Book Review: Hacking Leadership

Blind spots can produce a dangerous set of circumstances for any organization and its leaders. Mike Myatt, CEO of N2growth and the author of the best-seller Leadership Matters, calls these blind spots “gaps.” In Hacking Leadership, he helps executives tackle 11 gaps that can be detrimental to any leader. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.

The best leaders, according to Myatt, have the ability to check their egos and elevate their level of self-awareness. It requires an understanding of three critical gaps described in the book: development, influence and reality. From this starting point, Hacking Leadership then guides executives through each of the 11 gaps. The gaps range from anticipated subjects such as knowledge and talent to less explored areas such as mediocrity and expectation.

Within each of the overarching gaps, Myatt focuses on individual aspects that could be termed “component gaps.” For example, the chapter on hacking the culture gap includes an examination of how to handle the courage gap. Even in areas in which executives may feel that their own organization has a minimal, or nonexistent, gap, Myatt’s insight deserves consideration. He writes, “Culture shouldn’t be imposed upon people — as co-creators of the culture, the people are the culture.” It is a simple declaration but should cause leaders to question whether their organizations truly embody the principle Myatt describes.

Hacking Leadership makes the point that “hacking” is a method of innovating that requires leaders to “innovate around best practices in pursuit of next practices.” Myatt provides numerous sparks to light the fires of innovation for any leader that reads this book.

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