The Making of a Leader Book Summary - The Making of a Leader Book explained in key points
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The Making of a Leader summary

Tom Young

What Elite Sport Can Teach Us About Leadership, Management and Performance

4.3 (99 ratings)
21 mins

Brief summary

The Making of a Leader by Tom Young is a leadership book that outlines practical steps for developing leadership skills. It provides insight into key leadership traits and how to cultivate them in oneself and others.

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    The Making of a Leader
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    There’s no one path to becoming a leader. Unique backgrounds bring unique strengths.

    Where do leaders come from? Is there a special recipe – some set of experiences or diplomas that imbue a person with a quality called “leadership”? Or do leaders simply come into the world fully formed – blessed with the right genes or born under an auspicious star? 

    Despite what some people might have you believe, leaders come from anywhere and everywhere. There is no single set of qualities or experiences or qualifications that results in great leadership. And, no matter what field you’re in, there is no single path to becoming a leader. Some paths may be more common than others, but it’s important to remember that there are many ways to make a great leader. 

    The key message in this blink is: There’s no one path to becoming a leader. Unique backgrounds bring unique strengths.

    It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the only way to accomplish something is to follow the same path you’ve seen others take. When it comes to leadership, however, there’s no one path to the top. Even among a fairly narrow section of top leaders – professional sports coaches ­– we see a range of backgrounds. 

    Take Spanish soccer manager Roberto Martinez. His father was a player and a coach, and so Martinez was raised in the game and played professionally for years before transitioning into a managing career. Now compare Martinez to Australian rugby manager Michael Maguire, who taught mathematics, science, and physical education at a high school as he rose through the rugby ranks. Similar results. Wildly different paths.

    Just as there’s no single ideal path to leadership, there’s no single ideal style of leadership, either. Each leader brings her own unique strengths – strengths that stem from her background and personality.

    For example, English soccer manager Sean Dyche cites his time working as a youth coach. This experience gave him invaluable teaching skills that have transferred to his current position coaching at the highest level of English soccer – in the Premier League. 

    You might not think children and elite professionals with multimillion-dollar salaries have much in common, but Dyche would disagree. While coaching children, he learned about patience, development, and joy for the game. What’s more, understanding those things has helped him succeed when the stakes are at their highest.

    So don’t forget to look to your background for inspiration, even if it’s unconventional. In fact, you should draw on your background, especially if it’s unconventional. You may find that your past, like Dyche’s, is an unlikely wellspring of leadership skills.

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    What is The Making of a Leader about?

    The Making of a Leader (2020) is an invaluable trove of leadership wisdom. Drawing on interviews with seven coaches at the peak of their profession, it explains not only what a great leader is but how you can make yourself into one.

    The Making of a Leader Review

    The Making of a Leader (2020) by Tom Young is a thought-provoking book that explores the journey of becoming a true leader. Here's why we highly recommend it:

    • With its real-life stories and valuable insights, the book offers practical guidance for developing leadership skills and making a positive impact in any industry.
    • The author's extensive research and interviews with successful leaders make the content informative and relevant, enhancing the reader's understanding of effective leadership.
    • Highlighting the importance of character and values in leadership, the book engages readers by providing a compelling narrative of how leaders are shaped and the impact they can have on others.

    Who should read The Making of a Leader?

    • Anyone who’s coached from the couch
    • New bosses
    • Leaders searching for an identity

    About the Author

    Tom Young is a performance psychologist with a track record of working with individuals at the highest levels of professional sports. He has been a consultant for the Belgian national soccer team and the 2018 European Ryder Cup team.

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    The Making of a Leader FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Making of a Leader?

    The main message of The Making of a Leader is that leadership skills can be learned and developed.

    How long does it take to read The Making of a Leader?

    The reading time for The Making of a Leader varies depending on the reader, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Making of a Leader a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Making of a Leader is worth reading. It provides valuable insights and practical guidance for aspiring leaders.

    Who is the author of The Making of a Leader?

    The author of The Making of a Leader is Tom Young.

    What to read after The Making of a Leader?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Making of a Leader, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • Serve Up, Coach Down by Nathan Jamail
    • Lead Like a Coach by Karen Morley
    • No Bullsh*t Leadership by Christ Hirst
    • Under New Management by David Burkus
    • The Infinite Leader by Chris Lewis & Pippa Malmgren
    • Trillion Dollar Coach by Eric Schmidt
    • Everybody Matters by Bob Chapman & Raj Sisodia