Bookcase : Leading for Millennials

The Truth
about Leadership
By James M. Kouzes & Barry Z. Posner
Publisher: Jossey Bass • $24.95

The context of leadership changes; the content hardly changes at all. James Kouzes and Barry Posner have been interviewing leaders around the world for 30-something years. The result of their endeavours is database of million responses, from which they have drawn this conclusion.
According to these gurus of the leadership process, fundamental behaviours, actions and practices have remained essentially the same since they first began researching and writing about leadership. The world, on the other hand, is very different place in so many different ways.
They set out to write new book for “emerging leaders in the Millennial generation”. Millennials are an influential group on the cusp of replacing baby boomers. What they found, however, was that this group wanted to know what every other generation wanted to know.
So, age makes no difference when it comes to explaining why leaders are, or are not, effective. Leaders can generate positive work attitudes, be they generation Xers, boomers, traditionalists or millennials. “Good leadership is good leadership regardless of age”.
The Truth about Leadership is collection of fundamental principles that inform and support leadership practices. Its value does not lie in anything particularly new, but rather that what they have articulated are essential leadership “truths”, word for something that doesn’t change much over time. The lessons they uncovered were, they claim, “true 30 years ago, are true today, and we believe will be true 30 years from now”.
The authors explore 10 fundamental truths. They are leadership realities to help managers think, decide and act more effectively.
At just short of 200 pages, this is compact, insightful summary that is accessible, sensible and reassuring. It is book that either emerging or seasoned leaders can read and real benefits from. It is also relevant to those coaching and mentoring.

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