Unleashed: The Unapologetic Leader’s Guide to Empowering Everyone Around You

| Author : Frances Frei and Anne Morriss, 2020

What’s It All About?

Living in Kentucky, I often see grassy hills with graceful, roaming horses. Each time I see them, I can’t help but think about Unleashed by Frances Frei and Anne Morriss, a book that’s all about empowering people with your presence, just like Kentucky’s horses do.

We all have valuable teammates in our organizations but might not know the best ways to fully “unleash” our leadership power and skills to lead our organizations to the next level. In Unleashed, manufacturing leaders can learn how to self-evaluate their own leadership skills and strengths to become the best leader for their team. Unleashed also provides actions that leaders can implement and practice to find productive outcomes and build a confident team.

For example, Unleashed asks leaders to look at how much time they have spent with their team, then compare it to the growth the team has experienced under their leadership. When do you do this, ask yourself:

Have I elevated others around me?
Are my teammates and colleagues better off when I’m around?
What are some new ways I can unleash their potential?

Another valuable insight from Morriss and Frei’s book is the concept of reframing. As a leader, you don’t need a mindset that’s about you. Instead, focus on the person you’re leading. When you’re only focused on convincing others what to think, this doesn’t create a powerful legacy or unleash the potential of your team. To make an impact in your organization, you need to improve your ability to impact how other think. This means you should be in coach mode! Ask more questions, speak less, and listen more. By investing time in others, you’ll unlock their ability to think and solve problems on their own.

Leadership Performance Curve

Favorite Quote

“Leadership, at its core, isn’t about you. Instead, it’s about how effective you are at empowering other people and unleashing their full potential.”

Biggest Takeaway

To spark potential in a team member, you need to have the right mindset. If you lack confidence in someone or don’t really believe they can grow, then you cannot really lead them. In situations like this, you’re just managing and overseeing, rather than fully leading. But by being thinking about your own growth mindset, you can develop the thoughts and skills you need to guide your team members into becoming the best, most successful versions of themselves.

To go deeper into growth and fixed mindset, check out my previous book report on Carol Dweck’s Mindset: the New Psychology of Success.

Bonus information

While reading this book, I was reminded of a defining conversation I had with Andrew De Haan, who explained to me that our role as leaders is to support the growth of others. To learn more from Andrew, you can check out his 2020 appearances on the Mindfulness Manufacturing podcast here and here.

Reviewed by: Trevor Blondeel,  October 14, 2022

At Manufacturing Greatness, Trevor Blondeel works with manufacturers to connect the top to the shop floor. If you’re ready to improve your own organization, contact Trevor to learn how Manufacturing Greatness can help you build stronger leaders and develop a dynamic, high-performing workplace.