By: Dan Pontefract
Reviewed by: Glain Roberts-McCabe
How to become a leader who matters? Dan Pontefract explores nine factors in his latest book, Lead. Care. Win. Drawing on his extensive career in “big corporate” as well as his experience consulting and working with organizations around the globe, Dan distils all his learning and observation into a highly readable and actionable read. Chapter by chapter, Dan explores each of the nine aspects he’s identified and provides the reader with questions to reflect on as well as simple and concrete actions to take. Some of the topics explored include the concepts of Be Relatable, Staying Present, Embrace Change, Command Clarity and Commit to Balance. Each chapter wraps up with a summary of the key thoughts as well as some key takeaways. Reading the book is like having a conversation with Dan directly. It’s informal, relatable and enjoyable.
I’ve read all of Dan’s books and this one is — hands down — my favourite. I’m a big fan of practical, instantly applicable ideas and insights and this one ticks those boxes with a strong checkmark. The stories shared are highly relatable and the lessons within are easy to action. One that stood out for me as I work with many senior leaders was Dan’s thoughts on Commit to Balance. We’re not talking life balance but more balance of thinking, approach and inclusion. As many organizations are trying to balance life during a pandemic, I’m watching some organizations find the right balance of inclusion and engagement with their teams to figure out what’s going to work. At the same time, I’m witnessing other leadership teams dictate directives that are creating unnecessary pushback. One of the mindsets that many leaders need to shake is the one that puts them in the “heroic” role of having to solve all the problems. The future lies in the strength of the collective. We need to let go of the “never let them see you sweat” mantra and engage our teams by taking a more shared and collective leadership approach. Lead. Care. Win. is the handbook to help you navigate the future of leadership in this world turned upside down.
Recommended for leaders and HR professionals who are looking to up their leadership game in a way that is meaningful and has a positive impact on organizational culture.