BOOKCASE : Measure of a Leader: Bringing Out the Best in People

• Aubrey C Daniels & James E Daniels • McGraw-Hill • $45.00

It’s sad day when grass-roots decency and close observation of other people is seen as breakthrough stuff. For that is at the heart of the thinking behind this new book. Daniels and Daniels, so the dustcover promises, provide “scientifically grounded approach” to measuring the effect of actions on people and then tell leaders how to use that information to inspire “above and beyond performance”.
Great leaders, they contend, bring out the best in their people by looking at the behaviour of their followers. “This intentional search for the impact of your actions will set you apart from those who try to replicate the actions of other leaders.”
In other words, chuck out the books on Napoleon and Nelson and check out what’s going on right under your nose. Hmm… breakthrough thinking?
For those who want to get more complicated, Daniels and Daniels reckon you can measure “follower response” across four dimensions: momentum (stuff like how many followers respond to the leader’s call and how long before they take action), commitment (how many people can relate an example exemplifying the leader’s values), initiative (how frequently individuals help their peers) and reciprocity (how often followers seek out the leader for advice).
It beats me why such large dollops of commonsense should be perceived as pioneering.
My mum and all the aunties have been living this so-called formula for years. Shame on the corporate world for waking up to commonsense so late. – Ruth Le Pla

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