Seven Disciplines of a Leader: A book review Bob Morris

Posted on: February 17th, 2015 by bobmorris

Seven DisciplinesSeven Disciplines of a Leader: How to Help Your People, Team, and Organization Achieve Maximum Effectiveness
Jeff Wolf with Ken Shelton
John Wiley & Sons (2015)

How and why some leaders have high-impact and so many others don’t

Another book on leadership? The last time I checked, Amazon offers 133, 833 titles in the general category of “leadership” and 55, 596 titles in “business leadership.” So, why another book? I suggest two reasons: First, as in residential real estate where for every home there’s a buyer, in publishing, for every book on leadership there’s a reader. Also, each generation develops its own perspectives on business subjects such as leadership, management, strategy, innovation, marketing, and decision-making. The best of the business books (e.g. Warren Bennis’s On Becoming a Leader published in 1989) remain relevant to each generation but they are few in number. Each generation faces its own unique challenges and leaders require material that will help them become much more effective. That is why Jeff Wolf wrote this book, with Ken Shelton’s assistance. His focus is on how leaders can help their colleagues, team, and organization achieve maximum effectiveness, at all levels and in all areas of the given enterprise.

These are among the dozens of passages of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to suggest the scope of Wolf’s coverage:

o Leading in Uncertain Times (Pages 10-12)
o Five Fundamental Goals of Highly Effective Leaders (14-16)
o Highly Effective Leaders Build on a Foundation of Honesty and Integrity (28-31)
o Seven Deadly Leadership Sins (31-32)
o Three Disciplines of Highly Effective Leaders
o Seize the Reins and Set an Example for Others (47-48)
o Five Useful Skills (62-64)
o Positively Negative (70-72)
o Priorities, Planning, and Execution (78-82)
o The 10 Ways to Sabotage Yourself and Your Company (89-90)
o Do What You Love, Love What You Do (113-115)
o Lessons from Industry Leaders (119-12w1)
o Take Three Key Steps (137-138)
o Eight Hiring Guidelines (143-145)
o Effective Leadership Development (156-161)
o Six Essential Leadership Responsibilities That Build Effective Teams (202-207)
o Six Learning Disabilities (210-211)
o Four Disciplines to Get Healthy (213-214)
o Customer Intimacy (221-222)
o Retaining High Potential Employees (241-243)
o Four Phases of Change (250-251)
o Resisting Change (251-254)
o Basi9c Leadership Techniques (267-269)

The seven disciplines that Wolf proposes could just as well have been five, nine, or a dozen. Whatever the number, such disciplines are the “what” of leadership. The great value of this book is found in his explanation of the “how” and “why.” In my opinion, the information, insights, and counsel he provides can be of incalculable value to middle managers who aspire to become leaders. Also, to those now preparing for a career in business or who have only recently embarked on one. There is another constituency to which I also highly recommend this book: Owner/CEOs of small to midsize, privately-owned companies who are eager to strengthen their skills in one or more of the areas that Wolf explores. There are no head-snapping revelations in this book, nor does Wolfe make any such claim.

To those who share my high regard for this book and are in need of additional resources, I suggest two books: Guy Kawasaki’s Reality Check: The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition and Beyond Performance Management: Why, When, and How to Use 40 Tools and Best Practices for Superior Business Performance, co-authored by Jeremy Hope and Steve Player.

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One Response

  1. […] “The great value of this book is found in his explanation of the “how” and “why.” In my opinion, the information, insights, and counsel he provides can be of incalculable value to middle managers who aspire to become leaders. Also, to those now preparing for a career in business or who have only recently embarked on one. There is another constituency to which I also highly recommend this book: Owner/CEOs of small to midsize, privately-owned companies who are eager to strengthen their skills in one or more of the areas that Wolf explores.” – Blogging on Business […]

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