The one-sentence summary
To be a good leader you have to earn respect.
WHAT THE BOOK SAYS
· Copying how other leaders behave will not necessarily make you a good leader Great leaders essentially act as “authentic chameleons”, consistently displaying their true selves through different contexts that require them to play a variety of roles.
· Leadership is situational, non-hierarchical, and relational.
· Leadership can come from within an organisation just as easily as the very top.
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT
· The question in the title is the strongest point, and you should ask it of yourself if you aspire to be a leader
· This orientation adds a dose of humility to the often macho area of leadership
· It is easy enough to follow the steps they recommend (assuming you have the desire);
o Be yourself – more – with skill
o Know and show yourself – enough
o Take personal risks
o Read – and rewrite – the context
o Remain authentic – but conform enough
o Manage social distance (tough love, and getting close but not too close)
o Communicate – with care
· Followers are also discussed (you can’t have leaders without them)
· Followers want authenticity, to feel significant, a sense of excitement, and to feel part of a community
· Leadership has a price as well as a prize – there are no easy answers, you can be easily undone, and when things go wrong it’s your fault – so be careful what you pursue for the sake of it.
WHAT YOU HAVE TO WATCH
· Not much. The book is well-written and based on 25 years of research