The Connected Leader: A book review by Bob Morris

Connected LeaderThe Connected Leader: Creating Agile Organizations for People Performance and Profit
Emmanuel Gobillot
KoganPage (2006)

How and why, without agile and resilient leadership, no organization can thrive or even survive in today’s global marketplace

Emmanuel Gobillot invites his readers to accompany him on a “journey” to explore six separate but related leadership propositions that he identifies in the Introduction (please see Page 5). They are best revealed within the context he creates for each. He asserts that a formal” organization is one designed with structures and processes that focus (almost entirely) on task completion. It is always slow to respond to unplanned context change. “There is however another way to look at an organization. The `real’ organization is made up of the networks of relationships people have within (and outside) the `formal’ organization. As a network, this `real’ organization is robust and flexible. To be a great leader is not to be able to lead the `formal’ organization but rather to channel the vitality of the `real’ [i.e. extended] organization towards the delivery of the `formal’ organization’s objectives. It is this ability that I call `connected leadership.'”

These are among the dozens of passages of greatest interest and value to me (in Parts One and Two), also listed to suggest the scope of Gobillot’s coverage:

o The Connected Leadership Concept (Pages 5-6)
o What Drives Engagement and Why Does It Matter? (14-17)
o What Are the New Rules of Engagement? (20-26)
o How Do Organizations and Individuals Become Disconnected (32-43)
o What Does an Organization Designed for Engagement Look Like? (43-48)
o How Ready Are You for the People Economy? Diagnostic Tool #1 (53-55)
o Is Your Organization a Real Community? (56-59)
o What Do Leaders Do? (64-69)
o What Impact Do Leaders Create? (69-77
o How Do Leaders Achieve High Performance in the People Economy? (82-96)
o Measuring Leadership Impact — The Impact Quotient: Diagnostic Tool #2 (99-104)
o What Kind of Leader Are You? An Assessment (104-107)

I commend Gobillot on his skillful use of reader-friendly devices (in Chapters 1-7) that include more than a dozen Figures (e.g. 6.2, “The meaning positioning system, Page 136) and Tables (e.g. 1.1, “Value creation in the three economies”: Consumption, Experience, and People, Page 27); also a boxed section, “The questions this chapter will answer” and “The 30-Second Recap” and “The Leadership Takeaway” sections in each chapter that focus on the key points and issues to consider. These devices facilitate, indeed expedite frequent review of especially important material later. That is, material that is most relevant to a reader’s given needs, interests, and objectives. Readers will also appreciate several assessment exercises that are inserted strategically throughout the narrative.

All organizations need effective leadership at all levels and in all areas of the given enterprise. Moreover, there should be direct and active connections between and among those who provide this leadership and, presumably, are also helping to develop the leadership capabilities of their direct reports and other associates. In my opinion, the abundance of information, insights, counsel, and diagnostics that Emmanuel Gobillot provides in this volume will be of incalculable value to those preparing to increase their organization’s agility. The healthiest organizations are agile organizations. Only then can they expedite the personal growth and professional development of everyone involved.

There are hundreds of books that I could recommend after you read The Connected Leaderr. Here is one that seems especially appropriate: Michael O’Malley’s The Wisdom of Bees: What the Hive Can Teach Business about Leadership, Efficiency, and Growth, published by Portfolio/Penguin.

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1 Comment

  1. Emmanuel Gobillot on April 6, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    wow. Thank you so much for such a thorough and informative review (v useful observations on format as I start work on anew book). Thank you so much for reading the book and taking the time to review it.

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