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For your knowledge advantage, we put together the most actionable insights from 33 getAbstract summaries (31 books with a total of 7388 pages, one article and one video) on this topic. If you did this work yourself, you would be busy for at least 8861 minutes (about 148 hours). Learn more.

How to Lead from Where You Are

You don’t need a title to prepare for leadership.

How to Lead from Where You Are

Don’t wait for someone else to give you leadership experience; it may never happen. You can be a leader even if you’re not the boss. Cultivate these leadership qualities so you’re ready to take charge when the time comes. 

The greatest danger of not being in charge and waiting around until you are is that you never learn to risk or fail and how to handle that experience.

Clay Scroggins

1. Understand Your “Whys” 

Effective leaders do the work of understanding their own motivations and goals. Take time to figure out your strengths and in what areas you might be able to make contributions with the greatest impact.

Image of: Find Your Why
Book Summary

Find Your Why

This commonsense bestseller shows you why and how to discover your “Why” and “How” – and why and how it matters.

Simon Sinek, David Mead and Peter Docker Portfolio
Read Summary

Some people are good at analyzing data, others are “people” people, still others are expert in their own domain. Understanding your own goals will help you recognize or develop opportunities that align with them and keep you motivated. Think about ways to shape your job into one you love through “job-crafting.”

Related Summaries in getAbstract’s Library
Image of: Own Your Career Own Your Life
Book Summary

Own Your Career Own Your Life

Stop drifting through your working years; take charge of your career and start loving your life.

Andy Storch Andy Storch Read Summary
Image of: Get It Done
Book Summary

Get It Done

Michael Mackintosh helps you kick your productivity into action and become all you can be.

Michael Mackintosh TCK Read Summary
Image of: The Path
Book Summary

The Path

Using Christianity to create a better mission statement for your outer company and your inner self.

Laurie Beth Jones Hyperion Read Summary

2. Adopt a “Growth” Mind-Set

A “fixed” mind-set – that you are as intelligent or as skilled as you’ll ever be – undermines possibility thinking. People with a “growth” mind-set welcome challenges. 

Image of: Mindset
Book Summary


People can be of two minds: fixed and flexible. In a changing world, flexible is better for relationships and growth.

Carol S. Dweck Random House
Read Summary

For people with a “growth” mind-set, there is always the possibility of learning and growing. People whose idea of themselves is “fixed” take every failure personally, while those with a “growth” mind-set view setbacks as a learning experience. Once you have an idea of your goals, start learning the competencies you’ll need to attain them. 

Related Summaries in getAbstract’s Library
Image of: Future Fit
Book Summary

Future Fit

Reskill, retrain and reinvent yourself to remain competitive, marketable and ultimately, Future Fit.

Andrea Clarke Major Street Publishing Read Summary
Image of: Informal Learning
Book Summary

Informal Learning

Once you accept that people learn better outside the classroom, how should you invest your training funds?

Jay Cross Pfeiffer Read Summary
Image of: The Pilot – Learning Leadership
Book Summary

The Pilot – Learning Leadership

Prepare, practice and perform like a pilot. When the pressure is on, soar.

Bill Hensley and Colleen Hensley Greenleaf Book Group Read Summary

3. Keep Your Eyes and Ears Open for What You Can Improve 

Understand your company’s goals and how your team and your job fits into the larger picture. Understand the resources and authority that are at your disposal and use them to build influence and solve problems. 

Image of: How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge
Book Summary

How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge

If people like working with you, they will enjoy working for you.

Clay Scroggins Zondervan
Read Summary

Look for underserved areas in your company’s offerings. Ask questions of colleagues to learn more. You demonstrate your willingness to learn by listening.

Image of: Just Listen
Book Summary

Just Listen

The Rolling Stones sang, “You can’t always get what you want.” But, you can get what you need if you use these tactics.

Mark Goulston AMACOM
Read Summary

It’s important to have a good attitude, but solid suggestions on how to improve products or services are even more valuable. 

