Summary of How to Grow Leaders

The Seven Key Principles of Effective Leadership Development

Kogan Page,
First Edition: 2005 more...

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How to Grow Leaders book summary
To build leaders, companies must nurture talent, offer leadership opportunities, provide mentors and get out of the way.


9 Overall

10 Applicability

8 Innovation

8 Style


Rarely does a revolutionary write the history of his own revolt. However, that’s exactly what John Adair does in this book. Adair is respected internationally in the field of leadership. His 1968 classic, Training for Leadership, was a pioneering volume on leadership development. Although his work initially received relatively little attention in the U.S., it contributed to the current "leadership revolution," which has had a powerful impact on how companies train leaders. Today, in part thanks to Adair and others like him, companies no longer assume that "you either have it or you don’t" when it comes to leadership potential. They are more willing to accept the idea that managers can be leaders, too, and should be trained for that role. Adair’s book doesn’t just peer in the rearview mirror of history - it casts a steady, discerning gaze at the road ahead as well. Using elegant, thoughtful prose enhanced with apt anecdotes and quotations, Adair establishes seven key principles of leadership development. His intriguing conclusion: while companies may mold the raw material of leadership, only societies and families can actually provide it. If "lead, follow or get out of the way" is your motto, getAbstract says have confidence - John Adair is marching to his rightful place at the head of the leadership pack. A must read.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How leadership development practices evolved over time;
  • How to apply the seven principles of growing leaders;
  • What common errors companies make in leadership development programs; and
  • What constitutes a good leadership development regimen.


Good Soldiers
In about 400 B.C., the Greek poet Euripides wrote: "Ten good soldiers wisely led, Will beat a hundred without a head."

As this verse suggests, the notion that success depends on the quality of leadership is hardly novel. That’s why companies spend...
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About the Author

John Adair is an internationally recognized authority on leadership. He has written more than 50 books and articles on leadership and management, including Not Bosses But Leaders, Training for Leadership and The Inspirational Leader. He is a highly regarded speaker and was named China’s first Honorary Professor of Leadership.

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