(2004), "A Managers Guide to Leadership", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 53 No. 4. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijppm.2004.07953dae.002
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
A Managers Guide to Leadership
Mike Pedler, John Burgoyne and Tom BoydellMcGraw-HillISBN: 0077104234£19.99
My initial thoughts were that this is a strange concept for a book – after all, management and leadership are quite different! Then, when I started to read it, I realised that it isn’t a treatise on the concept of leadership but a self-help manual. Thus, the authors are concerned about leadership by “doing”. In fact, they claim that leadership is a “performance art” defined not by qualities of leadership but by behaviours.
They agree that management and leadership are different but overlapping concepts. They insist, however, that managers can act as – and therefore become – leaders.
They detail 21 challenges as vehicles for learning about leadership, since they argue that leadership is all about identifying and responding to challenge. These challenges are divided into “inner” and “outer” challenges – reflecting the challenges to change oneself and to change the organisation.
This use of the “challenge” seems a trifle contrived – certainly stretched too far. Of course, people do look to leaders in challenging times, but to extend the use of the term to all of these 21 seems a step too far.
However, though I have some doubts about some of the foundations on which this book is based, I still found it both interesting and useful. Many managers who aspire to greater things may find it the introduction to the personal and organisational issues they may face useful also.