Related Summaries in getAbstract’s Library
Image of: Business Beyond the Box
Book Summary

Business Beyond the Box

Gradual change is for wimps.

John O’Keeffe Nicholas Brealey Read Summary
Image of: The Self-Tuning Enterprise
Article Summary

The Self-Tuning Enterprise

Can functioning as a “self-tuning enterprise” help your organization keep up in an ever-changing marketplace?

Martin Reeves, Ming Zheng and Amin Venjara The Boston Consulting Group Read Summary
Image of: Design a Better Business
Book Summary

Design a Better Business

Illustrations enliven this compelling, quirky and effective reference guide to product and process design.

Patrick Van Der Pijl, Justin Lokitz and Lisa Kay Solomon Wiley Read Summary

4. Do Your Research

Understand a problem from the perspective of all stakeholders. Identify the goals of your research and list your resources. Design an approach for collecting data.

Image of: Business to Business Marketing Research
Book Summary

Business to Business Marketing Research

Competition got you down? Research can solve b-to-b marketing problems – which differ from those of consumer businesses.

Tamara S. Block and Martin P. Block Thomson South-Western
Read Summary

Draw a stakeholder map so you know who to direct questions to in order to get the benefit of their insight and expertise. Your team members and colleagues are the greatest resource you have access to. Be sure to take advantage of their wisdom and feedback. 

Image of: There Are Basically No Starbucks on This Continent. Here’s What Went Wrong.
Video Summary

There Are Basically No Starbucks on This Continent. Here’s What Went Wrong.

Starbucks entered the Australian market with heady arrogance – and flopped.

Read Summary

The ability to deal with negative feedback effectively can be one of the most beneficial business and life skills you ever develop.

Bill and Colleen Hensley
Related Summaries in getAbstract’s Library
Image of: Identifying Hidden Needs
Book Summary

Identifying Hidden Needs

You can’t solve a problem until you know what it is. New research methods can help make you a marketing whiz.

Keith Goffin, Fred Lemke and Ursula Koners Palgrave Macmillan Read Summary
Image of: The Stakeholder Strategy
Book Summary

The Stakeholder Strategy

If you thought you had a tough job getting production, sales and marketing to all play nice, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Ann Svendsen Berrett-Koehler Publishers Read Summary
Image of: Qual-Online: The Essential Guide
Book Summary

Qual-Online: The Essential Guide

Before you do online qualitative research, consult this expert, accessible guide.

Jennifer Dale and Susan Abbott Paramount Market Publishing Read Summary
Image of: User Research
Book Summary

User Research

Check out this quick, reliable, effective reference guide to the world of user research testing.

Stephanie Marsh Kogan Page Publishers Read Summary

5. Make a Plan 

Discuss your proposal informally with your boss and colleagues. Listen respectfully to their input and incorporate good ideas. You’ll grow support for your idea and expand your network along the way.

Your beliefs about your ability to learn are where it all starts. They influence your motivation, your level of effort, your desire to persist and your openness to feedback.

James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner

Create a proposal that outlines the problem and your proposed solution. Emphasize the value of your proposal, but also include the nuts and bolts of what needs to happen for implementation. 

Image of: Life Is a Series of Presentations
Book Summary

Life Is a Series of Presentations

The secrets of great presentations include: know the audience, prepare well, stay calm, be persuasive and read this book.

Tony Jeary, Kim Dower and J.E. Fishman Fireside
Read Summary

Presenters should consider how they want their audience to respond to their presentation. Do they want them to act in a particular way or change how they think?

Jay Surti
Related Summaries in getAbstract’s Library
Image of: Powerful Proposals
Book Summary

Powerful Proposals

If you want to get the business, you have to submit a winning proposal. But there’s more to it than you think.

David G. Pugh and Terry R. Bacon AMACOM Read Summary
Image of: The Language of Success
Book Summary

The Language of Success

Whether you like it or not, you’re a writer. So learn to communicate powerfully in all your business writing.

Tom Sant AMACOM Read Summary
Image of: Writing to Persuade
Book Summary

Writing to Persuade

Former New York Times editor Trish Hall explains how to write to win over your readers.

