The Leadership Lab Book Summary - The Leadership Lab Book explained in key points
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The Leadership Lab summary

Chris Lewis, Dr Pippa Malmgren

Understanding Leadership in the 21st Century

3.7 (29 ratings)
21 mins

Brief summary

The Leadership Lab by Chris Lewis and Dr Pippa Malmgren is a practical guide for leaders to navigate the ever-changing business landscape using innovative ideas and strategies. It inspires readers by blending real-life anecdotes with scientific research.

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    The Leadership Lab
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    Good leadership requires a combination of both analytical and creative thinking.

    Whether it’s in business or politics, most of us have a similar idea of what makes a good leader. They’re quick to grasp the facts and figures of a situation, analyze them, and find solutions. 

    There’s a term for this approach, namely: people relying on data and logic to come up with precise answers and conclusions. It’s called left-brain thinking and leadership in many fields relies on it with good reason – it’s worked great in science, maths, and other areas that have helped the world progress.

    However, just as the term suggests, analytical and data-driven left-brain thinking isn’t all our minds are capable of, which is something that leaders should take note of.

    The key message here is: Good leadership requires a combination of both analytical and creative thinking.

    When we rely only on left-brain thinking, we miss out on the valuable insights that come from our wider-reaching right-brain thinking. Whereas the left brain works logically and quickly, narrowing things down and analyzing them, the right brain deals with qualitative factors such as emotion, and explores more broadly while looking for connections between things. This kind of processing is linked to creativity and problem-solving, and happens slowly and mostly when we’re not paying much attention.

    And as the authors learned, some leaders make use of this without even realizing it. During a survey, a group of leaders, who were all well versed in left-brain thinking, were asked when and where their best ideas came to them. The answers? In most cases, these leaders had eureka moments while they were far from their desks, not thinking about work. For example, ideas popped up while they were doing things like showering, having a conversation, or taking a walk. What this suggests is that when we give our left brain a break, the right brain quietly works away at the problems on our minds.

    However, this doesn’t mean that leaders should stop analyzing and simply wait for lightbulb ideas to surprise them. Good and efficient leadership means taking advantage of both processes; drilling down into the data whilst also considering the bigger, more qualitative picture.

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    What is The Leadership Lab about?

    The Leadership Lab (2018) takes a look at key changes in our century, the positive and negative effects they’re having, and how leaders can navigate them. The blinks to The Leadership Lab also give leaders direction on how to communicate effectively, maximize the efficiency of teams and encourage participation, as well as how to demonstrate patience and foster trust.

    The Leadership Lab Review

    The Leadership Lab (2019) is an insightful book that explores the essence of effective leadership in today's volatile world. Here's why you should give it a read:

    • With its in-depth exploration of leadership principles and strategies, the book equips readers with practical tools to navigate complex challenges.
    • Through a blend of research findings, personal stories, and real-world examples, the authors offer a relatable and engaging perspective on leadership.
    • With its fresh insights on the evolving nature of leadership, the book challenges conventional thinking and prompts readers to rethink their own approach.

    Best quote from The Leadership Lab

    Impatience is a hidden killer of potential.

    —Chris Lewis, Dr Pippa Malmgren
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    Who should read The Leadership Lab?

    • Leaders who want to understand world trends and their impact better
    • Managers who want to prepare themselves and their teams for the future

    About the Author

    Chris Lewis is a leading communications expert and the founder of the Lewis Advisory Board, a leading PR and communication agency. His experience includes providing media training for business leaders, politicians, and celebrities, and publishing articles in the Guardian, the Financial Times, and the Daily Telegraph. Lewis is also the author of the Official UK Top 20 Paperback Nonfiction Bestseller Too Fast To Think.

    Dr Pippa Malmgren is a trend-spotter and economic analyst who has worked as an advisor to investors and government leaders. She’s been featured by Bloomberg, the BBC, the Financial Times, and the Economist, and is the author of the bestselling book Signals.


    © Chris Lewis & Dr Pippa Malmgren, 2018. This Summary of The Leadership Lab is published by arrangement with Kogan Page.

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    The Leadership Lab FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Leadership Lab?

    The main message of The Leadership Lab is the importance of embracing uncertainty and fostering innovative thinking in the digital age.

    How long does it take to read The Leadership Lab?

    The reading time for The Leadership Lab varies depending on the reader's speed. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Leadership Lab a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Leadership Lab is worth reading as it provides valuable insights on leadership in an ever-changing world, inspiring readers to think differently and drive positive change.

    Who is the author of The Leadership Lab?

    The authors of The Leadership Lab are Chris Lewis and Dr Pippa Malmgren.

    What to read after The Leadership Lab?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Leadership Lab, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • The Agile Leader by Simon Hayward
    • The Trusted Learning Advisor by Keith Keating
    • Think Simple by Ken Segall
    • The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
    • How to Lead Smart People by Arun Singh and Mike Mister