Why Should Anyone Be Led By You? – Rob Goffee & Gareth Jones

The one-sentence summary

To be a good leader you have to earn respect.

WHAT THE BOOK SAYS WHY SHOULD

  • Copying how other leaders behave will not necessarily make you a good leader
  • Great leaders essentially act as “authentic chameleons”, consistently displaying their true selves through different contexts that require them to play a variety of roles.
  • Leadership is situational, non-hierarchical, and relational
  • Leadership can come from within an organisation just as easily as the very top

WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT

  • The question in the title is the strongest point, and you should ask it of yourself if you aspire to be a leader
  • This orientation adds a dose of humility to the often macho area of leadership
  • It is easy enough to follow the steps they recommend (assuming you have the desire);
    • Be yourself – more – with skill
    • Know and show yourself – enough
    • Take personal risks
    • Read – and rewrite – the context
    • Remain authentic – but conform enough
    • Manage social distance (tough love, and getting close but not too close)
    • Communicate – with care
  • Followers are also discussed (you can’t have leaders without them)
  • Followers want authenticity, to feel significant, a sense of excitement, and to feel part of a community
  • Leadership has a price as well as a prize – there are no easy answers, you can be easily undone, and when things go wrong it’s your fault – so be careful what you pursue for the sake of it

WHAT YOU HAVE TO WATCH

  • Not much. The book is well-written and based on 25 years of research

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