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The Nine Types of Leader summary

James Ashton

How the Leaders of Tomorrow Can Learn from The Leaders of Today

4.3 (224 ratings)
27 mins

Brief summary

'The Nine Types of Leader' by James Ashton identifies different leadership styles through case studies of successful leaders, exploring what motivates them and how to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of each type.

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    The Nine Types of Leader
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    Alpha leaders are charismatic, dedicated monarchs.

    Alpha leaders are charismatic, dedicated monarchs.

    It’s a hot summer’s night in August 2015, and 2,000 excited audience members are taking their seats in Salzburg to watch Verdi’s Il Trovatore. This performance is part of Salzburg’s annual opera festival, and one of the best stalls in the opera house has been reserved for Peter Brabeck-Letmathe – chairman of the world’s largest food company, Nestlé.

    Nestlé has sponsored the festival, and Brabeck-Letmathe is officially there as the company’s representative. Like at other events he attends, his presence captures people’s attention: he captivates people just as much as any famous tenor, without ever needing to do anything dramatic.

    Brabeck-Letmathe is an Alpha leader, charming, confident, and striking. His strong personality has played a key role in leading a company worth £60 billion in annual sales.

    You’ll always know when you’re in the presence of alpha leaders. Like true monarchs, they conduct themselves as if they’re the most important people in the room. They’re inspiring, sure, but they’re also intimidating. Staff hang on every syllable they utter and worry over pleasing them.

    Alphas firmly believe in themselves and rule accordingly – with absolute control. This style may seem egotistical, but alphas need that level of confidence because they typically lead multinational companies with broad portfolios. There simply isn’t time for second-guessing, or ruling by consensus.

    Alphas are future-focused. They know that it takes time to build a kingdom – and they aren’t afraid to wait. This leads them to invest in research and development that will broaden their portfolios even further.

    Under Brabeck-Letmathe’s leadership, Nestlé spent 25 years developing the Nespresso coffee-making system. Today, it’s become a staple of homes and offices.

    So alphas are committed to the long game; and they’re also competitive. This means that they often stay with one business for decades, moving up the ranks over time.

    Let’s think about Brabeck-Lethathe again. By 2015 he’d been with the company for nearly 50 years. Nestlé had been his life’s work. 

    But the age of the alpha is coming to a close. As the age of globalization fades away, business empires become less attractive. Instead, we’re entering an era where the benefits of inclusivity become more and more apparent. Most boards now question autocratic leadership styles.

    If you’re an alpha and you want to continue leading in the contemporary workplace, you need to relax your grip and become more collaborative. Delegate, listen to consumers and stakeholders, and you’ll maintain your place on the throne while keeping step with new business practices.

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    What is The Nine Types of Leader about?

    The Nine Types of Leader (2021) reveals the strengths, assets, and pitfalls of different leadership styles and personalities. Using case studies, it explores how different types of leaders operate, and which business landscapes they’re best suited to, so that they and their companies can thrive.

    The Nine Types of Leader Review

    The Nine Types of Leader (2021) by James Ashton explores the different leadership styles and offers valuable insights to anyone interested in becoming an effective leader. Here's what makes this book worth reading:

    • With its in-depth analysis of nine distinct leadership types, this book provides a comprehensive understanding of the various approaches to leadership.
    • By examining real-life case studies and drawing lessons from successful leaders, the book offers practical strategies for developing leadership skills.
    • The book's engaging storytelling keeps readers captivated, ensuring that learning about leadership is anything but dull.

    Who should read The Nine Types of Leader?

    • Chief executives wanting to understand leadership styles
    • Board members seeking to appoint the most effective leader to run their companies
    • Aspiring leaders who aim to overcome their weaknesses

    About the Author

    James Ashton is a renowned journalist who specializes in finance, business, and the economy. He’s worked as City Editor at the Evening Standard and the Sunday Times, and hosts his own podcast, Leading with James Ashton.

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    The Nine Types of Leader FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Nine Types of Leader?

    The main message of The Nine Types of Leader is that leadership is not one-size-fits-all. Different types of leaders bring different strengths and approaches to the table.

    How long does it take to read The Nine Types of Leader?

    The reading time for The Nine Types of Leader varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Nine Types of Leader a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Nine Types of Leader is a valuable read for anyone interested in leadership. It provides insights into different leadership styles and helps readers understand their own strengths and weaknesses.

    Who is the author of The Nine Types of Leader?

    The author of The Nine Types of Leader is James Ashton.

    What to read after The Nine Types of Leader?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Nine Types of Leader, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • The Lucifer Effect by Philip Zimbardo
    • Good Arguments by Bo Seo
    • Millennial Money Makeover by Conor Richardson
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