Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Book Review - Leadership
“A Leader’s Legacy” by James Kouzes & Barry Posner (2006).
Kouzes and Posner have been writing together for quite some time, and they have spoken and worked with countless executives and other leaders. Interactions that provide many sharp observations and inspiring stories that are turned into topic focused essays .
The writers provide readers with a view on leadership different from many other authors on management and leadership, at the same time a view that seems to gaining ground rapidly. Kouzes and Posner cover several themes from “Is leadership living a life of success or a life of significance?” to “To be an authentic leader you have to be willing to serve and to suffer”. Kouzes and Posner assert that the best leaders are learners and teachers and they discuss how leadership is personal, that it’s a relationship, and that leadership requires courage. They are convinced that leaders who serve will earn commitment and that loyalty is something people choose to grant to a person who has earned it.
With these and other beliefs the authors build their theory on the what, how, and, above all, why of a leader’s legacy. As in many books there is quite some overlap in topics as well as repetition of themes. If you choose to do so it’s easy to skip parts that have already been covered, or you can ponder the theme again, through different words and with new examples. An easy read focusing on the (inter)personal side of leadership as well as on purpose and values - my foundation for life.