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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does Exactly What it Says On the Cover
This litle book does exactly what its title suggests - circumnavigating the acres of verbose, over complicated, self serving, management psycho-babble found in most leadership texts and presents a plain and simple leadership model that really works.
How plain and simple? Well for me it passed the ultimate test: I'm a business leader with a 2 hour daily drive, with 3...
Published on 28 Feb. 2011 by Martin

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82 of 88 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but has its limitations
This is one of the better books on leadership, but the previous reviews are so gushing that I feel they lack balance. Perhaps that is why I gave it three stars rather than four stars.

First the good points. It is written in a clear, easy-to-read style. It is short (170 pages). The FED model is simple yet powerful. Finally, Mr Radcliffe clearly knows his...
Published on 1 Aug. 2011 by A Reader from the UK


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82 of 88 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but has its limitations, 1 Aug. 2011
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This is one of the better books on leadership, but the previous reviews are so gushing that I feel they lack balance. Perhaps that is why I gave it three stars rather than four stars.

First the good points. It is written in a clear, easy-to-read style. It is short (170 pages). The FED model is simple yet powerful. Finally, Mr Radcliffe clearly knows his stuff; his material is well thought out and based on experience.

Now the two main limitations. The book is so short that it means the important subject of limiting beliefs gets several mentions but no in-depth treatment, reducing its practical value in my view. Also, the FED model, while clear and simple, gives the impression that real-life leadership won't have messy twists and turns that can divert the leader. That gives the book a one-dimensional feel and that is when, for me, "simple" becomes "simplistic". It reminds me in this respect of Kouzes and Posner's book, The Leadership Challenge.

Nonetheless, I do recommend the book - it is just that I don't think it is enough on its own. As a companion read you could consider another of the recent offerings in this field, The Three Levels of Leadership by James Scouller. It is similarly easy to read and practical but delves more deeply into limiting beliefs.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does Exactly What it Says On the Cover, 28 Feb. 2011
This litle book does exactly what its title suggests - circumnavigating the acres of verbose, over complicated, self serving, management psycho-babble found in most leadership texts and presents a plain and simple leadership model that really works.
How plain and simple? Well for me it passed the ultimate test: I'm a business leader with a 2 hour daily drive, with 3 kids under 6 at home and a short attention span, and yet I read this book last thing at night, understood it and retained enough of it to start practising it the next day at home and at work AND it worked.
The Future-Engage-Deliver model is simple to understand, simple to apply, simple to explain to others and simply makes sense...so do yourself a favour, buy this book, give yourself an easy late night read, and embrace a liberating leadership model that is so simple and yet so effective that it feels like cheating.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Recommended to people who believe in four different types of energy, 10 Jun. 2013
This review is from: Leadership: Plain and Simple (Financial Times Series) (Paperback)
This book really wasn't for me. I liked the idea of reducing leadership to its crystalline, pure essence and I loved the bit about a head teacher who'd used the FED model to help his pupils develop leadership skills. But generally it came across as a bit self-regarding, a bit self-important, almost New Age-y at times. Perhaps that IS what you get if you distil leadership to its essence, or perhaps it's just me -- lots of other people seem to like it.

One other thing: the use of capitals for Very Important Concepts (such as the Four Energies) was driving me faintly nuts by the end.

But the nice people at Amazon gave me my money back on my Kindle purchase, so this was a free read for me, and because my Spirit Energy is also particularly high tonight, Leadership: Plain and Simple can have two stars.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some simple principles to follow, 1 Mar. 2011
The principles established in this book are very obvious but so easily overlooked. I found myself looking back over previous successes and failures and being able to translate them into the principles highlighted in the book. It was then easy to understand the reasons for success which I can then repeat, but also the reasons for failure and hence lessons to be applied from the book