Trish Hall Liveright Read Summary
Image of: Ultimate Presentations
Book Summary

Ultimate Presentations

Jay Surti provides a thoughtful, well-structured primer on how to refine your presentations.

Jay Surti Kogan Page Publishers Read Summary
Image of: Powerful Presentations
Book Summary

Powerful Presentations

Learn the speech-making tactics of historic masters to reach your audience and persuade them to agree with you.

Jöns Ehrenborg and John Mattock Kogan Page Publishers Read Summary

6. Balance Practicality and Vision and Have a Bias for Action 

Lead by example. Be willing to speak up when you have an idea or potential solution to a problem.

Leading up isn’t about rebellion or usurpation; it is about stepping into the breach when there is no one else to do it and about listening to such leadership when it emerges.

Michael Useem
Image of: Leading Up
Book Summary

Leading Up

Brave subordinates can make their organizations better by challenging their leaders.

Michael Useem Crown Publishing Group
Read Summary

Think about leaders you admire and their characteristics, and strive to model their behavior in your own life.

Leadership is a choice you make, not a place you sit.

John C. Maxwell
Image of: The 360° Leader
Book Summary

The 360° Leader

Leaders can come from any desk in the company, including yours, if you can manage up, down and across, all 360 degrees.

John C. Maxwell Thomas Nelson
Read Summary

You never know when your company may ask you to step up into leadership, so prepare yourself. 

Image of: The Accidental Leader
Book Summary

The Accidental Leader

Say your boss drops dead (he should live and be well), are you ready to run the place? (Your mother would be so proud.)

Michael Finley and Harvey Robbins Jossey-Bass Inc. Publishers
Read Summary

To execute plans, make sure they are clear, achievable and measurable, with short-term milestone goals.

Image of: Execution Plain and Simple
Book Summary

Execution Plain and Simple

Create concrete goals, design practical strategies and heighten company performance with a basic 12-step execution plan.

Robert A. Neiman McGraw-Hill Education
Read Summary

The objective is not to have perfect plans, but to have effective action taken by real people dealing with real problems day by day.

Robert A. Neiman
Related Summaries in getAbstract’s Library
Image of: Execution
Book Summary


How to execute planning, operations and growth. The secret: Get things done one step at a time.

Tom Gorman Adams Media Read Summary
Image of: Sun Tzu for Execution
Book Summary

Sun Tzu for Execution

The battle is raging out there. Apply some classic military tactics to your business to become a winner.

Steven W. Michaelson Adams Media Read Summary
Image of: Execution Is the Strategy
Book Summary

Execution Is the Strategy

Here’s the road to execution: Set a simple, agile strategy; align people’s goals to it; and get out of their way.

Laura Stack Berrett-Koehler Publishers Read Summary

7. Be a Team Player

Be willing to take personal responsibility for your work and also for any team efforts you lead. By the same token, be sure to highlight the contribution of others: Don’t hog credit. Don’t ask other people to do something you’re not willing to do yourself.

Most, if not all, of the great works of our species have been team efforts.

Adam Steltzner and William Patrick 

While you cultivate the practical skills required of leadership, keep in mind the traits every great leader has in common: courage, a sense of honor and loyalty.

Image of: The Samurai Leader
Book Summary

The Samurai Leader

Why twenty-first century managers need seventeenth-century Samurai ethics and discipline.

Bill Diffenderffer Sourcebooks
Read Summary

Get some project management tips or brush up on your social skills:

Image of: Project Management

Project Management

Who does what, when and how? Badly managed implementation is the chief reason many good ideas fall by the wayside. Learn how to…

Open Channel
Image of: Social Skills

Social Skills

Improve the skills that help you to interact with others. Be a better team player, negotiator, and business partner. Use the power of…

Open Channel
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Researched Abstracts
33 We have curated the most actionable insights from 33 summaries for this feature.
1 1 Video
1 1 Article
31 We read and summarized 31 books with 7388 pages for this article.
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