What I learned from "How great leaders think"

I'm a sucker for peering into how others think. I love learning how other people construct the world, what drives them, and what makes them awesome. So when I saw a copy of "How Great Leaders Think" at the LBS library, I was hooked.

The central tenet of the book is to understand and rotate 4 leadership frameworks. These frameworks are:


"Leaders who can reframe - look at the same thing from multiple perspectives - think better"

More specifically, these are how leaders from those frameworks act and think:

Structural leaders

  • they do their homework
  • they insist on clear goals
  • they focus on detail
  • Align the group's structure with the group's tasks

Human resource leaders

  • they communicate a strong belief in people
  • they're visible and accessible
  • they empower others

Political leaders

  • they assess the distribution of power and interests
  • they build linkages to key stakeholders
  • they persuade first, negotiate second, and coerce only if necessary

Symbolic leaders

  • lead by example
  • they use symbols to unite and inspire followers
  • they tell stories
  • they develop and communicate a hopeful vision
  • they respect and use history