By @SimonCocking, review of LEAD: 50 Models for Success in Work & Life. By John D H Greenway, Andy Blacknell and Andy Coombe, published 18th September 2018. Paperback and ebook, priced £10.99. ISBN: 9780857087911

LEAD will develop you as a leader in a dynamic way that goes to the heart of your purpose and dreams. It takes you well beyond traditional, fixed planning processes, which are out of date as soon as the ink dries, or the temporary ‘high’ of a leadership development day or two. It helps you recognise the complexity of the challenges you face and equips you to navigate these effectively and flexibly. . . because life is not a straight line.

LEAD equips you with enduring principles, inspiring stories and practical tools to:

?      Map the journeys that you want to make in work and life

?      Navigate through life’s twists and turns to success

?      Grow yourself and others as leaders

For a book that aims to cover 50 different things it still manages to hang together quite well. Some listicle books like this can feel like a too-fast whistle stop tour through a series of different ideas. Fortunately this book manages to keep it all fairly unified, so it makes for an easy read without feeling like you are lurching hectically from one new concept to another one.

They have peppered the text with interesting and accessible anecdotes and examples to illustrate their ideas which helps to keep the narrative moving along. There is also good use of visual diagrams and illustrations to help to explain visually the points they are trying to convey too. While it is relatively easy to describe what makes a good leader, it is of course infinitely more difficult to be able to achieve this attributes when you are actually working with people. In this growing field there are many books aiming to help guide people to become good leaders in times of increasing complexity. The authors here aim to remind us of this challenge, and for the need to be flexible, adaptable and open to changing our strategies and approaches as the situation demands it.

The authors aim to take a human approach, ie rather than aiming to be the super working mum of the business world, they are rather looking to encourage and remind you of the need to be a grounded and well formed human . Partly because this will also help you to be a better leader, in both work, and your whole life. It’s not a certain thing, in any shape or form that we are moving towards a place of more emotionally intelligent leaders – and there are many that would deny such an attribute even actually exists, and the many demagogic leaders out there at the moment shows we still live in challenging times. However this book aims to inspire the sort of change to help move the world towards the type of place we would like it to be.

It’s not a bad goal for a book, and hopefully some of its ideas and insights might just rub off on some of our current and next generation of leaders.


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