The Leader Habit



Book Title:    The Leader Habit: Master the Skills You Need to Lead in Just Minutes a Day
Author:  Martin Lanik
Publisher:  AMACOM
List Price:   $25.00
Format:  Hard Cover, 256 pages
Publication Date:  April 2018       
ISBN: 978-0814439340
Reviewer:     Mukuka Chipanta, PMP
Review Date:   May 2018



The premise of the book, The Leader Habit, is that all exemplary leaders rely on a set of good leadership habits that have been developed over time. Habits are formed when micro behaviors are practiced continually until a state of “automaticy” is attained. The author, Martin Lanik, argues that when his “Leader Habit Formula” is followed, one can acquire and strengthen leadership skills through deliberate practice to create good leadership habits.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book appropriately begins with a prologue which details an anecdote about an emergency room nurse, Laura, whose self-image as a leader is in stark conflict with the reality of what her contemporaries at work make of her. The author then walks the reader through how Laura manages to completely transform herself into a leader who is admired in her organization by simply employing a regiment of prescribed leadership skills exercises over an extended length of time­—Martin Lanik’s Leadership Habit Formula.

After the prologue, the book is parsed into four parts. Part I gives the reader the theory of the Leadership Habit Formula and how it works. He contrasts this with the training centered models that have been tried to limited success by many organizations in the past. Part II delves into the mechanics of how leadership skills are built. Then in Part III, one enters into the meat of the book. Here the author meticulously describes twenty-two discrete leadership skills and corresponding exercises that can be employed to develop and strengthen them. Finally, Part IV ties it all together by focusing on how one can motivate change in an organization and coach others to develop good leadership habits.


Through his research, Martin Lanik postulates that many organizations spend a lot of time and resources in conducting leadership training classes of various flavors for their employees. He describes how these efforts, although well intentioned, have not yielded the desired results. The author firmly believes that the reason why these training efforts have failed so miserably in the past is because in order for good leadership traits to be ingrained, people must practice their newly acquired skills until a state of automacity is reached. With automacity one begins to employ good leadership skills without having to make a conscious effort­ to do so—the skills have in essence become second nature.


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About the Reviewer

Mukuka Chipanta

Washington, DC, USA



Mukuka Chipanta is a PMP certified Aerospace Program Manager and Published Author who currently resides in the Washington DC metro area. Mukuka has several degrees in Engineering and Business from the United Kingdom and the USA. One of his proudest professional achievements is having successfully led teams on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft design program. He has travelled widely across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia and he considers himself a global citizen with roots firmly anchored in Zambia, his country of birth.

Mukuka published his debut novel, A Casualty of Power, in October 2016 with Weaver Press. The novel has received worldwide acclaim, winning prizes for ‘Best First Book’, ‘Gold for General College Level Book’ in the USA and is one of only nine books to have been longlisted for the prestigious 9-Mobile Prize for Literature in 2018. His contribution to an anthology of short stories for Makerere Conference of African Literature was published in October 2017.

Mukaka can be contacted at [email protected]


Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of a partnership between the publisher, PM World and the PMI Silver Spring Maryland Chapter. Authors and publishers provide the books to PM World; books are delivered to the PMI Silver Spring Chapter, where they are offered free to PMI members to review; book reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library.  PMI Silver Spring Chapter members can keep the books as well as claim PDUs for PMP recertification when their reviews are published.  Chapter members are generally mid-career professionals, the audience for most project management books. 

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