Wednesday 1 July 2009

Book Review: Leading People

Leading People is part of Pocket Mentor series from Harvard Business School Press. Written by Lloyd Baird, this book provides essential theory, checklists and annotated list of learning resources in less than 100 pages.

The book classifies effective leaders as charismatic leaders, transformational leaders and pragmatic leaders; each one of these types is useful in certain scenario and not in others. For acquiring leadership skills, it provides suggestions such as "learn from experience" and "find a true mentor". It lists six leadership styles, viz. coercive, authoritative, affiliative, democratic, pacesetting and coaching along with their characteristics, usefulness and weaknesses.

The book provides following tools for leading people:

  • Self-evaluation checklist on characteristics of effective leadership
  • Worksheet for crafting and maintaining the vision
  • Checklist for evaluating ability to establish credibility
  • Worksheet for tracking motivation level of staff and allies

The list of learning resources is quite long and the comments provided for each item helps setting the expectations. In all, this book can be counted as a high-quality primer on the topic of leadership.