Eric Jacobson

The Little Book Of Leadership Development

In General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Books on March 31, 2014 at 6:01 am

The authors of this leadership book recommend that you don’t read their book cover to cover.  But, if you’re like me, you’ll read the book that way.

That’s because I found, The Little Book of Leadership Development, by Scott J. Allen and Mitchell Kusy, a compelling read, packed with practical tips and techniques for both leading and helping others to learn how to lead effectively.

  • What you’ll find is basically 50 one- to two-page chapters, each highlighting a leadership tip.  And, that’s why the authors suggest you digest their book, finding the chapters/tips most readily useful to you.

Some tips seem easy and no-brainers.  Others are more difficult to implement.  But, even the “easy” ones are surprisingly absent from many organizations, so they are well worth a reminder of what to do and how to do it correctly.

Here are some of my favorite parts of the book that highlight the keen observations by the authors:

  • As a leader, if you are active, involved, and perceived by members of your team as an individual who care about their development and growth, you will increase your chances of success and theirs.
  • Your team needs to know your expectations, goals, vision, and, most important, how each individual adds value.
  • Rewards and recognition are particularly effective when the award was developed by team members and represent peer-to-peer recognition.
  • Nothing is more frustrating than working for a manager who does not communicate organizational or community information.
  • When you have no new news, letting your team know that you have nothing to report lets the team know you haven’t forgotten about them.
  • Coaching works best when you set clear expectations and stretch goals; challenge and support; monitor performance; provide feedback in small, concrete chunks; follow up consistently.
  • At all times, everyone on your team should be working on a least one project that is taking their skills to the next level.
  • Adults learn best through reflection.
  • Encourage team members to debate all sides of an issue intellectually and they will be more apt to think more innovatively than those who view an issue in a dualistic–absolute right or wrong — manner.
  • The more often your team members hear a consistent message, the more likely they will understand that what you are saying is important and credible.
  • Create a culture where, if someone complains, they know that they will be expected to be part of the solution.
  • Great leaders are great teachers.

This book seems ideal for busy managers who don’t have lots of time to read leadership books.  It’s only 132 pages.  And, it would be a great first book to share with managers new to their leadership role.

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