Recently, a couple of books crossed my desk that on first glance had little to do with one another. But, after closer examination, it was fortuitous that they arrived together. They’re a perfect match.

The first, The Blueprint: 6 Practical Steps to Lift Your Leadership to New Heights, was written by Douglas Conant, the former CEO of Campbell Soup Company and former president of Nabisco Foods. In this enlightening book, Conant outlines six steps that he believes any leader can follow to achieve success personally and professionally.

  • Step 1. Envision. Leaders need to reach high, find a purpose and set the intention to do better and envision what success looks like to them.
  • Step 2. Reflect. Leaders need to dig deep in order to uncover the life lessons that anchor their leadership and develop a deeper understanding of their unique personality, motivations, temperament and skill set.
  • Step 3. Study. Finding inspiration from the world around them will help leaders lay the groundwork to solidify their leadership beliefs.
  • Step 4. Plan. Designing a plan for a personal leadership model based on a leadership purpose and beliefs will help set the course for the leadership journey.
  • Step 5. Practice. Learning how to take small actionable steps that can build a deliberative practice will create what Conant refers to as a practice treasury, a stable of behaviors that will help bring the leadership plan to life.
  • Step 6. Improve. Continually learning from what was done right and what could have done better will reinforce the strength of the leadership purpose and plan in perpetuity.

Read the full article about becoming a leader in philanthropy by Timothy J. McClimon at Forbes.