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Excellent book, but...
on 26 November 2011
John Adair knows his stuff and is always worth reading when he writes about leadership. He has a grasp of the subject and its subtleties that few can match.
However... there is a "but". His other writings (e.g. Not Bosses But Leaders) reveal his more nuanced view of leadership, but he hasn't updated his basic three circles model since the 1980s. Meanwhile the importance of authentic leadership has grown and the search for a more psychological model to support a leader's character development has become more urgent. This is where this fine book is showing its age in my view.
Where can you find something that builds on but goes further than Adair's thinking? You could try a newer book like James Scouller's "The Three Levels of Leadership". He accepts Adair's three elements of Task + Group + Individual but adds a fourth (Motivating Purpose) to give equal weighting to vision. More important, his model tackles the psychological aspect of leadership full on in a clear, practical way.
Do I recommend you buy this book? Yes, definitely. All I'm saying is that time has marched on and John Adair's thinking has, in my view, got to be partnered up with more recent writings to gain a fuller view of leadership.