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Be the Leader, Make the Difference

Author: Paul B. Thornton

Publisher: Griffin Publishing, 2000

ISBN: Mick Yates

Summary:Whilst his 3 C's model of Leadership could be seen as "too easy", as you dig into it you find lots of thoughtful, helpful and practical advice.

Paul's book is refreshing.  Whilst his 3 C's model of Leadership could be seen as "too easy", as you dig into it you find lots of thoughtful, helpful and practical advice.  Challenge (the status quo), Confidence (building in others)  and Coaching (on what and how to do). He uses lots of examples, from his years of experience in development of Leaders.

I especially like his emphasis in the Coaching area on both Socratic teaching and on facilitation - both essential tools of a 21st century Leader. Gone are the days of simply telling people .. Leaders should no longer be afraid of being excellent theorists if they are to coach others. They also need to walk what they teach.

To build on Paul's work,  I'd like to suggest that there are three things to consider.  First, Paul alludes to "values" and beliefs, but does not fully explore the impact of values on the relationship between Leaders and followers.

Second, different situations need different Leadership skills .. and often different followers.

Finally, whilst his chapters on "coaching" includes some "what's", I feel that more explanation is needed. Within this coaching step is what I call "enabling".  This is actually the one step where many Leaders fall down the most.  Leaders must help pick the tools, organization structures etc. - without getting prescriptive.  Quite a balancing act! Unfortunately too many times Leaders set out a great strategy or organization model, but spend insufficient time with their people helping them make it real.  The Change fails - and we can all name CEO's who are doing just this as I write .....

Still, a very useful and practical book, for Leaders of all levels.

by Mick Yates