Unprecedented leadership: learning to lead in turbulent times

Emre Samli (University of Dundee, Scotland, UK)

Strategy & Leadership

ISSN: 1087-8572

Article publication date: 19 April 2024

Issue publication date: 19 April 2024



Samli, E. (2024), "Unprecedented leadership: learning to lead in turbulent times", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 52 No. 1, pp. 39-39. https://doi.org/10.1108/SL-01-2024-264



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

The development of effective leadership is an ongoing process, as the environment in which leaders lead is in continual flex and challenges existing orthodoxies, assumptions, and belief systems. This book, which starts with this argument, explains how leaders must learn to adapt and respond to crises in the face of uncertainty, as crises and significant change are the primary tests for any leader. This is why the first chapter of this book is “Unprecedented Times: Why a New Kind of Leadership Is Needed”.

The intention of this book has been argued, “An essential intention of this book is to explore the interrelationship between self, team, and organisation. This is a complex, often delicate dynamic in which the capable leader is a facilitator, aligning team performance with organisational needs. Getting the best out of the team begins with the self and one’s own behaviour.” This is because being a team is more than the combined qualities of the individual members.

Even though authors accept the fact that leadership is not “one fits all”, common elements must be acknowledged, such as setting objectives, motivating, communicating, and so on. But most importantly, delegating, as this refers to a “sense of achievement” for all members.

This book consists of three major chapters. The first chapter presents and identifies crises when leadership becomes critical. It also discusses the importance of decision making because leaders are remembered based on their decisions during crises. The second chapter is about leading change during unprecedented times. This is a key factor because change initiatives have predominantly failed. The final chapter is about communication skills. As claimed, it plays a critical role in reducing anxiety and creating direction in periods of uncertainty.

Therefore, I confidently recommend this book. Its core message is crystal clear: Forget weathering the storm – exceptional leaders learn to dance in the rain. This bold philosophy translates into actionable guidance, showing readers how to seize opportunity amidst crisis, reimagine their business, and unlock unprecedented growth. More than just presenting insightful case studies and personal reflections, this book helps readers understand the true essence of effective leadership.


Colley, J. and Spyridonidis, D. (2022), Unprecedented Leadership: Learning to Lead in Turbulent Times, Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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