The Leadership Pipeline: How to Build the Leadership Powered Company

Score: 3/5

I think this is again one of the books recommended by some company’s senior leaders whose name I cannot remember. It is a guide on how to have a pipeline that will constantly bring out new leaders within the same company. It breaks down a career ladder into several parts. My current role falls into the very first part – I don’t manage anyone, which is perhaps why I didn’t find this book so useful. Yes, I can foresee a career ladder that goes from managing a small team to managing a product to managing a region with many products etc. But it’s just too far away from what I am doing from day to day. I hoped that by knowing what I should expect up ahead could be helpful, but it was just too much information.

One thing useful that I got out of this book is that it could be useful to summarize what I have learned and found useful so that when others need my help, I can show them my approach (instead of solving the problem for them).


  • In fact, to be successful as a first-time manager requires a major transition for which many people are not adequately prepared… We’ve found that all these changes can be boiled down to the following three areas: 1. Defining and assigning work to be done, including communicating with the boss and others about needs or expectations, planning, organizing, choosing people, and delegating. 2. Enabling direct reports to do the work by monitoring, coaching, providing feedback, acquiring resources, problem solving, and communicating. 3. Building social contracts through establishing relationships with direct reports, bosses, and support groups that facilitate open dialogues and trust.
  • Here are some common signs that a manager hasn’t mastered this skill: Views questions from his people as interruptions Fixes their mistakes rather than teaching them to do the work properly Refuses to take ownership of the success of his people, distancing himself from their problems and failures
  • First-line managers need to become accountable for the success of their subordinates (and vice versa). In this way, a relationship is built that has mutual benefits.
  • When first-time managers lack the ability to delegate or coach, they’ll schedule relatively little time for each activity, preferring to spend as much time as possible on what they’re good at—doing analysis, designing products, creating software, and handling other individual contributor tasks. They don’t want to look foolish in front of their former peers and will therefore spend time on activities that make them appear competent.