Most helpful positive review
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Rich with specific whats, whys, and hows of engaging followers
on October 4, 2012
This is a wonderful book well worth multiple readings.
First, some context.
"Leadership" is perhaps one of the most abused and misused words of our time. With heart-touching background music, political advertisements talk about "leadership" as the core reason for your vote, even if the candidate has never led as much as a neighborhood homeowners association. Coaches talk about an athlete's "leadership" on the field or on the court. The business media report on the "leadership" expected of a new CEO, or the failed "leadership" of an executive given the boot. But rarely do we see or hear a precise, actionable definition of what true leadership actually entails and requires.
Erika Andersen comes to the rescue in Leading So People Will Follow. The title itself seems to self-evident. Sadly, it's usually not so obvious in actual practice. For reasons still mystifying in this day of easy access to so much information on every subject imaginable, many people try to "lead" by position, by manipulation, by coercion, by charisma, by sound bite, and even by good intentions. It's all for naught.
Simply put, effective leaders behave in ways that engage people, that earn people's trust, that inspire people's confidence, that influence people to invest their discretionary effort in a common cause. In other words, you aren't really a leader unless and until people willingly follow.
Let's face it, most of us long for good leaders. Unfortunately, the person "appointed" as our leader is too often not the person whom others look to for direction and reassurance.
So, what exactly are the behaviors that inspire followership? Erika Andersen provides a practical framework that any aspiring leader can use for reflection and growth. The acknowledged leader, she writes, is:
To breathe life and vitality into each attribute, the author provides multiple examples and case studies from forward-thinking organizations where she has had the benefit of first-hand experience. She gives illustrations from leaders she has personally observed and, in some case, coached. Then at the end of each chapter she offers a "Try It" check list of things you can do to test drive the principles and practices she advocates.
This is not a book of theories or simple feel-good bromides. It is rich with the specific whats, whys, and hows of engaging followers. You get big ideas in bite-sized, easily digestible servings. The result is so satisfying you'll want to return to the table again and again. If Erika Andersen were a chef, this book would be her five-star restaurant.