An exploration of leadership that transforms and ways to transform leadership.
Uplifting leadership, as described by Andy Hargreaves, Alan Boyle, and Alma Harris in their new book by the same title, is about achieving beyond expectations. Uplifting leaders ignite the emotional, spiritual, and social powers of teams, organizations, and communities to improve performance and results. Based on their research of organizations in business, education, and sports, the authors identify six factors that comprise the uplifting leadership process. A key emphasis of the model is harnessing the energy generated by the tension between “hard” and “soft” skills. According to this model, leadership is about managing paradoxes. To create lift leaders must balance dreaming with action, creativity with discipline, collaboration with competition, pushing with pulling, measurement with meaningfulness, and quick wins with sustainable success. The writing is clear and the authors provide many examples of their principles applied in a variety of settings. Yet there is little that is new for those familiar with leadership literature. The authors reinforce what many other researchers have already explained. A good book that provides additional research and another model to support a holistic approach to leadership.
Consultant Christoph Lueneburger has released a new book entitled A Culture of Purpose. Lueneburger equates a culture of purpose with one that is focused on environmental sustainability. But sustainability seems to be a secondary focus of this book. The significant contribution Lueneburger makes to the leadership literature is outlining how to create an organizational culture driven by a central purpose. One can apply the author’s research-based model to creating a corporate culture centered on any strongly-held purpose. The author identifies competencies, traits, and cultural attributes as the three sets of building blocks for creating a culture of purpose. He describes five competencies, four traits, and three cultural attributes necessary to creating and leading purpose-focused organizations. This book will be useful to the individual wanting to develop personal leadership abilities. However, Lueneburger’s primary goal is to help organizational leaders identify the people who will help create a culture of purpose. The unique, and perhaps most valuable, aspect of the book is the chart of questions at the end of each chapter. Lueneburger explains how to identify each of the necessary competencies, traits, and attributes. He provides questions to use in hiring interviews to uncover the needed abilities for leading organizational change. The individual reader may also use these questions as a form of self-assessment and as a self-development guide. Lueneburger has written a useful book for anyone interested in leading organizational change and creating cultures of meaning.