Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Rebels At Work

Rebels at Work by Lois Kelly and Carmen Medina is a book for nonmanagement employees who feel compelled to lead change within their organizations. Kelly and Medina have managed to write a book that is succinct yet detailed. Even experienced workplace rebels will find practical guidelines on how to be more effective in getting their ideas heard and implemented. The authors differentiate between good rebels and troublemakers, explain how to gain credibility, advise on navigating an organization’s landscape, describe how to manage conflict, provide guidelines for bolstering courage, offer ways to avoid burnout, and much more. Appendices at the back of the book summarize the book’s key processes as well as providing additional tips. This is an important and practical book for employees who may lack management authority yet are motivated to lead organizational change.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Leading With Intention

Leading with Intention by Mindy Hall is a practical guide on how to develop the mindset and behaviors of a leader. A straightforward writing style, short chapters, and simple illustrations make this book a quick and easy read. That doesn’t mean, though, that the concepts lack sophistication. The emphasis, however, is on the practical rather than the theoretical. And the author’s recommendations can be applied to other aspects of life other than leadership. Well worth reading for those new to a leader position. The book will also remind experienced leaders of how they may maximize their impact.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Uplifting 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.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Creating an Organizational Culture of Purpose

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.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Student Leadership Challenge

The second edition of The Student Leadership Challenge by James Kouzes and Barry Posner is an excellent resource for students who want to develop their abilities to lead. Actually, anyone wanting to lead can benefit from reading this book. The authors explain in clear, accessible language the five practices for becoming an exemplary leader. Each chapter ends with specific actions students may take to develop their skills as leaders. Stories of student leaders from around the world illustrate the leadership behaviors in practice. These stories also encourage students reading the book that they too can be leaders. This book would be excellent for leadership courses, student leadership development programs, or as a resource for students holding lead roles on or off campus. New copies of the book include an access code for the Student Leadership Practices Inventory. A practical and inspiring book from two well-respected experts in leadership development.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Ready To Be A Thought Leader?

Ready to Be a Thought Leader? by Denise Brosseau is a book for those who want to transform the world. Think there is no way you could have such an impact? Read the book and follow Brosseau’s seven-step process for becoming a thought leader. Brosseau explains how to find your change arena, how to build your influence, how to create models that others can replicate, how to become recognized as a thought leader, and how to lead a transformational movement. She provides clear instructions for what you need to do to gain status as a thought leader. The world needs transformational change agents. Read Ready to Be a Thought Leader? and contribute to creating a better world. Brosseau will tell you how.

Friday, January 10, 2014

A Holistic Perspective on Leader Development

Grounded by Bob Rosen is about the inner aspects of being a leader. Rosen identifies six dimensions of personal development that constitute healthy leadership—the physical, emotional, intellectual, social, vocational, and spiritual. This is not a groundbreaking book and the explanations of the dimensions do not go into great depth. Rosen’s contribution is in emphasizing the importance of the inner aspect of leading and synthesizing its many dimensions. Rosen brings together findings from multiple disciplines and relates them to leadership development. Many practical ideas are provided and illustrated with examples of accomplished leaders. Grounded is a solid contribution to the literature of leadership development.