When Learning and Leading Go Hand in Hand

September 26, 2022

Book Review by Taylor Berrett

“The only secret to Toyota is its attitude towards learning.”

These are the words of Isao Yoshino, a leader at Toyota for nearly a decade.

But what exactly does that mean? When asked what our “attitude towards learning” is, many of us might struggle to come up with a reply.

But what if your approach to learning is the single most important factor in determining your effectiveness as a leader? What if everything that comes with management and leadership— inspiring people, meeting goals, maximizing engagement and retention— came down to how you approach learning within yourself and your organization?

That’s the idea behind Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn: Lessons from Toyota Leader Isao Yoshino on a Lifetime of Continuous Learning. In this book, author Katie Anderson partners with Yoshino to uncover the ways that continuous learning can positively impact individuals, businesses, and entire industries.

Two Leaders in the Field of Leadership

Isao Yoshino was a leader at Toyota for nearly forty years, and he was an integral part of developing Toyota’s widely known culture of excellence that made it one of the world’s most respected manufacturers. Meanwhile, co-author Katie Anderson is an internationally recognized leadership coach, consultant, and speaker whose area of expertise centers on leading with intention.

Together, Yoshino and Anderson have created a book that’s equal parts uplifting and informative, showing leaders everywhere how a passion for learning and leadership go hand in hand— and can create successful cultures in any industry or organization.

Anderson brings a storyteller’s instincts to every page of Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn, weaving narratives that go well beyond simple ‘how-to’ style books to create a through-line that makes the book’s concepts more memorable, inspiring, and easy to learn.

Meanwhile, Yoshino’s perspectives from inside Toyota are simply priceless. Filled with never-before-published insider stories that trace through the most pivotal moments in the company’s history, the book offers a front-row seat to great leadership and management.

If you’ve ever been mentored by someone whose words, leadership style, and perspective changed you for the better, you may have found yourself wondering whether you were capable of playing that same role in someone else’s life. Could you inspire and lead an individual, a team, or an entire organization?

If you’ve ever felt yourself asking yourself any of these questions, Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn is a beautiful form of reflection and wisdom that will set you on the right path. If you’re dedicated to continuous learning and an approach to leadership that puts people before profits, then this book may just transform your life and career forever.

The Bottom Line

We all want to be great leaders. In Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn, Isao Yoshino and Katie Anderson have created a simple, inspiring guide that transcends generational and cultural divides to remind us that a commitment to learning can overcome almost any barrier— even the barriers within ourselves. That idea alone makes this a book worth reading— whether you’re a top-level leader or a mid-level manager.

Taylor Berrett

Taylor Berrett is a Contributing Writer at Soundview. He is also a freelance writer, editor, and was the host of the podcast Alone in a Room.