too “I centered”. To be a great leader, you need to be humble and have the collective put ahead of yourself. If you look at truly great leaders you will see this trait – Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi and George Washington.

4. Developing Leaders – Developing other leaders is the real key multiplier effect. Having great people who lead allows organizations to scale. In business, this is the difference between being self-employed and owning a business that does not require your full attention. Do you have a local dentist? Typically what you see at these practices are very successful people that do all the work. They make an excellent living but cannot scale beyond a certain point because THEY can only do so much work and there are only so many hours in a day. Contrast this to Warren Buffett. Warren owns several businesses and does not run any of them. He buys them with excellent management and leadership in place. He provides additional leadership and capital to expand the business and scale. That is one benefit of developing leaders.

5. Developing Leaders who develop leaders – This is the holy grail of leadership. Orrin gives a great example in the book. Christianity is 2000 years old and it is primarily that way because of the Apostle Paul. His ability to develop leaders who developed leaders was un-parallel in history.

Launching a Leadership Revolution is a good book that is worth the time to study. Orrin and Chris do a good job of profiling the key aspects of influence and leadership.

I hope you have found this short video summary useful. The key to any new idea is to work it into your daily routine until it becomes habit. Habits form in as little as 21 days. One thing you can take away from this book is learning. The major ingredient to get your leadership skills off the ground is to learn. Make it a daily habit to read a few pages, watch educational videos and tap into associations outside your comfort zone.