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Book Review: The Four Hats of Leadership by Drake Taylor

The Four Hats of Leadership by Drake Taylor is an excellent book for honing up leadership skills. This short, yet comprehensive, book holds a different narrative by showcasing four types of hats (methods) that can optimistically change the course of any leader's or normal-sounding person’s career path or life, all the more, the book is highly relevant to the people working in the business and the corporate world. No matter, where you work or live, leadership is needed, even at your home to protect and guide your kids. So, given the opportunity, one should not shy away from gaining the skills from all possible sources, because true leadership is something that affects the humanity most – be it history or now.

To understand this book, one needs to delve a bit deeper in the philosophy attached with each concept. Being a leader never means a towering personality and passing orders in a stern voice. To become perfect in leadership, one needs to wear four hats i.e. The Farmer’s Hat, The Drill Instructor’s Hat, The Psychologist’s Hat, and The Self-Care Hat. These hats are not physical attributes or imply donning all four hats at a same time (that would look funny). Rather, it means, subjectively, that one has to carry the mix of all these four types of personality patterns to become one solid leader, who can always deliver without flinching a bit.

The first hat talked about is Farmer’s Hat? How is that relevant? Just a farmer selects the seeds, sows, and then monitor the crop, and identify the potential and threat. Similarly, a leader too has to go through this process in order to get the best from his/her people. Getting the best from the team people is as good as delivering the best as a leader.

Another interesting hat is, Drill Instructor. Its semblance looks aggressive, however, that’s not the case. DI hat instills a sense of obedience in the team. There are many aspects that can be used under this hat, such as Shock, Surprise, Stern Voice, Talk in the Face, and so on. This hat is quite practicable in armed forces, as the author himself was into the US Air Force. Thus, inclusion of DI hat, and the wisdom associated has spiraled from his own experiences.

Remaining two hats are The Psychologist’s Hat, and The Self-Care Hat. They too are important, though sound subtle. Points touched in the Self-Care Hat are indeed worth noting down. As a leader, one must know how to take care of oneself. Devoid of this hat can make one devoid of basic aspects and ultimately leads to exhaustion and frustration. Yes, it is the self-care hat that keeps a leader cool and composed.

The major takeaway from the book is that often books on management and leadership skills teach how to become a leader, but this one equally focuses on follow as well. A true leader has to follow as well to keep his intuitive and learning curve steep. Leading and following gives 360 degree angle to the overall leadership approach. For extracting better off dogma, it is recommended to read this book at least twice.

Drake has composed an essential book on leadership, with inclusion of real-life stories and his own experiences. Well-written, with no boredom at all. Had there been more pictures, it could have lured many more hearts.


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