Any great leader will tell you that the day you stop learning is the day you stop leading. Along the way of any career path, there’s always a lesson to be taught and knowledge to be gained. And if you think leadership development is reserved only for those in management positions, you couldn’t be further off base.
In the book Great Leaders GROW, authors Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller discuss leadership development through Blake, a recent college grad, his mentor Debbie, and the idea that all leaders must constantly GROW.
GROW is actually an acronym that is revealed throughout the story – each letter representing a piece of the process to not only becoming a great leader, but also influencing others to strive for greatness as well.
The G in GROW stands for “Gain Knowledge,” and really sets the stage for the overarching theme of the book as a whole.
“It’s so unfortunate that many leaders fail to GROW their own knowledge and skills, because that’s the first gate. If they don’t make it around this first gate, they’re ultimately disqualified.”
As the story progresses, Blake not only learns the value of knowledge through his conversations with Debbie, but also through his experiences at his first job at a company that has a strong reputation, but also has plenty of opportunities to GROW.
The next three letters in GROW build on this first idea that knowledge is the key to guiding your development as a leader and will affect every step along the way.
Throughout the learning process, Blake, like many of us, questions himself and his ability to actually GROW into a great leader. And with each doubt, Debbie is prepared to offer sound advice and encouragement to stay positive and push forward, while acknowledging that it’s difficult and many times, not very fun.
Great Leaders GROW is an easy read and is told through a framework that is very relatable for both young professionals and veterans alike. Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller are well versed in leadership development and have built distinguished careers around their never-ending quest for knowledge and their drive to share what they have learned with others.
Have you read Great Leaders GROW? What are some of the key points you took away from Blake’s journey toward great leadership? Let us know in the comments section below.