Book Review: Simple Truths of Leadership by Ken Blanchard and Randy Conley

I just had the pleasure of reading Simple Truths of Leadership: 53 Ways to Be a Servant Leaders and Build Trust. It is the latest work of Ken Blanchard in collaboration with Randy Conley.

I have often wondered why Blanchard always—at least as far as I know—writes in tandem with one or more other authors. Then it occurred to me. Blanchard is the quintessential servant leader who is not about taking the spotlight for himself. He relies on including others in a group effort to make the best contribution. It simply would not be in Blanchard’s vocabulary to go it alone.

Anyway, this book is an easy read with not-so-easy-to-live material. I read it on a plane flight, but the lessons will take a lifetime to apply.

The main ideas come to us in two large sections. The first discusses servant leadership while the second looks at trust. Essentially, the thinking is that servant leadership requires trust while trust requires attributes of servant leadership. Put simply, the two go hand in hand.

Each of these two large sections is broken into 26 lessons called Common Truths, hence the 52 Ways. The idea is to work on one Truth a week over the course of a year.

To help in this work, each lesson ends with a section called Making Common Sense Common Practice that contains tips for taking practical action.

If you are looking to quickly learn how to grow as a servant leader and likewise build trust with people, this is your book. Take one Truth each week and practice the tips provided. You will grow in leadership effectiveness and build more trusting relationships. No classes, complicated formulas, or magic rubrics to memorize, just good, old-fashioned common sense.

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