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Kevin Kruse knows two things about leadership that most people do not believe: First, leadership is a superpower. Second, almost everything we’ve been taught about leadership is wrong. In Great Leaders Have No Rules, New York Times bestselling author and highly successful entrepreneur Kevin Kruse debunks popular wisdom with ten contrarian principles for better, faster, easie Kevin Kruse knows two things about leadership that most people do not believe: First, leadership is a superpower. Second, almost everything we’ve been taught about leadership is wrong. In Great Leaders Have No Rules, New York Times bestselling author and highly successful entrepreneur Kevin Kruse debunks popular wisdom with ten contrarian principles for better, faster, easier leadership. Grounded in solid research and three decades of entrepreneurial experience, this book has one purpose: to teach you how to be both the boss everyone wants to work for and the high achiever every CEO wants to hire—all without drama, stress, or endless hours in the office Inspired by Kruse's viral article "Why Successful Leaders Don't Have an Open Door Policy," this contrarian approach to leadership reveals why you should throw out the rulebook and instead play favorites, crowd your calendar, tell employees everything (even salaries), stay out of meetings, hide your phone, and more. Kruse makes the case for these principles with engaging real-world stories and case studies, and shows how to use this wisdom to buck the trend and become more effective. He also shares applications beyond the office—at home, in sales, in sports, and more. Ultimately, his advice empowers you to focus on what matters, which is the key to success for you, your employees, and your company.


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Kevin Kruse knows two things about leadership that most people do not believe: First, leadership is a superpower. Second, almost everything we’ve been taught about leadership is wrong. In Great Leaders Have No Rules, New York Times bestselling author and highly successful entrepreneur Kevin Kruse debunks popular wisdom with ten contrarian principles for better, faster, easie Kevin Kruse knows two things about leadership that most people do not believe: First, leadership is a superpower. Second, almost everything we’ve been taught about leadership is wrong. In Great Leaders Have No Rules, New York Times bestselling author and highly successful entrepreneur Kevin Kruse debunks popular wisdom with ten contrarian principles for better, faster, easier leadership. Grounded in solid research and three decades of entrepreneurial experience, this book has one purpose: to teach you how to be both the boss everyone wants to work for and the high achiever every CEO wants to hire—all without drama, stress, or endless hours in the office Inspired by Kruse's viral article "Why Successful Leaders Don't Have an Open Door Policy," this contrarian approach to leadership reveals why you should throw out the rulebook and instead play favorites, crowd your calendar, tell employees everything (even salaries), stay out of meetings, hide your phone, and more. Kruse makes the case for these principles with engaging real-world stories and case studies, and shows how to use this wisdom to buck the trend and become more effective. He also shares applications beyond the office—at home, in sales, in sports, and more. Ultimately, his advice empowers you to focus on what matters, which is the key to success for you, your employees, and your company.

30 review for Great Leaders Have No Rules: Contrarian Leadership Principles to Transform Your Team and Business

  1. 4 out of 5

    Douglas Meyer

    Entrepreneur and co-founder of LeadX, Kevin Kruse combines a conversational style and engaging prose to keep the reader turning the page throughout. If you are look for the comprehensive and preeminent work on leadership–this is not it. It is a short and quick read. Kevin briefly covers a wide range of foundational topics you will find across the span of leadership literature. He incorporates case studies, anecdotes, and research across other well-known books in this space. As expected in a book Entrepreneur and co-founder of LeadX, Kevin Kruse combines a conversational style and engaging prose to keep the reader turning the page throughout. If you are look for the comprehensive and preeminent work on leadership–this is not it. It is a short and quick read. Kevin briefly covers a wide range of foundational topics you will find across the span of leadership literature. He incorporates case studies, anecdotes, and research across other well-known books in this space. As expected in a book of this length, he does not dive too deeply in any one area. While Kruse's work is not Kouzes & Posner, Kotter, or Covey–this book has much to offer. For its length, it is worth every word. I recommend this piece as a primer for anyone entering into reading on leadership.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Herval Freire

    Ironically enough, this is a book full of rules. Do this, do that, do the other thing. Some passages are thought-provoking and all that, but the rest is just “a true leader does X”, “meritocracy is great” and “make rules but apply them differently”.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tõnu Vahtra

