Book Review – Be Inspired by Great Leaders – A Practical Guide to Leadership by Alison and David Price

be inspiredMy previous book review, Empower Your Team to Thrive, was written by Alison and David Price and I found it very insightful. When I saw this book on leadership (the other one was on management) by the same authors, I decided to have a look at it. I was surprised to find that it was written in the same A-Z format as Empower Your Team to Thrive.

The authors have used research about leadership and case studies of successful leaders to highlight 26 qualities for successful leadership. In the book’s introduction they make it clear that there is no single quality that makes leaders successful. Rather there are a mixture of qualities and different leaders will exhibit different combinations of qualities that make them successful, but there will be some things that are common to all successful leaders.

Following is a brief review of each chapter in the book. Since this book is really about the A to Z of leadership, each chapter’s title starts with an alphabet, so there are 26 chapters sequenced from A to Z.

A: Aspiration

While there are no definitive factors common to all leaders, a similar theme that all leaders have is the aspiration to achieve goals. Simply put all effective leaders will have a vision and vision is what this chapter focuses on. You will read about examples of from Mohandas Gandhi, Richard Branson and Steve Jobs about the importance and effectiveness of vision. We are also introduced to three elements of a good vision statement which are:

  1. Specificity: the vision must be clear and specific.
  2. Succinctness: succinct and not too wordy. The authors suggest a maximum of 10 words.
  3. Emotional connection: the vision should excite and inspire the listener. It should be people-centred.

The difference between vision and mission is also explained. Continue reading

One Idea Group Session from Empower Your Team to Thrive by Alison and David Price

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INTRODUCTION – GROUP SESSION

This resource will help you facilitate a short group session to learn from the One Idea Summary on ‘How To COMMUNICATE’.

SESSION OBJECTIVES

  • Be able to list and describe at least six qualities of effective communication.
  • Be able to identify at least one area to improve their communication and what to do to improve in that area.

PREPARATION

Send a copy of the One Idea Summary on ‘How to COMMUNICATE’ to the participants one week before the session. They are to read it and bring it with them. Emphasize that they should bring the One Idea Summary with them to the session either as a printed copy or accessible on a mobile device. Continue reading

Book Review – Empower Your Team to Thrive by Alison & David Price

empowerEmpower Your Team To Thrive is one of those books that you just pick up to see whether you can gain any value from it, then you open it and discover that it has a world full of insights. David and Alison Price have written a book for those who manage teams that is not full of management jargon, but rather presents practical information that is easy to understand and can be readily applied. The is written as an A-Z guide with each letter of the alphabet representing a management insight that team leaders and managers can use to improve their team leadership effectiveness.

While the book has 26 chapters because of its A-Z nature, it is not a hefty book. Each chapter can be read in a couple of minutes. Below I have written very short reviews of each chapter. Continue reading

Book Review – Difficult Conversations – How To Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton and Sheila Heen

Managing Difficult ConversationsIn my own opinion this is a timeless book. Why? Because it discusses a topic that we all face in various aspects of our lives. Whether at work, in our relationships, with our children or even when shopping we will all have to face difficult conversations. Having difficult conversations is a fact of life. The book, Difficult Conversations – How To Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton and Sheila Heen is a classic and an international best seller too. There are lots of books about difficult conversations but this one is different for a number of reasons. To start with it is based on extensive research at the Harvard Negotiation Project of which Bruce and Douglas are members and the techniques discussed in the book are not surface level gimmicks that you can apply quickly without a good understanding of how they work. Rather they are behaviours which require us to think deeply and work hard to change the way we respond in conversations we see as difficult. Continue reading