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Leadership, Management and Command: Rethinking D-Day Hardcover – 17 Nov 2007

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (17 Nov 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230543170
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230543171
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 3 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 578,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description


"Keith Grint consistently publishes leadership books that are important, insightful and invigorating - this book is no exception. It will
fascinate leadership scholars and military historians alike. In fact, it is a timely reminder of the power of combining erudite theoretical analysis with meticulous and highly contextualised historical research. Professor Grint skilfully crafts the timeless lessons that can be derived from the D-Day experience. My only hope is that these will be properly learned and heeded by political, military and business leaders so that we can all benefit from them." Dr Brad Jackson, Professor of Leadership, The University of Auckland Business School
'This is a fascinating and highly readable book which re-examines D-Day through the lens of Wicked, Tame and Critical problems - a new language about the relationship between Leadership. Management and Command. The complex issues facing both the high command and junior commanders are explored in impressive and well researched detail.  Highly recommended.' Alan Hooper, Founder, Centre for Leadership Studies, University of Exeter and former senior Royal Marines officer
'Why soldiers brave fields of fire - why they follow their leaders when they shout "let's go boys!" - is exactly the question for leaders in all walks of life.  The people who come into our offices and factories and shops every day are in reality all volunteers and how much of themselves they give in return for that pay check is something they very much decide.  We don't "make them do it." Grint explores the seldom asked questions about leadership - why do people follow their leaders?  His excellent and well documented D-Day case speaks to leaders in every walk of life - and makes a good, thoughtful read that contributes significantly to our understanding and our application of leadership.' Col Mike Harper, USA (Ret) Author and Leadership Consultant

About the Author

KEITH GRINT is Professor of Defence Leadership at Cranfield University, UK, and Deputy Principal (Leadership and Management) at the Defence College of Management and Leadership within the Defence Academy in Shrivenham. Previously he was Professor of Leadership Studies and Director of the Lancaster Leadership Centre at Lancaster University Management School. Before that he was Director of Research at the SaId Business School and Fellow in Organizational Behaviour, Templeton College, University of Oxford. Keith spent 10 years in industry before switching to an academic career. He is a founding co-editor of the journal Leadership, and founding co-organizer of the International Conference in Leadership Research. He remains a Visiting Research Professor at Lancaster, an Associate Fellow of the SaId Business School and Templeton College, Oxford, and a Fellow of the Sunningdale Institute, a research arm of the UK's National School of Government.

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By PZE on 9 Jun 2011
Format: Hardcover
Keith Grint has produced an original and thought-provoking examination of D-Day bringing the history alive in a way that provides valuable lessons for today. The book is very well written, and extremely easy to read, with the impressive amount of detail.

By looking at the events of the 6th June in terms of the types of problems (Wicked, Tame or Critical) the elements of that day presented, Grint provides a fresh and envigorating perspective on this important day. Whether you are a military historian or interested in leadership and the challenges of modern organisations this book will provide a fresh perspective through which to consider the challenges of today and to rethink what happened on the 6th June.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Leadership, the military and real lessons for the future of changing society 1 Dec 2009
By J. Michael Innes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
It is difficult to believe that this book has remained unreviewed for so long. It is a seminal contribution to the literature on leadership, and the distinction of that capacity from management. It deserves to be read and debated across so many spectra of organizations, politics and decision making.

The book analyses the D-Day invasion in 1944. There is a masterful detail of the information available. This demands careful study and belies a superficial read and commentary. It is accompanied by analyses of the processes and the understanding of the personalities of the major actors involved, Eisenhower, Bradley, Patton, Montgomery, Tedder and others.

But there is so much more than this. This is an analysis of the contributions of individual actors, soldiers, right down to the level of the infantryman, the destroyer captains, the beachmasters; all of those brave and dedicated, and sometimes not so ideologically dedicated, people, who gave their lives to the success of the invasion, who made things work when the strategic planning had gone awry, as it inevitably did, after the exchange of the first shots.

The distinction made between management and command and the essentials of leadership in the heat of battle and invasion, resonates so much with the state of politics and the management of change in modern society. There have been so many trite comparisons made between the management of modern corporations and firms and the leadership of soldiers in battle. The literature on strategic planning is replete with the analogy between the management of the regiment and of the firm and the company, the university, the school, etc. This loses sight of the differences between command and direction in battle (and the tedium of the preparation for war) and the day to day management of organizations in mundane society. It could lead the reader to think that the metaphor of battle does not really apply to the modern organization, or at least to consider the manifest differences.

But this volume goes a whole step further. It enables one to see a different way to understand management, and more importantly leadership. The distinction is made between tame problems, critical problems and wicked problems, which require the engagement of skills in management and command, but more importantly in leadership. We are led to see the vital role that the real leader, the person able to see that problems cannot be understood or analyzed from the perspective of the past, can enable change and lead, not simply manage. And the management, or leadership, of the "wicked" problem, the intractable, complex and perhaps unsolvable problem, may need to be addressed by the person at the "coal face", the person who has to see the problem that is immediately "there' and is not necessarily the person who has been appointed "to be in charge" . People may be thrust into the "wicked" problem and solve it, or at least arrive at an optimal solution, even if they were not expecting it or were not specifically trained for it. The destroyer captains off the coast of Normandy in June 1944 may have taken leadership of the wicked problem of imminent disaster, emanating from the German artillery and may thereby have advanced the invasion in a manner not foreseen by the strategic managers in London or Washington.

And there are other delights in this text.

The author's analysis of the training and performance of German troops, both officers and other ranks, before and for World War II, showing their preparation for and ability to adapt to change and volatile situations, as against the authoritarian and rigid preparation of soldiers in the allies, throws a whole new light on an understanding of the behavior of the armies in that conflict. It requires a resolution of dissonance about what many have understood about the differences between the Axis and Allied armies. The thinking of the like of Tarantino and his "inglorious basterds" needs a quiet re-think.

It also demonstrates an ability to throw open the analysis of group performance under stress and so many other issues and problems.

This book deserves attention, comment, analysis, criticism and debate. It is worthy of celebrity.
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