Here’s another must-read book to add to your list as you transition from manager to leader. It’s The Leap to Leader, by Adam Bryant. As the creator of the iconic “Corner Office” column in the New York Times, Bryant has spoken with more than a thousand leaders over the years about the challenges and nuances of leadership. Many of his discussions are included in his interview series on LinkedIn.
“The goal of this book is to provide an intensely practical guide to making that transition by sharing insights, stories, and approaches from hundreds of leaders to build the skills you will need to make the leap to leader,” explains Bryant.
He adds that the book is useful to everyone who is interested in leadership, regardless of where they are in their career.
The book covers:
- The central paradox of leaders: selfless vs. self-centered.
- How to perfect the do-to-say ratio.
- Ways to navigate office politics.
- Tactics to making better decisions.
- The crucial art of compartmentalization.
- How to build your self-awareness muscle.
Regarding the do-to-say ratio, Bryant shares that one of the easiest ways to set yourself apart is to build a reputation for reliability and follow-through—somebody who always does what they say they are going to do. “As obvious as this advice seems, people follow it much less than you might think,” says Bryant.
Leap to Leader is your trusted playbook for making the biggest jump of your career. You’ll learn how to make the leap, and will gain practical strategies and tactics for building a loyal following, moving up quickly to broaden your impact, and making the subtle but crucial mindset shifts that are required to lead others effectively.
In addition, among the many leader profiles in the book that you’ll read about are:
- Marcus Kennedy, General Manager, Gaming Division, Client Computing Group, Intel
- Molly McKenna, Senior Director, Global Brand Communications, McDonald’s
- Balaji Krishnamurthy, Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Sustainability, Chevron
“Leadership is incredibly hard and nuanced work, and a win for me will be if you will come to rely on this book as a trusted guide as you move into new leadership roles,” says Bryant.
Earlier this year, Bryant shared these additional insights:
Question: How useful can The Leap To Leader book be to the reader if they have not already read your, The CEO Test, book?
Bryant: The two books are complementary but very different. The CEO Test is about the key challenges that all leaders face in their roles, and we provide a practical playbook on how to navigate those challenges. That book, in essence, is about what leaders do. The Leap to Leader is more about the mindset shift that you need to make to be a leader.
Question: What drove your decision to include the Leadership Profiles within the The Leap To Leader book?
Bryant: Although I quote more than 100 leaders throughout the book to bring the core insights and themes to life, I also wanted to provide the extended Q&As with these up-and-coming leaders to give readers fuller portraits of how individual executives navigate the challenges of leadership and how they made the leap themselves. And as I say early in the book, I encourage readers to think about how they would answer the questions that I ask of the people I’m profiling in those Q&As.
Question: How did you decide to include the eight individuals you feature in The Leap To Leader book?
Bryant: My main goal was to interview people who I knew would be thoughtful and open about how they’ve navigated the many challenges of leadership. Most of the leaders profiled are people I’ve met over the years, and I was introduced to others by some people in my network after asking them if they knew somebody who would be great for these kinds of interviews.
Question: What is the most important thing you've learned about leadership from your interview series on LinkedIn?
Bryant: So many lessons and insights, so it is very difficult to pick just one. Between the LinkedIn series and the “Corner Office” series I created and ran for a decade, I’ve interviewed more than 1,000 CEOs and other senior leaders. Those interviews provide a constant and important reminder that leadership is personal. Although there are core fundamentals about leadership, everybody has to make sense of leadership on their own and develop an approach to leadership that reflects their values and who they are as a person. The leaders who do that effectively are better able to answer the simple but difficult question, “Who are you as a leader?” Knowing the answer to that question, and being consistent in your leadership approach, helps build authenticity, trust, and followership.
Thank you to the book’s publisher for sending me an advance copy of the book.