Top Takeaways from Effective Leadership by FranklinCovey

Sarah Hinson

Readers and leaders: We’re halfway through our Effective Leadership BookClub series by FranklinCovey (how is it already 2022?) and wanted to mark this milestone with a recap of our favorite insights from each release—including today’s new book, Strikingly Different Selling by Jennifer Colosimo and Dale Merrill.

Wait, What (or Who) Is FranklinCovey?

One of the biggest challenges an organization can face is changing human behavior—and getting those changes to stick. (Think about your New Year’s resolutions. Still going strong? No judgment here; change is hard!). FranklinCovey is the world leader in helping individuals and organizations change behaviors, so they can gain a competitive edge and achieve success.

Our Effective Leadership book club (check out the trailer below) is curated and hosted by Scott Miller, a best-selling author, speaker, and senior advisor for thought leadership at FranklinCovey. So far we have seven of Scott’s favorite books on our platform with more to come. Here are some highlights—including, quite literally, quotes we highlighted in our own books and scripts. Anyone else always read with a pen?  

Achieve Your Wildly Important Goals

“People who try to push many goals at once usually wind up doing a mediocre job on all of them. You can ignore the principle of focus, but it won’t ignore you.” -Chris McChesney, The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals  

Used by more than 100,000 teams around the world, The 4 Disciplines of Execution includes a simple, proven formula for turning strategy into action—specifically when you have a “whirlwind” of other tasks depleting your time and energy. It’s essential for developing strong leadership skills in any organization—and, well, getting things done!

TL;DR: Narrow your focus to what’s “wildly important” (what Chris calls a “WIG”—no, not that kind, a Wildly Important Goal), identify and act on tasks with the highest leverage, keep score to stay motivated, and create a cadence of accountability within your team.

Address Bias, Reframe Thoughts, Unlock Potential

“Bias is not a one-shot deal. To grow, we must regularly assess where bias may be showing up and what we can do about it.” -Anne Chow, co-author of The Leader’s Guide to Unconscious Bias

The truth is, unconscious biases—social stereotypes we form outside our own conscious awareness—affect every good leader, business owner, and employee. Perfect for managers who want to understand and move past their own preconceived ideas, The Leader’s Guide to Unconscious Bias by Anne Chow provides unique tools designed to reframe unconscious thoughts.

TL;DR: By recognizing bias (yes, we all have it), emphasizing empathy and curiosity, and prioritizing true understanding in the workplace, we can unlock the potential of every person we encounter.

Anne Chow with Scott Miller

Learn from the Best (and Their Mess)

“I carefully curated the collection of 30 insights in the hopes that each reader would have a different epiphany, a different experience, based on where they are in their own journey.” -Scott J. Miller, BookClub interview

Scott J. Miller spent nearly 25 years at FranklinCovey. During that time, he learned the habits of hundreds of leaders who made it to the top. In Master Mentors, Scott shares insights from luminaries (featured on FranklinCovey’s podcast, On Leadership) like Seth Godin, Susan Cain, and Trent Shelton—insights that can help you be a better leader, employee, and human in general.

TL;DR: While every insight has the power to transform, readers will have to tease out what works for them. There are, however, common threads in every mentor’s approach: vulnerability (being open about successes and messes), a strong work ethic, and a generous spirit.

Multiply Your Talent

“Multipliers invoke each person’s unique intelligence and create an atmosphere of genius—innovation, productive effort, and collective intelligence.” -Liz Wiseman, Multipliers

Are you a Diminisher, or a Multiplier? In this engaging, practical book, leadership expert Liz Wiseman explores two types of leaders: the kind who drain intelligence, energy, and capability from those around them, and the kind who do the opposite. Be the second kind, we say. And start with the disciplines and principles outlined in Multipliers.

TL;DR: Want to improve your leadership skills and bring out the best in your team? Apply and optimize talent, demand people’s best performance, challenge them to find solutions (to the right problems), spark constructive debate, and instill accountability. Greater success will follow.

Liz Wiseman with Scott Miller

Lead at the Speed of Trust

“The first job of a leader—at work or at home—is to inspire trust. It’s to bring out the best in people by entrusting them with meaningful stewardships, and to create an environment in which high-trust interaction inspires creativity and possibility.” -Stephen M.R. Covey, The Speed of Trust

Stephen M.R. Covey asserts that it is "the most overlooked, misunderstood, underutilized asset to enable performance." Why trust? The simple, often overlooked fact is this: Work gets done with and through people. In The Speed of Trust, Stephen offers a practical look at how trust functions not only in business relationships, but in every aspect of our lives.

TL;DR: Trust is an integral part of successful businesses, relationships, and transformational leadership. Creating a foundation of trust leads to more synergy, leverages differences, enables collaboration, encourages risk taking, and fosters an environment where people can learn and grow.

Make Choices That Increase Productivity  

1. Act on the important, don't react to the urgent.
2. Go for extraordinary, don't settle for ordinary.
3. Schedule the big rocks, don't sort gravel.
4. Rule your technology, don't let it rule you.
5. Fuel your fire, don't burn out.

Every day brings us a crushing wave of demands: texts, emails, meetings, and other interruptions, along with the high-pressure demands of our jobs. It’s distracting, overwhelming, and threatens our thinking. The 5 Choices: The Path to Extraordinary Productivity by Adam Merrill, Kory Kogon, and Leena Rinne offers insights that help you increase productivity and drive success—without burning out.

TL;DR: Focus on what will have the biggest payoff, clearly define outcomes, schedule top priorities first, use technology to accelerate results, and renew your energy (so you can accomplish great things and enjoy yourself, too).

Kory Kogon

Stand Out and Sell More

“The salesperson must demonstrate differences that matter to the client.” -Dale Merrill, Scott Savage, Randy Illig, Jennifer Colosimo, Strikingly Different Selling: 6 Vital Skills to Stand Out and Sell More

It can be tough for sellers to stand out when there’s so much competition. Based on six years of research involving thousands of sales professionals, Strikingly Different Selling outlines a simple formula and six key skills that help you persuade, sell, and leave an impression that sticks.

TL;DR: How do you create contrast that generates sales? Consider this: is what you’re doing relevant, distinct, and memorable? Make sure you’re focusing on what matters most to the client, showing them something different/better, and making it “sticky” (easy to share, hard to forget).

Onwards, Future Leaders

We hope these insights help you on your journey, whether you’re an employee, a seasoned leader, or simply interested in professional development. Craving more conversation? Check out our Effective Leadership book club for exclusive interviews and reader discussions!

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