Bookcase Kiwi Effect Leadership

The Kiwi Effect
By: Lawrence Green and Jenny
Publisher: Avocado Press
Price: $34.95

Are we really, as sentence in one of the two forewords of this enthusiastic little book claims, “an example to the world of how to do business in this new and wonderful century”? We might be high on the world entrepreneurial index, but our performance as business managers is not all that impressive.
Lawrence Green and Jenny Campbell have made case for what they call the ‘Kiwi Effect’ which apparently engenders the nation with special something that has people who arrive here falling in love with the place and staying to “participate” in rather than be simply “spectators” of our society and economy.
The authors have researched an impressive portfolio of doers who recount their experiences as successful entrepreneurs and share some of their not-so-secret secrets of success. The book hooks its case for being to the suggestion that the success of many New Zealand businesses is direct result of The Kiwi Effect, “a phenomenon identified in groundbreaking research” in this smartly designed, small format business guide.
Green argues that it is the attitude of entrepreneurs and not their technical ability that makes the difference. He and co-author Campbell researched 23 successful New Zealand businesses last year to show that their kiwi effect theory is rooted in “New Zealand’s historical, geographical and cultural circumstances”. Well, maybe.
Some possibly better researched and compelling evidence also shows that, just as in most other countries, high percentage of our enterprises don’t make it past years two and three and our managers don’t rate all that highly on capability scale. And for nation to get the full benefits of its enterprise and bright ideas, businesses must stick around for while and perform to higher level than we generally seem to achieve.
Nevertheless, this is different way of looking at the exploits and anxieties of some very enterprising and successful business people. It is nice and easy to read. It attempts to explain the kiwi effect, provides smart little test to assess your personal kiwi effect profile, explains how you might boost your motivation, creativity and self-confidence, build your resilience, hone your decision-making skills and then put it all into practice.
The central theme that success in business “lies inside you – in your mind” is age old. The book offers local twist to the genre of business and personal development guides.

The Leadership Challenge
By: James Kouzes and Barry Posner
Publisher: Jossey-Bass
Price: $55.95

The third edition of this classic leadership text builds on more than 15 years of substantial research into what makes for effective leadership. Of course leaders are born, we all are. The point is, they need to be schooled and here is “field guide to take along on your leadership journey”.
The Leadership Challenge is “about how leaders mobilise others to want to get extraordinary things done” in organisations. Today’s reality is there are no shortages of challenging opportunities and mobilising people is no easy task.
This third edition is significantly revised and updated. It takes into account the changed world in which organisations must now operate. The authors accept that the fundamentals of leadership are much the same today as they have been for the past 20 or even 220 years. But if the content of good leadership is unchanged, the context certainly is and this edition attempts to explain it.
What is this new context? And what are the implications for the practice of leadership? Kouzes and Posner suggest leaders must now lead in world of heightened uncertainty; world in which people come first; in which we are “more connected” than ever before; where social, rather than financial capital is in the ascendancy; in world that is dominated by the global economy; where the “speed” of communications and changing workforce are redefining the rules and, where there is “more intense search for meaning”.
Plenty of case-based research to back up sound conclusions and lots of very practical advice.

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