The Leader Habit Book Summary - The Leader Habit Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

The Leader Habit summary

Martin Lanik

Master the Skills You Need to Lead in Just Minutes a Day

3.9 (115 ratings)
19 mins

What is The Leader Habit about?

The Leader Habit (2018) details an approach to leadership development that favors practice and habit learning over rote learning of knowledge. By looking at the ways habits are developed, and by breaking down the skills necessary for successful leadership into microbehaviors, these blinks offer a structure for becoming a better leader through short training exercises.

Table of Contents

    The Leader Habit
    summarized in 6 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 6

    Leadership skills are best understood as a series of learned habits.

    It makes little difference what field you work in – leadership skills matter. And we’re not just talking about company management here; these skills even make a difference when you’re running a household.

    So, how do you actually become a better leader?

    Leadership theorists used to argue that great leaders were genetically gifted, predisposed to behave as leaders. However, studies have disproved that view. We now know that 70 percent of the qualities associated with great leadership are learned behaviors. In response to this discovery, since 1996 there has been a massive boom in leadership development literature.

    Yet, this has hardly led to a new generation of gifted leaders.

    Worse, evidence suggests that there is a negative correlation between the rise in prominence of the field, and the confidence that Americans have in their leaders.

    If books aren’t working, what’s the best way to learn about leadership? Rather than seeing leadership as learnable knowledge, it would help to think of it as a set of skills. A skill can be learned through exercises, training your automatic behavior so that a habit is developed.

    Let’s look at the example of Laura. She was an emergency room nurse who was repeatedly passed over for management roles. Laura hadn’t noticed that her colleagues saw her as abrupt, emotionally erratic and argumentative. In short, she was hardly leadership material.

    To polish her CV and ensure she got the promotion she desired, Laura decided to take part in the author’s leadership development program. She learned to practice an important exercise: asking colleagues open-ended questions that ideally hinged on “What” or “How.” To remind herself to do this, she made a note on her hand. She soon found that her colleagues were a lot more responsive if she asked for their opinions. Using this technique, her relationships began to improve and her confidence grew.

    You too could try adapting your behavior in this manner, and developing this simple habit.

    Soon enough, Laura didn’t need written reminders. She not only succeeded in getting the management position she aspired to, but her relationships with friends and family members improved. All it took was training in the right skills.

    But how do you do this?

    The following blinks will introduce you the author’s Leader Habit Formula. The idea is that the habits essential for leadership can be practiced with simple five-minute training exercises.

    Want to see all full key ideas from The Leader Habit?

    Key ideas in The Leader Habit

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    Best quote from The Leader Habit

    It takes an average of 66 days to form a new fully automatic microbehavior.

    —Martin Lanik
    example alt text

    About the Author

    Martin Lanik is the CEO of Pinsight, a consultancy firm that fosters leadership development. His approach, which entails short practice sessions spread over a day, has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, Chief Learning Officer and The technique has been implemented in companies including AIG and CenturyLink. Lanik has a PhD from Colorado State University in industrial-organizational psychology.

    Who should read The Leader Habit?

    • Wallflowers looking to improve their leadership skills
    • Business school students and entrepreneurs
    • Strivers who’ve failed to keep a New Year’s resolution

    Categories with The Leader Habit

    Books like The Leader Habit

    People ❤️ Blinkist
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked

    Start growing with Blinkist now
    26 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    Of Blinkist members create a better reading habit*
    *Based on survey data from Blinkist customers
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 5,500+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial