In the book Rebooting Leadership Practical Lessons for Frontline Leaders (and their Bosses) in the New World, authors Meredith Kimbell, Richard Hadden and Bill Catlette deliver a compelling, useful guide for frontline managers. After circulating the book among the team at Halogen, we collaborated on a synopsis to share with our readers.
First Some Background
Halogen had the pleasure of hosting Richard Hadden as our keynote speaker at our 2009 Annual User Conference. Richard and Bill are the principals at Contented Cow Partners and the authors of several popular management books.
We asked Richard to speak at our conference because of his compelling message that links human capital to business results. His speech was incredibly well received, and our marketing team was really happy when we received a copy of Richard's latest book earlier this year.
‘Control+Alt+Delete' Your Leadership Style
In Rebooting Leadership the authors combine their knowledge and wisdom to create an easy read that delivers simple advice for frontline leaders to succeed and flourish in today's operating environment.
Most of us who have spent a little too much time with a computer are familiar with the sometimes frustrating, but necessary process of rebooting the computer to get it working optimally again. In a changing business world where pressure and expectations are great and resources and time are not, being an effective leader is crucial. And sometimes, being an effective leaders requires you to ‘reboot' your leadership style.
In the words of the authors, we are now living in a world where,
folks are wrapped way too tight, trust is at its nadir, the deal in the workplace has been turned on its head, and speed is the key differentiator.
The authors cover everything from the roots of business leadership, to discussing economic and social changes that have occurred over the years and the impact these changes have on what it means to be an effective leader. They stress the importance of going back to the fundamentals of leadership and how managers - especially frontline managers - must understand and adopt them in order to effectively deal with these new realities.
Each chapter centers on a leadership strategy placed in the context of everyday business scenarios making the advice easy to follow an applicable to a wide range of leadership styles.
- It's A New World - Takes a look into the history of leadership, how it has evolved over time and how it must be practiced going forward.
- Bone Honest - Explains why frontline leaders have an obligation to be truthful to themselves, their employees and to the organization when it comes to effective business management.
- Rebuilding Trust - Demonstrates that trust is the key to unlocking the highest levels of innovation and performance in your employees.
- Riding the Waves - Provides the tools necessary for leaders to identify opportunities, achieve success and overcome setbacks.
- Getting Sticky - Gives insight into how leaders can motivate employees by creating a common vision and purpose for the organization to get buy-in that ‘sticks'.
- You Get Paid to Think! - Stresses the importance of thinking every decision through carefully before putting it into action.
- Friending: Building and Sustaining Vital Networks - Explores how to build, sustain and maintain strong working relationships with peers, employees and others by actively providing meaningful value to each.
- Failing - Puts failure into context, and suggests while facing them is inevitable, how leaders address and learn from them is key.
- Influencing in a Sound Bite World - Explains that as the world becomes increasingly complex, it is important that leaders listen and respond to others effectively.
- Pressing the Button - A final reminder that effective leadership is vital to long-term organizational success and that leaders must be ready to ‘reboot' if necessary, in order to meet the demands of today's fast-evolving work environments.
After having read this book, it is clear to me that a critical element to being an effective leader is the ability to evaluate your surroundings, identify what is and isn't working and then take the necessary steps to adapt your business strategy and leadership approach.
Rebooting Leadership revitalizes some fundamental management messages - namely that leaders need to be able to inspire others to follow. Sounds simple, right? But to inspire that kind of loyalty, leaders need to listen, understand, and respond to others effectively.
I would highly recommend this book for new and seasoned managers as a reminder that we're operating in a new business environment, where ‘rebooting' our leadership style might be the best way to fix what hasn't been working.