This book has been around a while now: first published in 2002. So a very fitting choice for The Forton Group to review in this, our 15th year of being in business. It's described as a “Leadership Fable” and, I have to be honest, that put me off. Other books in this same genre have come over as being just too cheesy for me. However, it was recommended by someone I trusted, so I persevered. I quickly found myself absorbed into the story. The characters were plausible and the scenario terribly familiar!
This is a fascinating look at leadership in the political world, spanning democracies and authoritarian regimes, and exploring leadership in many contexts. The lessons to be learned and the parallels to the world of organisations are many and varied.
The book opens with a useful discourse about the quality of strength and why it seems such a common property we want to ascribe to our leaders – how often do we say we need weak leadership? There are many qualities that political leaders need above and beyond the ability to look strong.
You can listen to a facinating interview with Archie Brown below:
The big question is: why should an organisation specialising in leadership development review a book on sales? Yet, as Dan Pink points out “To Sell is Human”. And every leader needs to develop their influencing skills; selling ideas; untrodden paths; new frontiers for the organisation.
This book introduces a radically new approach to sales – based on the simple premise of focusing on the buyer’s need to buy; not the salesperson’s need to sell.
Chris Hutchinson is an organisational coach and leadership expert. More importantly he’s a pragmatist who fights against over-complication and poor systems. Chris set out to create a framework for leaders that helps make things better; one that stops people feeling talked down to by so-called leadership 'experts'.
In the interview he talks about he started with the metaphor of the game of marbles where one ‘big-hitter’ directs the smaller marbles. This shifted to the more expansive metaphor of the ripple – which became his big idea.
You can listen to an exclusive interview with Chris, below.
Damian Hughes started out as a footballer on the England Youth Team, and is now Professor of Human Resource Management and Organisational Behaviour at Manchester Metropolitan University. We met during a leadership development programme and I warmed to his pragmatic and open style.
Listen to Prof. Damian Hughes talking about how Manchester United Manager Alex Ferguson set the tone