Taft, What Do You Read?

I’m glad you asked.  I read A LOT – for at least an hour before bed every night.  If I don’t have a book to read, or if I forget to bring one on a trip, I have trouble falling asleep.  For that reason, I make sure to have at least one on deck.  I try to limit my reading time to half bubblegum – most of that time is spent devouring James Patterson novels.  The other half of my reading time is earmarked for classic literature and books that will help me improve something about myself.

Mike Abrashoff - It's Your Ship
Just last night, I finished It’s Your Ship by Captain Mike Abrashoff.  Since the bullpen was empty, I stopped by Barnes & Noble this afternoon and picked up a copy of Blogging for Dummies.

It’s Your Ship is a collection of stories from Abrashoff’s time in the Navy, each of which illustrates a lesson in management.  I have already had an opportunity to put some of his lessons to use.  The third chapter, “Listen Aggressively”, teaches that actively and aggressively listening to colleagues and subordinates is the best way to learn about them as individuals.

Let’s take Abrashoff’s lesson a step further.  I believe that the key to effective leadership is the development of a shared that includes all of the members within an organization.  Great leaders are not those who have the best ideas.  Great leaders understand how to incorporate the needs and desires of their followers into a vision.  In order to know what people need and want, you have to listen.  The followers most likely to work hard and ultimately succeed are those who are stakeholders in the vision toward which they are working.

What do you think is the key to effective leadership?  Is there a secret to great leadership?

Until next time.


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