The last word on leading others hasn’t been written. The absolute best book on leadership out there… isn’t out there.
It turns out there are as many ways to lead as there are leaders and if any leader had all the answers, then people like John Maxwell would have only one book published on the subject, instead of more than 40.
Take your leadership advice with a grain of salt, whether it comes from me or someone rich and famous for writing a lot of ineffective advice. (How do I know it’s ineffective? Because if it was effective, you would not need 40 different books to prove it works.)
All advice on leadership is not bad (in 40 books of trial and error–or 40 blog posts–there has to be at least a few gems, right?). The point is there are many styles and methods to lead. Find one that works for you, and try others now and then.
Baskin-Robbins used to be famous for having 31 flavors of ice cream. They had the right idea and it works the same for leadership. There are many flavors to choose from and you can sample as many as you want. You will find your favorite and least favorite, for sure, but you will not know which is which, until you try each. You might find mixing and matching works best or you might be a die-hard vanilla sort of leader.
Regardless of the additives, though, the core ingredients of leadership–just like the core ingredients of ice cream (milk, ice, sugar)–remain the same. For leaders, the core ingredients are: Listen, think, act… in the right measure. 3 parts listening to the data and people around you, 2 parts thinking about the appropriate action and predictable consequences, and finally 1 part action… because after listening (gathering data) and thinking (planning), taking action is the easy part. It will become obvious and seem instinctive if the rest of the recipe is right.
Listen, think, act… because the opposite never works.
But you don’t have to take my word for it.