9780875848716 / 0875848710

Results-Based Leadership


Publisher:Harvard Business Review Press



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About the book:

Results-based Leadership teaches us that it is possible to look like a leader, say all the right things to shareholders, make employees feel good about themselves but still not produce the sorts of results everyone expects and wants from your company. A previous generation might have called this "winning the battle but losing the war".

Directing employees is harder than it looks, since past performance isn't really an indication of how a leader will do in the future. As the authors say, "The half-life of knowledge grows ever shorter in most professions, requiring even high performers to unlearn what they know and do."

The authors--a university professor and two heads of consulting firms--divide leadership priorities into four areas: employees, organisation, customers, and investors. A company head generally has to focus on one responsibility over the other three, but can't get away with ignoring any of them for very long. They explain each of these four priorities in depth--noting, for example, that keeping employees committed and productive means "mass customising" the workplace to fit individual employees' needs while keeping everyone working toward the same goal. This customisation may require adjustments unheard-of a few years ago--allowing an employee to work from home in a different city, for example--but pays off in the retention of valuable human assets that would otherwise take their training, experience, energy, and creativity to other companies, possibly competitors.

People who already have leadership positions in their companies can certainly find a great deal of important information, but the book may be even more valuable to those who wish to move into management roles. It certainly shows what challenges to expect. --Lou Schuler

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