If you are going to read one book to imporve your leadership capabilities then I would suggest it be this one as being straightforward, easy to apply and hence successful.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ah, common sense at last, 13 April 2012
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As an Organisational Development Manager, I've been reading books on leadership for a wee while - most of them have been at best interesting and generally leave me pretty much none the wiser if I'm really honest. This book has been the first book that makes it simple - and useful - and actionable - and achievable. Ah, hurrah! It gets to the nub of the issues and focuses on the most important things - and how to easily start doing them and getting results. And it does it without fluff and flouncy words. Just a useful model, expertly put across. Thank you!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening, 27 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Leadership: Plain and Simple (Financial Times Series) (Paperback)
Quite simply this book has had a revolutionary impact on my leadership. It is beautifully simple and easy to digest. I found that it provided me with a very useful lens to review my own performance: understand my strengths and identify my weaknesses.

Honest self reflection is critical to getting the most out of Steve's lessons in leadership, that and a well rounded support team (there's more on that in the book!) I had plenty of moments when I cringed or grimaced as I read elements that highlighted flaws in my practice. However, these are addressed in such a way that they are affirming rather than being soul destroying.

It might be a short initial read but there is plenty of scope for return visits. I loved the structure and the easy to read style that Steve uses. I have already been recommending this book to pretty much anyone I meet. This isn't a book about hierarchical leadership but one about igniting the spark of leadership in everyone. In fact if you don't see yourself as a leader, this text has even more to offer you.

Best investment I've made in a long time...
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dip in and out; impossible to read steadily, 28 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Leadership: Plain and Simple (Financial Times Series) (Paperback)
This book was recommended to me as being useful reading whilst preparing a workshop on clinical leadership in healthcare. I found the slightly breathless 'you can do it American - style' writing difficult, and whilst principles are transferable, this book just didn't work for me.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simplyfying leadership, 21 April 2013
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FED provides a great, simple framework to analyse how to achieve more as a leader and explains why really smart, intellectual leaders sometimes don't manage to deliver great results.
What I love most is Steve's explanation that we have all naturally managed to be good leaders in things we love - it's about understanding why we delivered and using that to be at your best more of the time.

This is a book I feel I will keep referring to over the years as I develop my leadership muscles - I highly recommend it to all.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A simple approach and a practical toolkit, 2 Mar. 2011
I agree with many of the previous comments, it is the simplicty of this approach that makes it so effective. Coupled with the focus on behaviours and values, which makes you seriously question not just what you do as Leader but why? But it is more than just a Leadership ideology. It can be a practical tool that frames Leadership/mentoring/coaching opportunities. Using FED as a template for those 'big conversations' can deliver real development results. You can't help but think why wasn't I doing this anyway? But then I guess that's the beauty of the approach, as often the simplest ideas are the best.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leadership Plain and Simple has unlocked the leader in hundreds of people - Amazon can we have a 6th Star for this please?, 4 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Leadership: Plain and Simple (Financial Times Series) (Paperback)
This book is simply awesome 'plain and simple' suits my style. I've been a chartered management consultant for many years and come across some clever concepts and exercises, but nothing as powerful, engaging and effective as this. Steve has a very common sense way of articulating things and so his point lands first time.

There are practical exercises to compliment and engage your teams. These are super easy to deliver and extremely effective. I tried 'playing to win or just surviving' solo with a group of 50 delegates I'd never met during a post lunch traditionally low energy session. The group were alive exploring the emotions they experience and the impact that has on others around them. Do they 'shine a light' and motivate or 'cast a shadow' having a negative impact on those around them. Optimising the time we spend shining a light really resonated with the group. It was a light bulb moment. This is one example of how cool the book is and you need little experience to make Future Engage Deliver work with any team.

Such a good read it's always in my bag and a super tool thats unleashed many new leaders in the short time I've been using it. Can't recommend highly enough :)
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Leadership: Plain and Simple (Financial Times Series)
Leadership: Plain and Simple (Financial Times Series) by Steve Radcliffe (Paperback - 17 May 2012)
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