Eric Jacobson

Book Highlights: The Little Book Of Leadership Development

In Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Books, Leadership Education on July 5, 2014 at 7:21 pm

The authors of the above pictured leadership book suggest that readers 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.  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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