    I'm probably too "contrarian" for this book since the contrarian leadership principles were not that "contrarian" for me. The book is probably a good basic reference for a beginner leader but I did not find much original content from it, most chapters are referencing to specific books or theories that are covered in more detail elsewhere. The 10 tips/ chapters: 1. Close your open door policy (suggestions on how to handle the constant questions from your team). 2. Shut off your smartphone. 3. Have n I'm probably too "contrarian" for this book since the contrarian leadership principles were not that "contrarian" for me. The book is probably a good basic reference for a beginner leader but I did not find much original content from it, most chapters are referencing to specific books or theories that are covered in more detail elsewhere. The 10 tips/ chapters: 1. Close your open door policy (suggestions on how to handle the constant questions from your team). 2. Shut off your smartphone. 3. Have no rules (instead of enforcing the rules for smaller % age of people - try to hire good people and guide them instead of restricting). Based on Netflix Culture Deck, probably the best written chapter in this book. 4. Be likable not liked. 5. Lead with love. 6. Crowd your calendar, reflects the reality that every minute wasted is a minute that can’t be spent coaching team members or working on your most important tasks. So spend your time wisely. 7. Play favorites - a strategy to make people want to be among the favorite ones but those should be based on skills and performance. 8. Reveal everything (even salaries). Based on Bridgewater examples. 9. Show weakness. 10. Leadership is not a choice (I would argue based on Stephen Covey).

  4. 5 out of 5

    Soundview Executive Book Summaries

    The term contrarian implies a direct challenge to the status quo and a willingness to throw out the existing rule book in pursuit of a transformative outcome. In his new book Great Leaders Have No Rules: Contrarian Leadership Principles to Transform Your Team and Business, serial entrepreneur and New York Times best-selling author Kevin Kruse does exactly that. The basic premise of the book rests on two things. First, Kruse considers effective leadership to be a superpower. It doesn’t automatical The term contrarian implies a direct challenge to the status quo and a willingness to throw out the existing rule book in pursuit of a transformative outcome. In his new book Great Leaders Have No Rules: Contrarian Leadership Principles to Transform Your Team and Business, serial entrepreneur and New York Times best-selling author Kevin Kruse does exactly that. The basic premise of the book rests on two things. First, Kruse considers effective leadership to be a superpower. It doesn’t automatically arrive with the title. Second, and perhaps more controversial, the author is adamant that: “almost everything we’ve been taught about leadership is wrong.” Managers Manage, Leaders Lead If we follow the simple argument that effective managers manage things––strategic plans, budgets, production schedules, marketing plans, staffing––then by Kruse’s definition, leaders don’t automatically have to control all of that by virtue of their seniority in the organization chart. They should be focused on one thing––leading their people. People represent the culture of the organization, and the extent to which they are engaged and committed to the fulfilment of organizational goals reflects directly on your effectiveness as a leader. In this modern age of “merciless change and 24/7 communication,” you have to inspire your people, not control them through detailed policies and procedures. Once you take the emphasis from command-and-control and replace it with inspiring and motivating people to do more than they ever thought they could, organizational transformation becomes a real possibility. Sacred Cows Kruse underlines his contrarian stance by tackling some specific sacred cows from traditional leadership theory. For example: An open-door policy may be humanistic, but it creates constant distractions. If you want to be effective, publish a schedule of office hours and keep your door closed. On the same theme of minimizing interruptions, turn off your smartphone––challenge the assumption that you must be accessible at all times. To inspire and motivate your people, you need to lead with love, but aim to be likeable rather than liked. You need to maintain enough separation to make the hard decisions and give tough feedback when required, but you don’t have to be a jerk about it. Truly effective leadership is situational, and you must develop the confidence to be counterintuitive and go against the established practice when the need arises. Kruse defends his proposal with solid data. For example, 70 percent of employees attribute their lack of engagement at work to a lack of leadership. If you want to be “the boss everyone wants to work for and the high achiever every CEO wants to hire,” read this book. Great Leaders Have No Rules uses detailed case studies and engaging real-world examples to present a convincing argument that most of what we have been taught in old-school management courses is wrong. To be transformative, leaders must be willing to be counterintuitive when the situation warrants it. Soundview subscribers get in-depth summaries of the key concepts in best-selling business books (like this one) delivered to them every month! Take your career to new heights by staying up-to-date with the trends and ideas affecting business leaders around the globe.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Recommended book. I plan to share with my team. Two takeaway quotes: "Leadership is the art of persuasion, the act of motivating people to do more than they ever thought possible in pursuit of a greater good." "Managers need to plan, measure, monitor, coordinate, solve, hire, fire, and so many other things. Managers spend most of their time managing things. Leaders lead people." Good basic advice for leaders, including the need for transparency so that your people are better prepared to make decisi Recommended book. I plan to share with my team. Two takeaway quotes: "Leadership is the art of persuasion, the act of motivating people to do more than they ever thought possible in pursuit of a greater good." "Managers need to plan, measure, monitor, coordinate, solve, hire, fire, and so many other things. Managers spend most of their time managing things. Leaders lead people." Good basic advice for leaders, including the need for transparency so that your people are better prepared to make decisions. I also appreciate the whole concept that rules are basically a substitute for decisions, and that providing too many rules and too much access through open door policies that you are disengaging and disempowering your employees from acting on their own in the moment. Replacing that often-fake "open door" with regularly scheduled one-on-ones and team meetings allows for conversation, coaching, and learning. If you aren't having one-on-ones yet, they are game changers. Start. Being likable, not liked, and showing weakness - good overviews of why these are important and how they can play out. Early managers and supervisors definitely can use this advice! I know I could have. I had a very hard time with a chapter about "crowding your calendar". While I do time block (schedule my most important priorities), there's a downside to having an overcrowded calendar. There is real value in spending time with people that is NOT scheduled. Some of the best ideas I've gotten have come from someone stopping me in the hall with "I was thinking about that thing you said...". There is no need for "do you have a minute" when you make sure you have a minute, or can take one because your calendar isn't crowded. That same chapter stresses the importance of agendas for meetings and good facilitation. Again, I agree but with a caveat. Especially when you are working in a virtual environment, having some chat time available is critical. In a "normal" environment, people catch up with one another as they come into the room, and they've likely already had other moments that day. For a virtual team, they need that same connection time but it doesn't start until everyone signs in. If you don't allow that time to connect on family and personal events, you don't get the same team behaviors. Agendas should always be there, but they should also be targeted enough for the time allotted to flex for personal conversation. Good facilitators finish their agenda. Great facilitators finish the goals of the meeting and the team, even if it means going off agenda.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Fahasa

