Book: Know-How: The 8 Skills that Separate People Who Perform from Those Who Don’t

Author: Ram Charan

Cost: $27.50

Why does a gifted person tagged for a leadership role fail when he/she gets there? On the other hand, how does a leader with little or no education succeed? Ram Charan, provides insights into this and more in his book KnowHow: The 8 Skills that Separate People Who Perform from Those Who Don’t.

Too often, companies and even society continue to choose leaders on the basis of superficial personal traits and characteristics, Charan contends. How many times have you heard an anointed future leader described as “intelligent,” “a commanding presence,” “a great communicator,” “having a bold vision,” or “a born leader”? Charan would argue that leaders who truly deliver are made, not born.  

A consultant with a Harvard Business School MBA and doctorate, Charan has identified eight skills that are essential for leadership success. He calls them “know-hows,” and he believes that they separate leaders who perform from those who do not.

Along with a detailed look at the eight critical know-hows, Charan discusses real-life examples of success and failure, and provides a checklist -— “Questions to Ask Yourself” — for the reader. Relying on 45 years of observational research, he shows how these know-hows and individual personal traits are interlinked and reinforce or interfere with each other.

Charan reduces the concept of business leadership to essential qualities. The book is readable and insightful. By linking personal attributes and business success, he delivers a vital message for those looking for true leaders.