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Customer Review

on 28 October 2011
Jo Owen has produced a readable book full of examples and humour. Short case studies are taken from sports, business, and the public sector. Because it is so comprehensive, it is best approached by reading and digesting in bite-sized chunks. As someone with an interest in coaching, I really appreciated what he had to say about coaching. We tend to over-focus on the immediate challenges. His section on giving employees or colleagues feedback is also spot on. We all avoid negative stuff for reasons that I think psychologists would all cognitive dissonance.

One failing of this book is that because it aims to be as relevant to those beginning their management journey as in mid-career, you should have picked up some of his tips yourself by your second year in, or first yearif you're intuitive. Should you reach the exalted position of say, CEO, you may discover that you are not the leader. But with the help of the chapter on Mastering Leadership you may be able to remedy the situation. However not even Jo Owen has advice for what he calls the "essential art" of managing the expectations of your Board and investors, preferably at the same time.

In How To Lead, Jo Owen omits so much as a glance at opposing views and it would have been valuable to see some debate if only to enable the reader to judge for themselves whether to adopt the behaviour and practice being advocated. However you will certainly smile as you recognize the scenarios he describes and the leadership antics that are being repeated in a thousand organisations every where, every day.
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