- Paperback: 296 pages
- Publisher: Kogan Page; 3 edition (June 28, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0749471565
- ISBN-13: 978-0749471569
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Leadership Skills Handbook: 50 Essential Skills You Need to be a Leader 3rd Edition
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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.
Top customer reviews
It does work too. It is a simple kind of book that will attract both those who tend to read sequentially as well as those who can dip in and out, skimming their way around. The advice is practical in nature, rather than clouded in theory about what should work. You may not even agree with them all, yet they should not be so controversial. Different things can work for different people, so even if you don’t treat this as a Bible, but a generous gift of advice that has worked for many, you might not go too far wrong nor need to feel bad if you need to implement everything or don’t get along with one point.
The price is great for what you can get too! You can be picky whether 90 is a true and magic number since it sounds a lot to be ‘essential’. In any case, the advice is useful and relevant, so maybe ignore the number and just immerse yourself in what follows and review the value afterwards. It is logically organised into chapters such as people skills, organization skills and political skills. Each bit of advice takes up a page or two, so it is hardly going to tax even the most-stressed executive who may, in fact, be in dire need of a ‘skills refresh’.
All in all, a recommended guide.
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.”
I found the book entertaining to read, but I am still uncertain how valuable it is within the context of leadership development. It provides a useful checklist of skills, but the few pages devoted to each skill are insufficient to give a full understanding. As the author says, leaders learn from experience, not from courses. Perhaps the book helps you to recognise a mistake once you have made it.