Act like a leader, think like a leader
Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader by Herminia Ibarra is a book that provides insights into how individuals can become effective leaders. Ibarra is a professor of organizational behavior and leadership at INSEAD, a leading business school. In this book, she shares her research on leadership and offers practical advice for individuals who are looking to develop their leadership skills.
The book is divided into three main sections: 1) Identity, 2) Competence, and 3) Impact. In the Identity section, Ibarra argues that individuals need to develop a leadership identity that is based on who they are and what they value. This means embracing one’s unique strengths and weaknesses, as well as developing a vision for the future.
The Competence section focuses on the skills and knowledge that leaders need to be effective. Ibarra emphasizes the importance of learning through experience and experimentation, rather than simply relying on formal training or education. She encourages readers to take risks, try new things, and learn from feedback and failure.
The Impact section explores how leaders can make a difference in their organizations and communities. Ibarra argues that leaders need to be able to engage and motivate others, build coalitions, and communicate effectively. She also stresses the importance of staying focused on the big picture, and avoiding getting bogged down in details and bureaucracy.
One of the key themes that runs throughout the book is the importance of developing a growth mindset. Ibarra argues that effective leaders are those who are willing to take risks, learn from failure, and embrace new challenges. She emphasizes the need for individuals to constantly challenge themselves, seek out new experiences, and develop their skills and knowledge.
Another important theme is the importance of building relationships and networks. Ibarra argues that effective leaders need to be able to connect with others, build trust, and work collaboratively. She provides practical advice on how to develop these skills, including strategies for building relationships with peers, mentors, and sponsors.
Overall, Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader is an insightful and practical guide to leadership. It is written in a clear and accessible style, and is filled with real-world examples and practical advice. Ibarra’s emphasis on learning through experience and experimentation, as well as her focus on developing a growth mindset, make this book particularly valuable for individuals who are looking to develop their leadership skills.
One of the strengths of the book is its focus on helping individuals develop their own unique leadership style. Rather than providing a one-size-fits-all approach to leadership, Ibarra encourages readers to embrace their own strengths and values, and to develop a leadership identity that is true to who they are.
At the same time, the book is not without its limitations. While Ibarra’s emphasis on learning through experience is valuable, it may not be practical for individuals who are looking for a more structured approach to leadership development. Similarly, her focus on building relationships and networks may not resonate with individuals who prefer to work independently.
Overall, Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader is a valuable resource for anyone who is looking to develop their leadership skills. It provides practical advice and insights that are grounded in research, and offers a valuable perspective on what it takes to be an effective leader in today’s complex and rapidly changing world.