Review: “The 100X Leader”

Hayley Panagakis

29 May 2019

As leaders, it's our duty to set the right environment for the people around us to thrive. We must invest in and nourish ourselves and our teams, and it's our job to cast a vision for growth and provide direction to our followers on how to get there. That's why this month, Leadercast has focused on growth and the steps we can take as leaders to move our organizations forward.

The journey to growth isn't an easy one, and it begins with us as individuals. Before we try to figure out how we can grow others, we must first start with ourselves. To go along with the month’s theme of growth, we read The 100X Leader: How to Become Someone Worth Following, a recently released book by GiANT Worldwide co-founders Jeremie Kubicek and Steve Cockram.

In it, the two use the Sherpa as a model for what a leader worth following looks like. A Sherpa is a member of the Tibetan people who lives in the Himalayas, well-known for their mountaineering skills and serving as guides to climbers trekking to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

Just as climbers rely on Sherpas to guide them and push them to reach their full potential, we need people, tools and resources to help us climb to the top of our own leadership. And better yet, we need to serve as Sherpas for our followers once we reach the summit ourselves.

This brings in the premise behind what Jeremie and Steve refer to as the 100X Leader: We must do everything we can to get to 100% health in our leadership—that’s the 100. Once we get to that point (and continually work to maintain 100%), we add the X, which is all about multiplying others to help them be their best. 

“Put together, 100X is a formula for leadership success—transformation of the leader and multiplication to those you lead,”

The rest of the book is an explanation of what we must do and the steps we must take to become a Sherpa, the 100X Leader, for our followers. Jeremie and Steve provide questions to help you reflect on where you are in your leadership journey and action items that will allow you to grow in the areas in which you’re lacking as a leader.

I’m a habitual notetaker and jotted down many takeaways as I went through the book. But my biggest takeaway was that in order to be Sherpas, leaders must liberate others. The authors noted that leaders can plot themselves on what they call the Support-Challenge Matrix—they can be high or low support, and high or low challenge (I’ll let you read the book to get a full grasp of it). Liberating leaders are those who provide a high level of support AND a high level of challenge, as opposed to say a low level of challenge and a high level of support or vice versa, or low in both areas. Liberating leaders challenge their followers to grow, but provide all the support they need to guide them along the way, just like Sherpas with their climbers.

When I think about the best leaders I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside, they were those who liberated me to be my best. They didn’t micromanage, but communicated their expectations. They challenged me to figure things out, but provided support when I needed it. If I missed a deadline or dropped the ball on something, they held me accountable, but provided resources to help me moving forward.

We must all strive to be liberating leaders, and this book is a stepping stone to doing just that. I highly recommend this book to help you learn what it takes to be a Sherpa to those you lead. Read this book and take the 100X Leader assessment to learn where you currently stand in your leadership.

Hayley Panagakis

This blog was written by Hayley Panagakis, a freelance writer, editor and content creator. Connect with her on LinkedIn and visit her website to learn more about her services.

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