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The Energizer Blog

  • Writer's pictureEileen McDargh

Guest Post: Excerpt Of The Intelligent Leader

Updated: Apr 13

Guest Post: Excerpt Of The Intelligent Leader

My colleague, John Mattone, has graciously allowed us to offer an excerpt of his new book The Intelligent Leader: Unlocking The Secrets To Leading Others And Leaving Your Legacy.  Resilient organizations must have excellent leaders who find and keep outstanding employees.  John shares what it takes to unlock leadership talent.


When you think of the word “leader,” what comes to mind? You might imagine someone powerful or inspiring. It could be a person who always seems to be one step ahead of others. You may think of someone specific—someone famous, or someone you know personally. You may even think of yourself.

The truth is, leadership can take many forms, and can look many different ways. Yet finding a true leader is like coming across a rare gem—it doesn’t happen every day. You see, while the idea of being a leader excites folks, often they’re actually only interested in what it will do for them. Perhaps they want power, control, wealth, accolades, or improved status. But the true leaders I’ve encountered in my life are those who view leadership not as a benefit to themselves, but as an obligation to others.

That’s why my favorite definition of leadership, which you can read right there in the dictionary, is this: “an example for others to follow.” A defining characteristic of some of the greatest leaders I’ve had the privilege of knowing is that they design their lives according to an obligation to others. They’re aware that people around them are depending on them and modeling their lives after them. Accordingly, these leaders strive to become better people. This is the unsexy secret of becoming a truly great leader—and honestly, there aren’t many people willing to take on such enormous responsibility. I think this is one of the primary root causes of the “leadership gap” so many people are talking about in the business world these days.

But I don’t mean to paint a dismal picture or discourage you. I actually see the challenge of becoming a great leader as a profound opportunity. The best leaders aren’t necessarily those who are born with some special “gift.” They’ve made a decision to take on the enormous responsibility of becoming an example for others—and you can too. Anyone can. Assuming the mantle of leadership is a choice anyone can make. Great leadership is a skill you can develop. That’s what “Intelligent Leadership” is all about.

If you’re someone who truly wants to evolve as a leader, and you’re comfortable with becoming “an example for others to follow,” then this book will show you a pathway to do so. It’s based on research, both formal and informal, that I’ve conducted over decades as an industrial psychologist and leadership coach. I’ve worked with some of the best leaders in the business world—some famous, other relatively unknown—and I’ve developed an approach to leadership that anyone can use to become a truly great leader—and human being.

This excerpt of The Intelligent Leader: Unlocking The Secrets To Leading Others And Leaving Your Legacy by John Mattone (the world’s top-ranked executive coach) debuts today. Book purchasers also receive free access to John’s Mattone Leadership Enneagram Inventory (MLEI), which is a tool he’s developed for people to determine their unique leadership style, strengths and developmental opportunities (a $110 value).

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