Dec 13, 2009

Ready to lead?

With textbooks taking a safe place in my wardrobe, it's time to get back to reading other books. Last week, I finished reading a simple and insightful book on leadership. One of my colleagues recommended me this book three years ago. Although I purchased it then, it was safely tucked inside my bookshelf. "Ready to lead?" by Alan Price narrates the story of Mark Gibson's journey into becoming an effective leader in his organization.

Facing a daunting challenge of fixing a loss making division within his organization, the story takes you through Mark's attempts in understanding leadership. It's a simple story told in simple words. The concept of having your own definition of leadership is relevant. Although books might tell you what leadership is and what it is not, it is important to have one's own definition of leadership. Ever since I read this book, I have been introspecting on what my definition of leadership is.

The author clearly distinguishes between drive and passion. "When I'm driven, it feels like a powerful push to accomplish something. It's like the force of my determination pushing me to go ahead. When I'm passionate, I feel like  I'm pulled by the project".

One more distinction I liked is the difference between management and leadership. "Management creates a story to make sense of the past and guide our actions in the present. Leadership creates a story of the future that makes our present actions meaningful".

Another insightful distinction offered in the book towards the end is "Leadership builds a community of purpose. Management builds a community capable of purpose".

Simple words, good insights and a short story revolving around leadership make this book an interesting read.

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