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Leadership in Management reviewed


Title: Leadership in Management
Authors: Gareth Edwards, Paul K. Winter & Jan Bailey
Publisher: Leadership Trust, 2002
ISBN: 0-9540005-1-X
Price: £7.50

The Preface explains that this booklet (only 41 pages) is a "conceptual summary of the Leadership in Management Programme run at The Leadership Trust." The authors also point out that the booklet is equally suitable for those who have not attended that programme, although as you read this review you'll see that I am not so sure about that.

Apart from the introduction, there are 8 more sections and a list of 37 books and articles as suggested reference sources (from Mintzberg in 1973 to Gill and McConnell - 2 separate items - in 2001). Spread through the booklet there are 15 hints, or 'leadership signposts', which are actually presented as paragraphs set in green and then listed again at the end for easy reference. I will mention the content of these as you read on.

Section 2 gives us a Change Cycle with six general steps of realisation, visioning, strategizing, communication, motivation and routinisation and emphasises the need for both proactive change and effective reaction to change.

Section 3 has no less than 6 signposts, telling us that management is the ability to cope with and adapt to reactive or proactive changes; it consists of the four skill sets of entrepreneurship, political skills, leadership and administration; managers need the helicopter view; leadership is using personal power to win hearts and minds; it is also enhancing people's ability to handle change; and finally that management is handling resources while leadership is handling people. All this takes only 3.5 A5 pages so there is not a lot of explanation, especially as signposts tend to be restated within the main text.

Section 4 covers 3 signposts: leadership needs personal rather than authority and position power; we need to communicate and lead in our own way; and we must communicate passion for a vision relating to a common purpose. Another Leadership Trust model is presented - of the five levels of communication, shown as a pyramid with increasing openness and trust at higher levels as we move through rituals and clichés, gossip and fact, ideas and judgements, emotions and feelings, (which they say is too uncomfortable a level to be at all the time) and peak communication which is such a high level of empathy that words become practically superfluous.

Section 5 is about how to win hearts and minds. In less than 3 pages this time, we get a paragraph on each of 3 activities for hearts - earn respect, have emotional intelligence, engender pride - and 3 for minds - show competency, set frameworks and involve people.

Section 6 takes us into high performance teams, with the Leadership Trust's own variation of Form, Storm, Norm, Perform (with no mention of Tuckman!). Here it becomes form, storm, reform and perform; the leadership signpost in this section focuses on the leader helping the team get through the fear barrier that prevents storming until people feel safe enough to voice their opinions.

Section 7 proposes that leaders must know and control themselves before they can lead and gives us the Leadership Trust model for this. In this, we have an inner core of self-respect (or not, as the case may be!) and external pressures prompt us to cycle through self-realisation to challenge to success or failure to self awareness to self control to self confidence and around again. The signpost reiterates that we will lead our teams better if we are self aware and have self-control, self-confidence and self-realisation.

Section 8 presents, with headings and a couple of sentences each, the 9 steps to becoming a better leader: self develop, do a SWOT, get a mentor, seek opportunities to lead, keep a journal, make time to think, create balance, practice and reflect, and lead to serve.

And Section 9 points out as two more signposts that leadership has to be earned and is a full-time assignment.

As I reached this stage in my review, I had the worrying feeling that I'd summarised the booklet and now you don't need to buy it. On reflection, I don't think it's worth the £7.50 plus £2.00 p/p. I can see how it makes an impressive handout for a training course and will mean a lot more to a participant who has presumably had the chance to apply the lessons and compare notes with colleagues. For anyone not attending a course, however, I think it will seem like a series of exhortations without much substance on how to apply or achieve. The high profile Leadership Trust identity (mentioned frequently; inside front cover pushes their services; back page plus their 35,000 delegates from 60 countries on their courses since 1975) means that it would seem out of place as a handout on anyone else's courses.

Where the booklet might be useful is for new trainers looking for ideas on what to include in their first leadership course designs. The material in the book has clearly stood the test of time (and those 35,000 delegates) - and many of the references are there for anyone who wants to go back to source as they prepare their own handouts.

Reviewed by Julie Hay
A D International


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