    Second, almost everything we've been taught about leadership is wrong. In Great Leaders Have No Rules, New York Times bestselling author and highly successful entrepreneur Kevin Kruse debunks popular wisdom with ten contrarian principles for better, faster, easier leadership. Grounded in solid research and three decades of entrepreneurial experience, this book has one purpose: to teach you how to be both the boss everyone wants to work for and the high achiever every CEO wants to hire--all witho Second, almost everything we've been taught about leadership is wrong. In Great Leaders Have No Rules, New York Times bestselling author and highly successful entrepreneur Kevin Kruse debunks popular wisdom with ten contrarian principles for better, faster, easier leadership. Grounded in solid research and three decades of entrepreneurial experience, this book has one purpose: to teach you how to be both the boss everyone wants to work for and the high achiever every CEO wants to hire--all without drama, stress, or endless hours in the office Inspired by Kruse's viral article "Why Successful Leaders Don't Have an Open Door Policy," this contrarian approach to leadership reveals why you should throw out the rulebook and instead play favorites, crowd your calendar, tell employees everything (even salaries), stay out of meetings, hide your phone, and more. Kruse makes the case for these principles with engaging real-world stories and case studies, and shows how to use this wisdom to buck the trend and become more effective. He also shares applications beyond the office--at home, in sales, in sports, and more. Ultimately, his advice empowers you to focus on what matters, which is the key to success for you, your employees, and your company. https://www.fahasa.com/

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cassidy Chellis

    Leadership is influence. Kruse presents a heavily-researched counterargument to the idealism of Sinek, and other contemporary leadership gurus. Optimism, and the idea of leadership as friendship have become the zeitgeist within leadership philosophy, seen everywhere from Silicon Valley to amateur sporting teams. Kruse argues that these strategies, while certainly inspiring are, in fact, a severe hindrance in times of crisis. Kruse is a brilliant devil's advocate, and his most contrarian principles Leadership is influence. Kruse presents a heavily-researched counterargument to the idealism of Sinek, and other contemporary leadership gurus. Optimism, and the idea of leadership as friendship have become the zeitgeist within leadership philosophy, seen everywhere from Silicon Valley to amateur sporting teams. Kruse argues that these strategies, while certainly inspiring are, in fact, a severe hindrance in times of crisis. Kruse is a brilliant devil's advocate, and his most contrarian principles are also the ones he argues best. Being liked is not mandatory. It's okay to play favourites. Close your open door policy. While I cannot say I agree with all of the principles outlined, his new, grittier perspective is refreshing in today's saccharine world of leadership.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Eric Railine

    Great new book on leadership that takes the same kind of data-driven, research-intensive approach, while remaining casually if addictively readable, as you'd find in the works of writers like Dan Pink, Gretchen Rubin, Cal Newport, and others. While I don't necessarily agree with everything Kruse writes - for example, his (too common) suggestion for fixing open door overload by requiring anyone who wants to report a problem must also provide a solution - I have dozens of bookmarks throughout this Great new book on leadership that takes the same kind of data-driven, research-intensive approach, while remaining casually if addictively readable, as you'd find in the works of writers like Dan Pink, Gretchen Rubin, Cal Newport, and others. While I don't necessarily agree with everything Kruse writes - for example, his (too common) suggestion for fixing open door overload by requiring anyone who wants to report a problem must also provide a solution - I have dozens of bookmarks throughout this book for great quotes, great ideas, and specific suggestions to follow-up on. Highly recommended.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Darren Horne

