Saturday, February 04, 2006

Book: Real Leadership

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Real Leadership : Helping People and Organizations Face Their Toughest Challenges

I spent the better part of this afternoon to reread :
Real Leadership : Helping People and Organizations Face Their Toughest Challenges
by Dean Williams

"This book debunks popular leadership notions of the strong visionary charismatic individual who stands head and shoulders above others leading his followers to victory.
Dean William's premise is that at the end of the day a group of people themselves need to confront their reality and themselves contend with conflicting demands on their ingrained values, habits and practices. This is easier said than done of course. The role of someone exercising true leadership is to help the group analyze it's challenges (and it shows how to do so) and help them come to terms with attitudinal shifts they may have to make to respond to these challenges. It provides an excellent framework to analyze context specific leadership challenges as well as the tussle between a groups feeling, the barriers to progress in exercising leadership and potential rewards should progress be achieved.
It goes to the core of the leadership matter and explores issues with examples across the private enterprise, politics, non profits and the public sector. The book is replete with colorful anecdotes, topical and historical examples and news items which help to intuitively clarify the context and challenges of leadership. In order to illustrate concepts Williams examines characters and contexts from popular movies that many of us may have seen (Gandhi, Lawrence of Arabia, the Fog of War, The Last Samurai etc) through the prism of his framework. For me this helped to do away with much of the jargon one sees these days in the academic literature on leadership.
`Real Leadership' does not stop at just analysis and interpretation. It also provides valuable practical tools and strategies for one to actually do something about it.
Overall an excellent read and decidedly a book worth buying. "


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