Writing from a business standpoint, I think it is worth pondering that a strategic leader is essentially the person who chalks out the direction of an organisation. The author of this book further stresses that an effective strategic leader is one who delivers the goods in terms of what an organisation naturally expects from its leadership in times of change.
That author is John Adair, whose writing on the subject of leadership I first came across in the summer 2005. Over five years hence and nearly three books of his later, I find this latest one from Adair to be just a brilliant. This title is fairly short if compared with the author's other works. At just under 120 pages, it is split into two parts with ten chapters in total. Content addresses planning and forecasting, building partnership, crystallising thoughts and turning them into workable ideas and above all give the enterprise at hand a true purpose and a corporate feel.
To assume that this book is meant only for SME owner/managers would be a fallacy as it dwells on strategic leadership, regardless of the scale of enterprise. While it tackles basics and does explain the generic role of a leader, I am glad the author has not written to many pages on it. Rather the narrative moves swiftly to the meatier aspects of strategic thinking - i.e. the seven generic functions that make up the role of a strategic leader - most notbaly giving direction, strategic planning and to simply put it in the author's words "making it happen."
Although my favourite book authored by Adair still remains a past work of his (How to Grow Leaders: The Seven Key Principles of Effective Leadership Development), overall his latest work is a thoroughly good read. Students of management studies as well real time managers would enjoy reading this book.
John Adair is a pivotal expert on "strategic leadership" - a term he says he introduced in the 1970s - and he has written some 50 books on the topic. Employing ancient Greek history as his touchstone, Adair presents invaluable information, sharp insights, wonderful quotes and fascinating anecdotes about the history and techniques of strategic leadership in this exceptionally literate treatise. Adair uses clear, simple sentences to get his points across, creating a blueprint to help anyone become an effective strategic leader. Unlike many authors, his efficient, authoritarian - but never hectoring - style conveys every point he makes about leadership. Just as he suggests, a good leader never draws attention to his or her leadership methods. Adair's elegant merging of form and function makes this a necessary and accessible textbook. getAbstract recommends this solid read to leaders interested in personal development, strategy and ancient history, and to those who simply love great quotes and aphorisms on leadership.