The Heart of a Leader: Insights on the Art of Influence by Ken Blanchard. David C. Cook. 197 pages. 2010.
This book is comprised of Ken Blanchard’s favorite sayings – most of which come from his books – along with a short reading accompanying the quote. Blanchard tells us that anytime you use your influence to affect the thoughts and actions of others, you are engaging in leadership.
This is a book that you can read at your own pace. I chose to read a few “chapters” (quote and short reading) each day. Here are 20 of my favorite quotes from the book:
- The more attention you pay to a behavior, the more it will be repeated. Accentuating the positive and redirecting the negative are the best tools for increasing productivity.
- An effective leader will make it a priority to help his or her people produce good results in two ways: making sure people know what their goals are and doing everything possible to support, encourage, and coach them to accomplish those goals.
- No one of us is as smart as all of us.
- When you stop learning, you stop leading.
- Leadership is a high calling.
- Leading at a higher level is the process of achieving worthwhile results while acting with respect, care, and fairness for the well-being of all involved. It’s only when you realize that it’s not about you that you begin to lead at a higher level.
- Good leaders are committed to helping their people win. When someone fails, they accept responsibility for that failure.
- The main job of a leader is to help his or her people succeed in accomplishing their goals. And when people accomplish their goals and win, everyone wins.
- Think more about your people, and they will think more of themselves.
- Character is following through on decisions.
- Vision is knowing who you are, where you’re going, and what will guide your journey.
- An important way to motivate your people is to make sure they know where they are going. See that each person’s goals are clearly defined and that he or she knows what it means to perform well. This will give people a clear focus for their energy and put them on the road to becoming high-performing, empowered producers.
- Leading people is the opposite of trying to control them; it’s about gaining their trust through your integrity, developing their potential through your partnership, and motivating them through your affirmation.
- The only job security you have today is your commitment to continuous personal improvement.
- Servant leadership is more about character than style.
- The primary biblical image of servant leadership is that of the shepherd. The flock is not there for the sake of the shepherd; the shepherd is there for the sake of the flock.
- Am I a servant leader or a self-serving leader?
- Leadership is not something you do to people. It’s something you do with people.
- rue servant leaders want feedback because they are anxious to know whether their interactions with their people are helpful and effective.
- To be successful as a leader, you must know the values of your organization and live by them. You’ve got to walk the talk.