Book Reviews

The Secret: What Great Leaders Know — and Do

by Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller

Reviewed by Paul A. Shaw
Superintendent, White County Schools, Cleveland, Ga.

Ken Blanchard is one of the world’s most prominent authors on management issues. In his latest effort, he collaborates with Mark Miller, vice president of training and development for Chick-fil-A, on The Secret: What Great Leaders Know — And Do, an engaging story with a valuable message for leaders of school systems.

The authors use the acronym SERVE to explain the five fundamental ways that leaders can lead through service. Leaders must be able to see the future, engage and develop others, reinvent continuously, value results and relationships, and embody the values.

The book tells the story of Debbie Brewster, recently promoted and struggling to be successful in her new role as manager of one of the company’s divisions. She has requested a mentor and the person assigned to her just happens to be the company president.

The advice that he shares is relevant to those of us in education. Of particular value is the section Blanchard and Miller devote to the development of employees.

The Secret is an easy read, yet stimulating and thought provoking.

(The Secret: What Great Leaders Know—and Do by Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Francisco, Calif., 2004, 114 pp., $19.95 hardcover)