Book Beat


InView August 2010 Issue



There is a difference between management and leadership, and Your Emerging Leadership Journey (©2010, iUniverse), by John H. King. Jr. and Ronald F. Cichy offers practical ways to assertively succeed in reaching a leadership-level position in an organization through a planned and strongly focused approach. The book suggests ways to move from supervisor to manager to leader, defining the skills required for each phase, such as self-knowledge, emotional intelligence, empathy, and the ability to see the big picture. Most importantly, advices the authors, be a change maker; be a networker; and take on additional responsibilities.


Some derailed staff create toxic workplace environments that cause good employees to flee. Others cause members to complain in ever-increasing numbers. The Prodigal Executive: How To Coach Executives Too Painful to Keep, Too Valuable to Fire (©2009, AuthorHouse), by Bruce A. Heller, PhD, teaches the essentials of what leaders need to know about toxic bosses and other star performers. In the chapter on providing feedback so that the employee realizes they're in potential derailment, Heller advises:

  • When you give feedback, make sure it is not hearsay; rather it is data-based and behavioral-based.
  • Use a sandwich technique. Open with positive feedback; then give negative feedback; and close with more positive feedback.
  • Gain buy-in from the individual, including scheduling a follow-up meeting to reassess.


    Any time people get together to wrestle with serious issues there is the potential for a heated meeting, where participants become so polarized, angry, and confused that any meaningful work seems impossible. Standing in the Fire (©2010, Berrett-Koehler Publishers), by Larry Dressler, offers suggestions for how to keep cool when leading in tense situations. The book is organized in three parts. Part 1 describes what it means to be a change-agent in a high-heated situation. Part II describes the mental, emotional and physical ways that enable leaders to take charge of meetings where there is a lot of conflict. Part III offers a variety of personal practices that will help leaders develop greater awareness and make more deliberate choices, practices that can be used during a meeting to shift themselves into more intentional state in order to take control, and what to do when the meeting has concluded. Each chapter includes questions to reflect upon, as well as self-guided exercises.


    Salley Helgesen and Julie Johnson, authors of The Female Vision (©2010, Berrett-Koehler Publishers), believe that what women see is an underexploited resource in organizations. When the female vision remains untapped, both women and organizations suffer. Women are unable to translate their best observations into action, and organizations diminish the capacity of their people to make balanced decisions. They undermine creativity and reduce the potential for real collaboration, remaining one-dimensional in a multidimensional world. To create conditions in which women's vision can flourish, organizations must learn to value diverse ways of knowing, encourage mindfulness, support webs of inclusion, and respect the power of empathy. The authors further maintain that these capacities must be incorporated into the organization's reward structure, compensation packages, performance reviews, and larger visions.


    The Responsibility Revolution: How the Next Generation of Businesses Will Win (©2010, Jossey Bass), by Jeffrey Hollender and Bill Breen, argues that for too long, our definition of what constitutes responsible corporate behavior has been dangerously timid. The book addresses reimagining organizations from within by innovating new ways of working, instilling a new logic of competing, and redefining their purposes. It shows examples of organizations that are winning customers and driving profits by taking on a mission that matters, acting transparently, and focusing on innovation rather than reputation.

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