BOOKMARK Leaders and Traders

The Leadership Manual: Your complete practical guide to effective leadership
By: Hilarie Owen, Vicky Hodgson, Nigel Gazzard
Publisher: Pearson:
Prentice Hall
Price: $59.95

Given the positive avalanche of books and magazine articles on the subject, it is sobering to ponder why all the huff and puff seems to make so little difference. As the authors of The Leadership Manual say: “Never before has there been so much attention paid to the concept of leadership while at the same time we are more disheartened and mistrustful of our so-called leaders.”
Nevertheless, The Leadership Manual is worthy addition to the weighty literature and its authors doubtless hope it will make more of difference than history suggests is likely. The book is their response to the questions, concerns and issues raised by 500 managers during debate on leadership held in London. It was run by the Institute of Leadership and the three authors are associated with this independent, not-for-profit organisation.
The book canvasses the familiar definitions of leadership: from Warren Bennis, who said leadership is “like beauty – hard to define, but you know it when you see it” to Ken Blanchard who defines it as going somewhere rather than wandering aimlessly. Distilling all the collective wisdom, Owen, Hodgson and Gazzard believe the essence of leadership is: “The full, authentic expression of an individual working towards purposeful goal that affects positive transformation involving collaborative relationships with others resulting in collective action”. And they spend the next 350 pages discussing how this sort of leadership might be achieved.
The authors believe there are four basic truths about leadership. They are: every single person has some leadership potential; people are so diverse there is no single leadership model; the development of leadership requires lifelong learning approach; and there must be the freedom with organisations to encourage and sustain leadership.
The Leadership Manual is not one of those books dependent on the pulling power of personality or the glibness of catchy, in-vogue, one-dimensional concept or theory. It is serious attempt – with questions and exercises along the way – to help those in positions of leadership do the job better. IFG

China Inc
By: Ted C Fishman
Publisher: Scribner
Price: $49.99

Books on this topic may not turn out to be as popular as the personal leadership genre, but expect to read lot more about China’s move into global economic leadership. As America, the birthplace of so much business-linked literature, becomes increasingly paranoid about the “China challenge”, so the commentators, analysts and vested interests of every hue will turn to their publishers.
China Inc: How the rise of the next superpower challenges America and the world about sums up the US view of the emergence of China and, also India which is fast hitting its straps too. China’s emergence as an economic powerhouse is no accident. It takes long term and pragmatic view of planning and managing its future – quite the reverse of Western, and in particular American, economic strategy.
As Fishman points out, since China set about reforming its economy generation ago it has grown at an official rate of 9.5 percent and this is no flash in the pan. The country is closing in on 30-year run during which its economy has doubled nearly three times over. “The surge has no equal in modern history.”
A veteran journalist and former commodities trader, Fishman tells compelling story. The world, and America in particular, is just beginning to appreciate how comprehensively China has embraced capitalism and how competitive it will be in tomorrow’s, indeed today’s, global marketplace.
But why do America and the rest of the Western world see China’s emerging corporations as so “dangerous”. Because, quite frankly, it will set new competitive benchmark. Fishman asks: What will happen when China is able to manufacture everything that the US and Europe can – computers, cars, jumbo jets and pharmaceuticals – at half the cost?
China has embraced the marketplace and capitalism – but it has its own particular style of management and governance which includes political component – more overtly so than in the US, for instance. And China is now on the move – in every way. Hundred of millions of peasants are, now that the government allows them to, leaving the countryside for the cities of this new mega-manufacturing nation. The migration, like so many other changes in China, is the largest in human history.
As fascinating primer on just what is happening in China, this is an easy to read and well researched, if somewhat US-centric, start. RJB

Visited 3 times, 1 visit(s) today

Business benefits of privacy

Privacy Week (13-17 May) is a great time to consider the importance of privacy and to help ensure you and your company have good privacy practices in place, writes Privacy

Read More »
Close Search Window