Book Review | Raising Leaders by Wendy Born

Raising Leaders by Wendy Born is for any reader who wants to lead better. The insightful book identifies similarities between raising children and leading adults, both of which require positive influences on health, well-being, and mindset for others to thrive. Parenting, like leadership, is filled with emotional, challenging, and rewarding experiences, which can be appreciated by readers who parent their own kids, work with children, or recall being raised by their own caregivers.

Levels of Development

Along with guiding others comes a variety of emotions. Wendy Born explains, “Like parenting, leadership is a journey for you and your team, with everyone learning, evolving and growing at different paces.” The author identifies five phases of development. At level one, those requiring leadership are dependent, uncertain, and fearful of unknowns. After progressing to level five, they are in control, guiding themselves to achieve their own goals. The intent of leadership then is to develop others to reach their highest level of self-sufficiency.

Create a Healthy Environment

Love is the foundation of family and enduring business. A key component of successful leadership is creating a positive home or work environment. This entails clear structure, boundaries, expectations, and consequences. Adults, like children, crave love and support in a caring atmosphere in which they feel safe. Mental and physical health is critical for building lasting skills and resilience.

Lead by Example

Optimal performance can be achieved by having role models who steer with vision and a road map. However, parents and leaders must be prepared not to know it all, to figure stuff out on the fly. Leading by example is an amazing tool through which others can observe language, behaviour, strategic thinking, risk taking, and more. For example, at work, go home early, start the day later, get outside, take stairs, work standing up, host team lunch. Encourage others to do the same. In essence, the guiding principle is do what you say and say what you do to yield favorable results.

Connect a Work Family

A functional work family can gel by applying similar concepts to child rearing and navigating hard times with patience, persistence, and forgiveness. Connections strengthen by building trust, letting (some) things go, encouraging debate and discussion, sharing stories, and trying new experiences. The future of the team’s outcomes and cohesiveness depends on positive human interactions.

Bring Love to Work

All in, the goal of leadership, and this book, is to help others grow and evolve into the best, independent versions of themselves. Wendy Born shares her perspective, “Learning and adapting throughout your leadership journey is key to becoming a leader who people respect, are inspired by and want to work for. It’s what leadership is all about.” Just like amazing parents, great role models value contribution and extend themselves to boost others. The best, most courageous leaders bring love to work. Understand how by reading this book.

Jennifer Musser – Guiding Strategic Purpose, Managing Member, JLM & Associates Consulting, LLC

Image credit: Team Gantt

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