    I have read a fair few of Kevin's book, and listened to a ton of the podcasts over at his company Leadx.com which interviews great leaders. So the content in the book is pure fire.... built on a TON of research, but written in an accessible way. My brother is a Royal Marine and he LOVES it. Each chapter is broken down as to how the content can be applied to people in areas such as sports, family, and the military. We are all leaders, so read this and start reading with intent.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Doug

    Makes you think I recommend this book to current leaders as well as anyone looking to move into a leadership position. The author provides data to support his concepts, which is refreshing compared to many business management books based on theory or conjecture. If nothing else, this book should make you pause as you read it and help you reflect on your management style.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Chase Metcalf

    This is a great book that provides some counter intuitive behaviors and tips to improve as a leader. More importantly the author not only provides theory and real world examples he includes “how to” apply these principles as a businessman, military officer, or sports coach making the implementation even easier. Great book that all leaders should read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Fred Leland

    Great book This books is really about building mutual trust in organizations and getting things done. It’s refreshing as it steps always fro.m centralized control without abandoning it completely and emphasizes on decentralized control or “Mission Command” great advice co tai Ed throughout the book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Alejandro Baldwin

    Excellent book on leadership, Great read! Practical applications that I will be utilizing as a manager/leader. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to better themselves as a leader.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Wally Bock

    If you’re responsible for the performance of a group, this book should be on your must-read list. It’s filled with solid insights, good examples, and solid advice. See my full review at https://www.threestarleadership.com/b... If you’re responsible for the performance of a group, this book should be on your must-read list. It’s filled with solid insights, good examples, and solid advice. See my full review at https://www.threestarleadership.com/b...

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa

    Pleasant and quick read with sound advice. Interesting anecdotes and studies interspersed. Nothing here was earth-shattering to me, but I’m not a big fan of rules. These guidelines might be more novel for a by-the-book sort of person or someone just embarking on their leadership journey.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Shanti Ambikapathi

    Powerful insights into leadership. I particularly attracted to the suggestion on ‘have no rules’. Rules vs Standards.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Justin Saunders

    Clean, simple, example based leadership strategy, the breakouts at the end of each chapter are nice touch by the author.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rick

    I'm a fan of Kruse but really nothing earth shattering here and I would have liked more expanded action tips but that being said still a solid read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alissa

    Great quick read with thought provoking principles and examples. Liked the application section at the end of each chapter.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Bernard

    Solid management book Concise and to the point without too much fluff. Good read that you can finish over a weekend. Thumbs up.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Adriyana Grotseva

    I got the book because I listen to the LeadX podcast and it was advertised as discussing more about leadership, self-improvement in dealing with people and the no rules strategy. I was quite disappointed to find out the book wasn’t exactly what was presented in the podcast and what I was really looking for. The book feels quickly written, not so well thought trough, as a summary from what was learned in the LeadX podcast. Overall the book is a top 10 tips around leadership. The examples are main I got the book because I listen to the LeadX podcast and it was advertised as discussing more about leadership, self-improvement in dealing with people and the no rules strategy. I was quite disappointed to find out the book wasn’t exactly what was presented in the podcast and what I was really looking for. The book feels quickly written, not so well thought trough, as a summary from what was learned in the LeadX podcast. Overall the book is a top 10 tips around leadership. The examples are mainly drawn from the LeadX podcast, sports or military examples. There wasn’t a lot of new information for me but because of some new things (4 out of 10 tips) I give it 3 instead of 2 stars. Maybe I could have liked it more if I didn’t expect so eagerly what was advertised. Also I found it quite cool that at the end of each chapter there is a summary and suggestions for 6 categories of people: managers, sales people, sports coach, military officer, parent and individual. Quite handy and useful to come back to it. The 10 tips/ chapters are: 1. Close your open door policy (a good suggestion on how to handle the constant questions from your team). 2. Shut off your smartphone. 3. Have no rules (instead of enforcing the rules for smaller %age of people - try to hire good people and guide them instead of restricting - one of the best chapters in the book). 4. Be likable not liked. 5. Lead with love. 6. Crowd your calendar, reflects the reality that every minute wasted is a minute that can’t be spent coaching team members or working on your most important tasks. So spend your time wisely. 7. Play favorites is a strategy to make people want to be among the favorite ones but those should be based on skills and performance. 8. Reveal everything (even salaries). 9. Show weakness. 10. Leadership is not a choice.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rich Gee

  23. 4 out of 5

    Clement

  24. 5 out of 5

    Paolo

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Donnellon

  26. 4 out of 5

    Zoey76

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jolene Unland

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Gould

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sebastian

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mike Stevenson

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