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Remarkable Leadership: Unleashing Your Leadership Potential One Skill at a Time Hardcover – August 17, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Predicated on the notion that leaders are not born, but are made and remade and made over again, author and consultant Eikenberry provides a guide to honing leadership skills that's succinct and sensible, demonstrating that leading is as much about listening, asking questions and empowering others as it is about charisma and vision. Thirteen chapters enumerate what remarkable leaders do-"learn continually," "communicate powerfully," "influence with impact," "think and act innovatively," etc.-and how they do it. In hopes of narrowing the gap between those who aspire to remarkability and those who've already achieved it, Eikenberry provides plenty of "Now Steps," exercises for evaluating and improving one's position that can be implemented in short order. Obvious but edifying techniques include storytelling practice, journaling and building a network of well-nurtured relationships. Eikenberry also offers online resources ("Bonus Bytes") tied to specific points in the text, available on the book's web site. A solid leadership primer, this book will instruct, if not exactly inspire, anyone looking to manage others more effectively.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Predicated on the notion that leaders are not born, but are made and remade and made over again, author and consultant Eikenberry provides a guide to honing leadership skills that’s succinct and sensible, demonstrating that leading is as much about listening, asking questions and empowering others as it is about charisma and vision. Thirteen chapters enumerate what remarkable leaders do—"learn continually," "communicate powerfully," "influence with impact," "think and act innovatively," etc.—and how they do it. In hopes of narrowing the gap between those who aspire to remarkability and those who’ve already achieved it, Eikenberry provides plenty of "Now Steps," exercises for evaluating and improving one’s position that can be implemented in short order. Obvious but edifying techniques include storytelling practice, journaling and building a network of well-nurtured relationships. Eikenberry also offers online resources ("Bonus Bytes") tied to specific points in the text, available on the book’s web site. A solid leadership primer, this book will instruct, if not exactly inspire, anyone looking to manage others more effectively. (Sept.) (Publishers Weekly Annex, September 2007)
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Remarkable Leadership is well written and organized. It contains a great deal of information that while advanced is simply presented with many opportunities to readily apply what you have learned. Even with my many years of successfully managing people and having designed a new manager training and written a book for those same new managerles, I found a few useful nuggets of information to help me grow.
Karen L. Jett, Jett Excellence, Author, Grow Your People, Grow Your Business
If you're looking for an informed, practical and effective way to accelerate your own leadership development, you should buy, read, and use Remarkable Leadership. This will also be a good book for you if you're responsible for the leadership development program in a company or for the development of a protégé.
Like the experienced trainer he is, Kevin states his goal at the beginning of the book. "This book is designed to help you identify the parts of your personal leadership package working in your favor and help you develop those parts, and any others you wish to work on, to become the leader you are capable of becoming."
He moves directly from that statement to setting up the material that will fill the rest of the book. He has you do an exercise I've done with groups in training for years: identify a great leader you know and define why you rate them as great or remarkable. Then he shares the core competencies as he sees them. Here's the list.
Remarkable leaders ...
Focus on customers
Influence with impact
Think and act innovatively
Value collaboration and teamwork
Solve problems and make decisions
Take responsibility and have accountability
Manage projects and processes successfully
Set goals and support goal achievement.
After anchoring his thinking in the principle of building on strength, Eikenberry moves to the next chapter where he discusses leadership development in the real world. His model matches my Apprenticeship Model in all important respects.
The three most important are that most leadership development happens on the job, not in the classroom, good leadership development makes extensive use of feedback, and your boss and other more experienced leaders play a crucial role in your development.
Chapter 3 tells you how to get the most out of the book. Then comes the real meat of the book, a chapter on each of the competencies.
Each chapter includes examples and stories to help you get the concept. There are resources to help you develop. And there are two features that make this book stand out. "Now Steps" offer you suggestions for immediate ways to apply the principle of the chapter. And "Bonus Bytes" give you a link to a web site where more resources and ideas await.
This book is for you if you want a guided way to take charge of your own personal development. You'll get solid information and insight, coupled with learning tools and suggestions for action.
This is also a book for you if you're responsible for the development of leaders in a smaller company or for a protégé. The structure of the material and learning tools should make you more effective at that task.
If you support leadership development in a larger corporation you'll find many good ideas here that you'll be able to incorporate. You should also consider buying multiple copies to share with the working managers in your company to help them assume a mentor role.
Now, who should not buy the book? If you expect to learn leadership from simply reading this or any other book, save your money. Leadership is an apprentice trade and learning it takes work on the job. Remarkable Leadership can help you do it better.
Eikenberry is convinced (and I wholeheartedly agree) that they should be the deliverables of a leadership development program, one that includes but is by no means limited to formal training. On the contrary, Eikenberry is convinced (and I again wholeheartedly agree) that such leadership must be developed at all levels and within all areas of the given enterprise. That is, leadership development should be an on-going process, all day, every day, during each and every interaction between and among those involved.
I especially appreciate Eikenberry's skillful insertion of two reader-friendly devices, "Remarkable Principle" and "Bonus Byte," in dozens of passages throughout the book. They serve two important purposes: They emphasize key points and they facilitate, indeed accelerate periodic reviews of those key points after the book has been read. He suggests three options to those who are about to read the book: "Start with a quick full read, and then decide where to focus; browse quickly, and then decide where to start; [or] start with the skill you are most interested in." My own opinion is that selecting the third option would be ill-advised because, presumably, all readers need to strengthen all of the aforementioned attributes and many (if not most) of them are interdependent. For example, "communicate powerfully, build relationships, [and] develop others" are essential to a "focus on customers" that has "influence with impact." Eikenberry devotes a separate chapter to each of the core competencies. Where to begin after the first three (introductory) chapters? Reader's choice.
Those who share my high regard for this book are urged to check out Tom Rath's StrengthsFinder 2.0, Marcus Buckingham's Now, Discover Your Strengths, Ram Charan's Know-How, and Judgment co-authored by Noel Tichy and Warren Bennis.