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Alpha leadership – review


Title: Alpha Leadership - tools for business leaders who want more from life
Authors: Anne Deering, Robert Dilts, Julian Russell
Publisher: J Wiley 2002
ISBN: 0-470-84483-3

One of the best current texts on how to develop practical leadership skills.

It provides information in a variety of different styles to deliver thought provoking, change building ideas to the widest possible range of leaders who might buy and use this book.

A Crisp, bullet point contents page followed by well structured text makes it appealing for scan reading busy executives - whilst the 'alternative contents' stories and anecdotes in a chattier style will appeal to those with more of an interest in a relaxed but useful 'snuggle in the armchair' reading book.

The book focuses on 3 key areas for leaders - the ability to anticipate, then align, then act.

In each area there are questions to guide your thought process, checklists and suggestions for ways to change your approach.

An example from 'anticipate' - the ability to detect and respond to weak signals is - a list of simple phrases to practice using or avoiding (depending on the change you need to make) when dealing with information that does not fit your current experience.

An example from 'align' - the ability to match up your own approaches with those of others you want to work with is - a suggested personal exercise for understanding something by creating an experience of how it might be from another person's perspective - first - before setting a leadership direction that requires them to follow you.

An example from 'act' - the ability to establish and do what is important persisting in those areas which really make the difference - is a Team 'ready-fire-aim' assessment grid to highlight approaches to action across your team.

Some of the ideas are new takes on old classics and current business school and training practitioners' thinking on old problems - but all very focused on providing 'how to tips' for leaders wanting to evolve their own leadership style and processes.

A good mix of theory, practice and experience.

Easy to read and easy to find quick personal value whether dipping in or reading cover to cover.

Jenny Scott
Senior Teaching Fellow - Executive Programme
Warwick Business School
and Director, Better Business Learning


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