Without a doubt, this is one of the most influential books I’ve read in the last twenty years. It has just over two hundred and fifty pages and a subtitle of, “Mastering the Five Levels of Influence”. First, I am compelled to let you know two things about this great leadership book: 1) The ‘pre-sale’ numbers were enough to get it noticed by the Business Week bestseller list, and it later became a bestseller on the New York Times Business, Wall Street Journal, and Business Week bestseller lists, and 2) All advances and royalties from the sale of the book were donated to All Grace Outreach in Flint, Michigan.
I met and have listened to both of the authors at leadership seminars. These men are considered to be in the top twenty-five Leadership Gurus worldwide. When they got together in 2005 to write this book about leadership many people took notice. It was after reading it the ‘second’ time that I took an honest look at myself, and by using their Trilateral Leadership Ledger, I enacted small incremental changes in my life that has made all the difference in my personal life and my business.
“Everyone is called upon to lead in some capacity
at some point in their lives!” – Brady & Woodward
Each chapter contains an historical example (Winston Churchill, Benjamin Franklin, and George Washington to name a few) of the leadership qualities being described. The second part of the book is a set of ‘five stairs’ that is a metaphor for the Five Levels of Leadership. In this simple way they built a model to effectively show how leaders actually influence people. Leaders don’t really lead (they manage) until the third level when they have ‘learned’ about leadership and then ‘proven’ their performance abilities. The two highest levels are when one is able to develop other leaders, and then to train leaders who develop other leaders. A very small percentage can do this effectively over the long term.
The first part of this book has a discussion to what leadership is and what they bring to the table. Even thought most of us can agree what a leader is, the actual concept of leadership is a complex issue. These authors broke it down into simple, understandable parts, and then reassembled them in a way that we can all learn be a part of the revolution they speak.
“I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable
ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.
- Henry David Thoreau
The most powerful part of the book is Chapter Four, “The Trilateral Leadership Ledger.” The authors state quite firmly that a leader must continually grow to keep pace with the demands they’ll face. This growth should be in both their personal life and with their influence with others. The chapter only focuses on the personal side. It is a fact that there is but one key to success, you need to be able to track your growth.
Chris and Orrin have created a simple ‘ledger’ to monitor your personal growth. In each of three categories (character, tasks, and relationships) there is listed a series of characteristics to consider when you rank yourself. You give yourself a number between one and ten, and then multiply these three numbers to come up with your ‘score’. Then make a conscious effort to change at least one-point in each category, and six months later you calculate a new score.
An Example: With an ‘honest’ first scoring, you may
even have a zero in one category… the First scores are
2x0x1=0, Second are 3x1x2=6, Third are 4x2x3=24,
Fourth are 5x3x4=60, and the Fifth are 6x4x5=120.
Beginning leaders will certainly notice only small levels of increase when they start out. You can see from the example above, that as you continue to grow and develop, the growth will increase by a larger number (in the example above it grew by 6, an 18, 36, and then 60) each time you calculate.
This book is for anyone who may be ‘called’ to lead. It will show how to gauge your ability and then you’ll learn how and where to grow. You are shown how to evaluate what levels of leadership exists in an organization. Understanding and then applying this information is extremely helpful in diagnosing issues and providing guidance, correction, and direction.
“The only way for evil to flourish is for good
men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke
Chris & Orrin are Calling All Leaders ! ! “Becoming a leader should not frighten anyone… it should inspire. Leadership is one of the most rewarding endeavors known to mankind. It is also one of the most important. Our society is suffering from a leadership crisis. There are too many people sitting idly, while the world cries out for leadership. We need leaders in the government, leaders in business, leaders in the community, leaders in schools, leaders in the homes, and leaders in the churches.” Go Buy This Book Today…
Ever Yours, In Rhythm,