I just finished reading It Takes a Lot More Than Attitude… To Lead a Stellar Organization by Stever Robbins.
This is a very straight ahead and easy to understand book that covers all of the key areas of leadership. I like to compare this book to other leadership books the way Total Cereal is compared to other cereals. You need at least 20 other books to get all of the information in this one book on leadership.
Some of the concepts I found most useful:
- Defining the role of a CEO
- Creating a Compelling Vision
- Corporate Culture – Things both visible and invisible that define it (much having to do with the leaders behavior)
- Differences between Management and Leadership
- The Leaders Responsibility to Take Responsibility
- The concept of Leadership as seduction – a pull vs. push model
- Time Management
Chapter 24 was particularly interesting. It is subtitled “How Every Day Business Language Lets Us Engage in Deception”. The basic premise is that the way people in the business community communicate is many times a way of avoiding responsibility. Oddly enough, the next book my reading queue is one called Why Business People Speak Like Idiots : A Bullfighter’s Guide, which deals with the same subject. As I said, Stever covers a ton of information that you can find piecemeal in multiple books.
This is a great book to pick up and read to get a handle on the essentials of leadership and some practical (and doable) advice for handling situations you may run into. For those who do not have a lot of time to sit and read — don’t worry. This book moves very quickly due to Stevers great conversational writing style and short, succinct examples. There’s no long stories in here. Stever is very good at getting to the point and illustrating what he is trying to communicate.
Stever also writes the The Leadership Workshop, a column on the Harvard Business School site.