Book review: The Truth About Leadership

Emma de Vita reviews the new book by James Kouzes and Barry Posner

Off the shelf
Off the shelf

It's refreshing to come across a management book that offers "the no-fads, heart-of-the-matter facts you need to know". The authors, James Kouzes and Barry Posner, claim to have the 10 "time-tested truths" that all leaders must know if they want to succeed.

The first so-called truth is: "you make a difference". Kouzes and Posner say that before you lead, you have to believe that you can have a positive impact on others, which means you have to believe in yourself. The second truth is that "credibility is the foundation of leadership", which means others have to believe in you too, otherwise they won't follow you.

These are the two most important rules, but the third sector manager might find rule number 10 - "leadership is an affair of the heart"- particularly relevant to the field. Try not to be put off by the seminental language: "Leaders are in love with their constituents, their customers and clients, and the mission that they are serving. Love is the motivation that energises leaders to give so much for others."

If you work for a charity, no one can deny you must love your work. But ask yourself this: is there any room for you to love your colleagues just that little bit more?

Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today

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