Act like a Leader, Think like a Leader by Herminia Ibarra

Act like a Leader, Think like a Leader by Herminia IbarraCareer Reinvention clients here at SoulSalt, Inc., read Ibarra’s book, Working Identity: Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career. When I discovered she utilized much of the same research for Working Identity while writing Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader, I was sold.

This book didn’t disappoint. Anytime an individual wants to step into a bigger role in life or at work, they need to get out from under the details of their previous role. This book lays out how to do this.

We are all leaders, in one way or another (either in our homes, communities, businesses, places of gathering, etc.). Anyone seeking to advance his or her leadership skills could benefit from reading Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader.

The concepts most frequently referred to while working with clients are:

Action and doing will be far more effective than sitting and thinking, or stewing over something.

“. . . you can only learn what you need to know about your job and about yourself by doing it—not by just thinking about it.”

“You’ll need to change your mind-set and there’s only one way to do that: by acting differently.”

Leaders become leaders when they are “highly self-aware, purpose-driven, and authentic.”

“How we think—what we notice, believe to be the truth, prioritize, and value—directly affects what we do. In fact, inside-out thinking can actually impede change.”

To act like and think like a leader we often need to:

  • Redefine our role
  • Redefine our network
  • Redefine our self

In summary, get out of your “trench” (my choice of words) and see what’s happening in networks and with other people you don’t typically associate with. (read full summary here)

Another useful chunk from Ibarra’s book is found on page 41. “Across studies and research traditions,” she reports, “vision has been found to be a defining feature of leadership.”

Here’s a summary of her three categories regarding What it Means to Have Vision:

  • Sensing opportunities and threats in the environment
  • Setting strategic direction
  • Inspiring others to look beyond current practice

“In my twenty-five years of teaching on leadership,” Ibarra says, “I have found that one thing has remained unchanged: people’s strong and unflinching desire to be true to themselves, and their equally strong aversion to doing things that make them feel like fakes.”

Maybe you can see now why I read this book in less than a week. I highly recommend it. For those of you interested in my doodled rating system, here it is: