Top critical review
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Chapter 1 excellent new material - rest disappointing
on 16 August 2001
John Kotter is without a doubt the leading authority on leadership and change. Previous books written by Kotter are perceptive and thought provoking, and he remains my personal choice as the best author on change management. As a consultant working as a personal coach with leaders and top executives I welcomed the more in depth approach to the issue of leadership promised in this book and was not disappointed by chapter 1 where Kotter gives 10 key observations on leadership at the turn of the century.
His observations are accurate, insightful and absolutely key for leadership as it emerges into the 21st century from the traditional approach now rendered defunct by re-engineering; downsizing, and delayering; to the emergence of a new leadership 'substance' which does not depend upon power but upon networking and influence.
How disappointing therefore that the remainder of this book consists of reprints of Kotters old papers, ranging from 1977 - 1995 which many people will already be familiar with. Admittedly it does track his thought processes to the views expressed in chapter 1, but the feeling it leaves you with is 'money for old rope' rather than the anticipated, more in-depth exploration of the observations listed in chapter 1.
Come on Professor Kotter, you can do better than this; hence only two stars.