Monday, 23 April, 2012

Book Review: Engaged Leadership

Written by Clint Swindall, "Engaged Leadership" is a management book offering a framework for leadership style. This framework supposedly addresses a concern that 54% of employees are disengaged at work, as found in a survey done by Gallup Organization. The framework is depicted as a triangle containing four puzzle pieces. Three peripheral pieces are directional, motivational and organizational while the center piece is character core. Author offers 12 challenges that leader has to encounter in three areas: directional, motivational and organizational. He mentions following four challenges in the directional leadership area:
  1. Recruit support from the top 29 percent (these ones are engaged employees)
  2. Prepare the organization for change
  3. Let them know how they contribute
  4. Constantly communicate progress
The challenges in motivational leadership are as follows:
  1. Lead with positive motivation
  2. Celebrate small successes
  3. Encourage life balance for all employees
  4. Create a fair work environment
The organizational leadership area contains following four challenges:
  1. Identify and position the appropriate talent
  2. Build a bridge between generations
  3. Move towards real empowerment
  4. Establish a strategy to maintain success
The book is divided into two sections: fable and how-to. I found this format very useful since fable provides a good context to learn the framework and the how-to part reinforces the learning.

As far as framework is concerned, it does not provide any breakthrough thoughts or ideas. Since it is based on author's experience as consultant, the framework does not have backing of any rigorous research. One may also say that it is an old wine in new bottle! Nevertheless, some organization would find this framework useful for their leadership development programs.

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