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The Leadership Skills Handbook: 50 Essential Skills You Need to be a Leader Paperback – June 28, 2014

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Kogan Page; Third Edition edition (June 28, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749471565
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749471569
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,090,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"If you're looking for a list [of] skills that are important for leaders to possess, this book might be quite useful to you."
(John Gibbs Leading Business Books)

Praise for the previous edition:
"A practical book which I strongly recommend to anyone who aspires to become a more effective leader."
(John Adair author of How to Grow Leaders)

About the Author

Jo Owen has worked for some of the best companies in the world, including Accenture, Apple, Barclays, Merrill Lynch and Procter & Gamble. He is the bestselling business author of books such as How to Sell, How to Lead and How to Manage.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Leadership requires crafting an agenda, working in a deeply political world and working closely with other people. Schools do not teach this. Business school fails dismally to teach this, and most corporate training swings wildly between technical training (accounting and systems) and tree hugging, raft building and team building on the other side, according to Jo Owen in this book.

The book aims to provide a framework for observing and learning from leadership experiences, by briefly describing a large number of different leadership skills. The skills are grouped into mindset skills, career skills, people skills, moment of truth skills, daily skills, organization skills, and values and behaviours.

While reading the book it seemed to me as if the author had overlooked a number of important leadership skills, but after making my own list and re-reading the book I am satisfied that the book does cover almost every skill I could think of, although not in the terms I would have used. The author’s forthright and sometimes Machiavellian advice includes:

• “The received wisdom about (the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) is that there is no ‘bad’ category. This is a fiction used by facilitators who want an easy time with the groups they lead.”
• “Managers use numbers the way drunks use lamp posts: for support, not illumination.”
• “(To motivate people) try to figure out how to appeal to fear, greed and idleness.”
• “An effective leader needs to be unreasonable, selectively. In setting expectations the leader learns to be selectively deaf: you will not hear all the excuses about rising input costs, increasing competition and demanding customers.
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More About the Author

Jo Owen practices what he preaches as a leader. He has worked with over 80 of the best, and a couple of the worst, organisations in the world in a career which has crossed all the major continents and most industry sectors. He is a serial entrepreneur and founder of several successful start ups, including Teach First which is now one of the top graduate recruiters in the UK.

His leadership research is drawn from interviews and surveys with over 2000 managers at all levels, as well as research with traditional societies such as Mongol nomads, Saami reindeer herders, Laikipia in Kenya, Papua New Guinean tribes and even with French bureaucrats in The French Prime Minister's office and beyond in a study conducted with Oxford University

He has two new books coming out this year (Power at Work and Tribal Business School). He has presented two TV series as a trouble shooter in challenging schools.

Jo Owen is able to mix theory with a strong dose of reality and a wide range of stories from planet management that make his advice both credible and digestible.

His career highlights include:
' Putting the blue speckle in Daz
' Selling his blood in Afghanistan
' Becoming the best nappy salesman in Birmingham
' Becoming the Head of Research (in fact, the only researcher) for the SDP: the SDP promptly collapsed.
' Building a business in Japan without speaking any Japanese. Japan went from imminent world domination to the permafrost of recession.
' Getting sued for $12 billion
' Starting a bank
' Presenting two TV series for the world's most obscure channel: Teacher's TV.
' Co-founding three national charities in the UK: Teach First, Future Leaders and Start Up for offenders.

His speaking and training topics include:
' Leading edge leadership
' Managing change
' Tribal business school: lessons of survival and success
' Managing your boss (for CIPD and CMI among others)
' Making a difference

As a leadership and power commentator on broadcast media he comments on:
' Political and business leadership: failures, successes, challenges and solutions

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The Leadership Skills Handbook: 50 Essential Skills You Need to be a Leader
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