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Another brilliant book by John Adair
on 31 July 2005
Today's fiercely competitive business environment demands that professionals step-up and be counted if their company is to discover a recipe for success. Leadership qualities in professionals at all levels of the management hierarchy play a key role in business success. In this day and age when mediocre team management is a not an option comes the book How To Grow Leaders; another masterstroke by John Adair, the author of the best-selling classic - Not Bosses But Leaders.
Adair who transformed the understanding of how leadership works with his pioneering concepts and thoughts in Not Bosses But Leaders, marks a return with his latest work which explores exactly what we know about leadership and leadership development. Adair fittingly infers that the secret of business success is excellence of leadership at all three levels - strategic, operational and team, a nomenclature that is now beginning to catch on, much of the credit for which goes to him.
Adair has divided How To Grow Leaders into two parts, namely - 'Exploring leadership: A personal odyssey' and 'How to grow leaders: the seven principles'. In the first part of the book, he invites the reader to join him on a journey of discovery about the nature of leadership and how it can be taught. By the end of the first part one gets a unique insight into the heart of leadership following, in Adair's own words, 'three uphill paths - the Qualities approach (what a leader has to be), the Situational approach (what a leader has to know), and the Group or functional approach (what a leader has to do).' All of the three paths, according to the author must be thought of as whole, for when put together they constitute nothing less than the generic role of a leader.
In the latter part of the book Adair moves on to identifying the seven key principles of leadership development and answers vital questions on how to select, train and educate leaders at team, operational and strategic levels. Topics variously discussed in this book include: the manager as a leader, how people become leaders, training team leaders, how to manage leadership training, and learning to be a top strategic leader. The entire narrative is packed with motivational quotes from some of the greatest thinkers, innovators and leaders of our times.
This thought provoking and highly readable book underpins Adair's position as a world-renowned authority on the subject of leadership. How To Grow Leaders helps readers discover skills in themselves and those around them. The book does not harbour any pretences of transforming the reader, rather it makes one pause, think and appreciate the value of leadership skills and helps one to attempt to imbue certain qualities which are considered a prerequisite for succeeding.
The narrative is simple and the message is clear and concise; something which cannot be attributed to many of the myriad so-called leadership development programmes. Adair's book sets the record straight on readership development. It is one motivational course readers can undergo from the comfort of their own armchair provided the author's thoughts are read and appreciated fully. Absorbing as the book is, it would be hard not to.