A one-stop leadership resource
There are tens of thousands of leadership books to choose from. You can get hold of everything from a quick ‘how to’ text through to stories of personal achievement, as well as more serious, theoretical and research-based volumes.
This is a boggling choice and many leaders don’t read any books at all, preferring shorter blogs and articles. This is absolutely fine at one level, but can leave you feeling a little vulnerable, and unsure whether there’s something you’re lacking that everyone else knows!
So what would it be like to just get one book that covers everything you need to know about leadership, in a clear, accessible and grounded way?
The recently published Essential Leadership attempts to do this by combining the organisational experiences and academic know-how of Integral Change co-founder Esther Cameron and her writing colleague, Mike Green. This has resulted in theory and practice sitting alongside each other in the same book in a mutually reinforcing and integrated way.
The book is therefore designed to appeal to anyone who is interested in both reading about leadership and becoming a better leader, whatever their level of experience or formal authority.
There is also plenty to engage those who don’t normally read this type of book, or feel somewhat resistant! The content is wide ranging, the style is clean and spacious and there are lots of helpful things like:
- clear frameworks
- real examples
- regular summaries
- stretching exercises.
If you’re a fledgling leader:
…this book offers a very sound starting point. All the theory is set out for you, with references to follow-up if your interest is stimulated. Lots of examples of both basic and advanced forms of leadership, within a ‘Five Leadership Qualities’ framework are included, as well as a whole range of ‘quick experiments’ for those wishing to improve.
If you’re an experienced leader:
…this is a good way to catch up on any aspect of leading that you’re feeling a bit shaky on, or to simply step back and reflect on the day-to-day. It also provides a way for you to start to stretch yourself, perhaps beyond what you thought was possible. The book illustrates how many leaders get ‘stuck’ at a certain level of performance, whereas so much more is possible with sufficient commitment and support.
If you’re an HR Professional:
…this book helps you to clarify exactly what leadership is, and how it can be developed. The elements on adult learning and developing maturity in leaders are likely to fascinate and surprise you! It also gives you a framework for looking at organisational leadership culture and some ideas to help shift this.
If you’re an experienced coach or consultant:
…we suspect much of the book will seem reassuringly familiar, yet the Five Leadership Qualities framework, the maturity lens and the focus on organisational leadership culture are likely to be new and helpful for some.
“In Essential Leadership, Esther and Mike have produced a valuable contribution to the field of leadership that is both rigorous and relevant. I believe that, as a reader, you will find this to be an engaging, challenging and enjoyable book.”
Malcolm Higgs, Professor of Organisation Behaviour and HRM, Southampton Business School, UK.