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Great Reads for Grown-Ups: Leadership on the Line


Recommended by Gil Brandon

Although I enjoy books on leadership, I think it is safe to say that most books like this are not the most personal. Leadership on the Line by Ronald A. Heifetz and Marty Linsky is an exception to this general rule.

Heifetz and Linsky’s main talking points were helpful, but the personal touch behind those points really drove home and animated the ideas the authors wished to communicate.

One of the most impactful  ideas to me was the idea of pacing the change in an institution.  Organizations are always adapting (or should be).  However, there are many variables that should be weighed to determine what that change looks like (how much, how long, how deep, etc.).  In the end, the success/failure of a leader has much to do with how well they understand and apply those variables in a changing environment.

The last two chapters may stand alone in what I would consider to be a summary of leadership necessities.  One of the reasons for this is that they seem to raise the bar of how we lead.  In fact, they raise them to a new relational level (both our relationship with others and our relationship with someone higher than ourselves.  Leadership is often working our way through the weeds, so I was encouraged as they pushed the reader toward higher thinking.

We all lead in one capacity or another.  Therefore, I would recommend to anyone interested in strengthening their ability to lead in whatever context that may be.