What we mean when we talk about leadership

by Des Dearlove Stuart Crainer
What we mean when we talk about leadership
Available as:
Pub Date: December 2015
Print ISBN: 9781908984517
Pages: 144

Business journalists Stuart Crainer and Des Dearlove have interviewed hundreds of leaders from all parts of the world during the last 25 years.  Some of these leaders are entrepreneurs just setting out on a commercial adventure.  Others are experienced C-suite veterans, leaders who had lived through the ups and downs of corporate life.  Still others are drawn from NGOs, charities and social enterprises.  They have grilled sports people, leaders from the medical profession, executive coaches, academic thought leaders and classrooms filled with ferociously bright and competitive MBA students all intent on becoming leaders, all to discover what we mean when we talk about leadership.

It’s clear from these scores of encounters, conversations and interviews that humility rather than heroism lies at the heart of really effective and inspiring leadership.  The best leaders are often brilliantly ordinary, while their results are defiantly extraordinary. Indeed there is often a reverse correlation between the willingness of people to talk about leadership and the greatness of their leadership.  The unquestionably great leaders tend to downplay the reality of their leadership. They get on with it, give credit to their colleagues and teams; and proceed with purpose.

This extraordinariness as well as the ordinariness is compellingly captured in What We Mean When We Talk About Leadership. Here you will discover :

  • How leaders build things;
  • The behaviours of great leaders;
  • How leaders thrive on ambiguity

and much, much more, including why great leaders wear cardigans.

What We Mean When We Talk About Leadership is a smorgasbord of leadership rather than neatly compartmentalized.  Crainer and Dearlove conclude that leaders defy overly neat categorization. What We Mean When We Talk About Leadership provides accessible, pithy inspiration for all those who practice and experience leadership – and, one way or another, this applies to nearly all of us.

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