Get up to date with leadership theory and take responsibility for becoming a more effective leader with this guide complete with supporting exercises, practical examples and rigorous self-assessments.
Essential Leadership is a practical, accessible book that tackles theory and practice in an integrated and stimulating way. You are encouraged to engage with a wide range of leadership theories and frameworks as well as rate your own leadership skills and qualities, make realistic self-development plans and start to experiment with new or different approaches. Rather than offering one best way forward or becoming overly theoretical, this book is a pragmatic resource for new and experienced leaders looking to navigate the leadership literature and start to fully realize their own leadership potential.
Supported by exercises, practical examples, rigorous self-assessments, advice and suggestions, Essential Leadership offers an important guide for those currently working, or planning to work, in a 21st century business environment with all its complexity and uncertainty. It provides an over-arching framework of five essential leadership qualities that can be refined and combined as leaders grow, allowing them to be particularly responsive to the business context. The book allows readers to discover and develop their own leadership qualities, and master them through understanding, experimentation, feedback and reflection. Cutting-edge research into Millennial Leadership is also included, as are sections on developing your leadership maturity throughout life, and how leadership culture forms and changes.
Esther and Mike provide an excellent review and critique of the major streams of leadership research and the related theories and models. In doing this they demonstrate rigour combined with relevance and make the often complex ideas accessible through an engaging writing style.
Malcolm Higgs, Professor of Organisation Behaviour and HRM, Southampton Business School, UK
Practical, research based and thought provoking. A must read for anyone interested in developing leaders!
Nick Petrie, Senior Faculty, Center for Creative Leadership, International
This is a first-rate change leadership book that I would heartily recommend to both students and practitioners. It provides a concise summary of leadership theories and offers practical insights for both the new and experienced leader.
Michael Fekete, Head of Engagement, Digital Railway Programme at Network Rail, UK
Esther and Mike have done it again! Through exploring the complexities of leadership they facilitate our very own leadership journey. We all have a leadership potential, and this book will help us realise it. Based on both theory and practice this is a must read for seasoned leaders and novices alike.
Professor Rune Todnem, Professor of Organisational Behaviour (Staffordshire University Business School, UK), Professor II Change Leadership (University of Stavanger, Norway)
This is a very engaging book, which would be of great practical help to anyone wrestling with the many challenges of leadership in the complex organisations of today. There are some useful categorisations of behaviour which can hold up a mirror to many of our own experiences of being managed - and lead, and help us make sense of why some of those experiences were so positive, and why some of them stick with us for other reasons...' The exercises in the book help embed some of the messages by offering the chance to experience the theory for ourselves. This would be a useful book to share with your coach, and explore some of the ideas at a personal level in this way.
Dr Patricia Bossons, Director of Executive Qualifications at the Institute of Executive Education & Enterprise, Massey Business School, New Zealand
Essential Leadership is a welcome reminder that all of us that aspire to lead, should continue to delve and learn. I found the many relevant cases coupled with theory inspirational.
Mads Wijngaard, Senior Director, Global Transportation Company, Netherlands
For those of us eager to improve our leadership skills but feel overwhelmed by endless shelves with books about leadership in the bookstore, look no further. Here is a book that helps you navigate the essential leadership literature and at the same time offers a practical approach to improving your and your organization's leadership capability based on theory and practice.
The book is easy to read, loaded with real life examples and suited for all levels of leadership. I have personally seen a leadership development program based on the framework defined in this book being implemented in a manufacturing site, resulting in a significant improvement of leadership capability.
I found Essential Leadership compelling and extremely relevant to my role as a leader in the retail environment. This book would be an inspiration to developing leaders. I enjoyed the self-reflection activities, which got me thinking and motivated me to try something new with my team.
Lauren Clark, Store Manager, Retail Sector, UK
It is the first leadership book I have ever read, and I found it surprisingly engaging and relevant.
Alex Kirk, Senior Development Manager, Transport Sector, UK
A comprehensive, relevant and easy-to-digest overview of best-practice leadership thinking. I particularly enjoyed the section on millennial leadership.
Neil Darke, Founder and CEO of The Lifehouse.Co and former CEO of international wealth management firm, UK
A treasure trove of leadership reading, elegantly combining real world insights with leadership theory. No doubt I, and the managers I support, will go back to it again and again, to be challenged, supported and to keep learning.
Lindiwe Khuzwayo, HR Manager, Petroleum Sector, South Africa
For me good leadership is about using the right styles for the context and this book is a great resource to not only understand key leadership styles but to self assess and improve them. I loved the five qualities framework as a fascinating construct and a framework for self assessment.
A thoroughly enjoyable read!
A great book. Essential Leadership is an invaluable resource for developing leaders at all levels in today's complex business environment. I can recommend it as an excellent resource for people in leadership positions and leadership developers alike.
Dr. Katja Kruckeberg, International Leadership and Organizational Development Consultant at Kruckeberg Consulting.
I regularly use this framework with my public and private sector clients. It is highly regarded and is frequently cited by individual managers and leaders as pivotal to the progress they, and their organisations have made. It is accessible, conceptually sound and highly effective.
David Weaver, Individual and Organisational Development Consultant, DWC
The core of this book is the well-researched Five Qualities framework. It is rich and flexible, and allows leaders to continually discover new ways to creatively address their current business and leadership challenges.
We have seen leaders grow in confidence, strength and in their capacity to hold the task and people aspects of leadership, as they embed the Five Leadership Qualities. Given that the Qualities are developable rather than fixed personality traits, the book provides courage to leaders to grow fluidly into new aspects of their leadership.
So much leadership training fails to hit the mark. This book offers a completely fresh approach that's intuitive and immediately helpful, enabling almost anyone reading it to engage with a useful, new leadership quality and really learn something.
Howard Orme, Director General, Strategy and Resources Directorate, Civil Service, UK
Esther Cameron has been experimenting with approaches to leadership and change for 25 years. She is a founding Director of Integral Change Consulting Ltd and was previously a lecturer for the University of Bristol. Together with Mike Green, she is co-author of Making Sense of Change Management (also published by Kogan Page).
Mike Green is Director of Transitional Space Ltd, and a Visiting Fellow at Henley Business School where he tutors and coaches in Leadership and Change. Mike also delivers bespoke and accredited learning programmes in Change Management to managers and change agents across the globe.
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