Innovative Strategies for Building Your Leadership

How Leaders Learn to Lead

How Leaders Learn to Lead


Do you have leadership potential? Probably.  Millions and millions of dollars are spent on developing leaders every year. Leadership development experts lead numerous corporate leadership development programs in groups and teams. MBA programs commonly make the claim to produce leaders. I have been a part of this industry and took a long hard look at how it could be improved. It never seemed true that leaders could be developed in corporate groups, given that the overall mission of such programs was a collective corporate one, as opposed to an individual one.  Can leaders be mass produced? I don’t think so.

Most leadership development books and approaches examine the behaviors of leaders and then distil and combine them into simple common traits. Leadership development programs often use such behaviours to train students of leadership. Become a leader by acting like one. Corporations believe that collectively such leadership traits will be copied by their management to propel them into an industry leadership position. This seems like an oxymoron, to think experts can develop leaders by getting their students to use this “follow the leader” approach.

The book transforms the existing methods of the leadership development. By researching the facts on how actual leaders learned to lead, a “new” method is established based on the success of actual leaders. This challenges the traditional assumptions behind how to develop leaders. Top down expert teaching produces only managers not leaders. The book has case studies of about thirty well known leaders. It shows that traditional leadership training was never a factor in how those leaders learned to lead. Leadership development was not an external collective process but a deeply internal individual one based on one’s early roots. Such leaders never aimed to become leaders in the first place, as opposed to the new fetish for acquiring leadership like a commodity through a simple training program. The book documents how actual leaders learned to lead as a bi-product of early-focused learning. Simply copying leadership behaviours, short circuits the learning, and later fails to produce leadership but only managers. In this way, the book makes an important distinction between leadership development and management development.

Finally, the book has unveiled the actual method that actual leaders used to become leaders. For those who believe that they have leadership potential, the book presents a method which can be applied by focusing on one’s own personal childhood to identify one’s own leadership roots. The book contains leadership development guidelines for the individual wishing to develop her or his unique brand of authentic leadership.

The book is a must for any students wanting to learn to lead, MBA students, teachers and parents of early learning as well as professors of advanced learning.

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