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The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do Hardcover – September 2, 2014
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“My challenge to you is simple: learn The Secret—then apply The Secret. If you do, your leadership and your life will be transformed forever!”
—from the foreword by John C. Maxwell, author of the bestselling The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and founder of INJOY
“You don’t have to be older to be a great leader. The Secret shows how to lay the foundation for powerful servant leadership early in your career to maximize your impact.”
—Claire Diaz-Ortiz, Head of Corporate Innovation and Philanthropy at Twitter, Inc. and author of Twitter for Good and Hope Runs
“In The Secret, Ken and Mark weave a simple yet compelling tale that contains profound truths. If only we all knew The Secret!”
—Laurie Beth Jones, author of Jesus, CEO and The Path
“When you learn The Secret, don't keep it to yourself. Share it and use it with your people. It will make a difference in their lives and their performance.”
—Donald G. Soderquist, former Vice Chairman, Wal-Mart, and founder of the Soderquist Center for Leadership and Ethics, John Brown University
“If you know The Secret, both relationships and results will prosper. It's a perfect move in your life from success to significance.”
—Bob Buford, author of Halftime
Written by the bestselling authors Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller, The Secret (over 500,000 copies sold) answered a question most leaders ask at some point in their career: “What do I need to do to be a great leader?” In this third edition, the authors have added a self-assessment and a set of frequently asked questions.
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The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do by Ken Blanchard, Mark Miller. Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Third Edition. 155 pages. 2014 edition
I read this book when it was first released, and recently re-read the third (or 10th Anniversary Edition). The book is written as a fictional story (think of Patrick Lencioni’s leadership fables) and follows Debbie Brewster, a leader who has been struggling. As a result, she applies for a new mentoring program at her organization. She is selected to participate, and the mentor she is assigned to is Jeff Brown, the president of the company.
In their first meeting Debbie asks Jeff “What is the secret of great leaders?” He responds that the secret is that great leaders SERVE. The book follows Debbie through her monthly mentoring meetings with Jeff as he takes her through the SERVE model. We see her applying what she has learned in those sessions, and as a result growing as a leader.
The SERVE model is:
S - See the Future.
E – Engage and Develop Others
R - Reinvent Continuously
V - Value Results and Relationships
E - Embody the Values
This quick read communicates helpful messages about being a servant leader via an interesting story about a leader who was struggling. It also includes some helpful resources at the end of the book, including a self-assessment and frequently asked questions. This would be a good book to read in a book club or in a mentoring session.
An updated version of their classic business fable, The Secret captivates the reader through an intriguing narrative centered around the simple but profound secret: “great leaders serve.”
Some of my earliest professional training was based on the writings of Ken Blanchard, and his works continue to both line my shelf and inform my leadership activities.
In much the same way, for the past few years Mark Miller’s writings have been an influential factor in my ongoing leadership development.
With The Secret, the authors have once again crafted a learning device that is not only a pleasure to read but filled with practical helps applicable from the volunteer team leader to the C-suite. In addition to these helps, the self-assessment included at the end of the book is a quick, useful tool to use at both the beginning and end of any mentoring or leadership development program.
Your continual journey as a developing leader developing others will benefit greatly from practicing the “secrets” from The Secret.