Open in the App Open in the App Open in the App
Get the key ideas from

The Leader Habit

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

By Martin Lanik
12-minute read
Audio available
The Leader Habit: Master the Skills You Need to Lead in Just Minutes a Day by Martin Lanik

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.

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

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 Monster.com. The technique has been implemented in companies including AIG and CenturyLink. Lanik has a PhD from Colorado State University in industrial-organizational psychology.

Go Premium and get the best of Blinkist

Upgrade to Premium now and get unlimited access to the Blinkist library. Read or listen to key insights from the world’s best nonfiction.

Upgrade to Premium

What is Blinkist?

The Blinkist app gives you the key ideas from a bestselling nonfiction book in just 15 minutes. Available in bitesize text and audio, the app makes it easier than ever to find time to read.

Discover
3,000+ top
nonfiction titles

Get unlimited access to the most important ideas in business, investing, marketing, psychology, politics, and more. Stay ahead of the curve with recommended reading lists curated by experts.

Join Blinkist to get the key ideas from

The Leader Habit

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

By Martin Lanik
  • Read in 12 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 7 key ideas
The Leader Habit: Master the Skills You Need to Lead in Just Minutes a Day by Martin Lanik
Synopsis

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.

Key idea 1 of 7

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.

Key ideas in this title

No time to
read?

Pssst. Sign up to your secret to success: key ideas from top nonfiction in just 15 minutes.
Created with Sketch.