Three management consultants take a fresh look at business leadership in a work that will enlighten and inspire.
These three debut authors have crafted an impressive book, one that is highly readable, instructional and humanistic in its approach to leadership. The title is derived from a client comment that the authors’ company “pushed each of us to hang a mirror and really take a look at what we saw.” The premise that leaders need to be “reflective” to be effective is played out in finely tuned, well-organized chapters that move through topics including motivation, vision, recognition, involvement and communication. The authors’ keen insights, enhanced by liberal use of authoritative sources, pervade each chapter, offering leaders much to ponder. The authors ask provocative questions—“To what extent do leaders use their authority for employees or on them?”—and raise deep issues: e.g., “Only when self-reflection incorporates the views and perceptions of others, only when we reach beyond our own beliefs and expectations, can it be said that we have truly hung the mirror” and “The hard reality is that many of us do not really value the thinking of others and do not believe that it can improve our own.” Wisely, the authors devote the majority of the book to self-reflection, guiding readers with relevant examples, sound counsel and end-of-chapter questions. Still, the authors broaden their concept to demonstrate how a reflective leader can help create a reflective organization. They concentrate on the leader’s responsibility to build organizational unity by “defining the culture to which they aspire” and by paying attention “not only to their own effectiveness, but also to the effectiveness of each leader within their scope of authority.” The authors come full circle in the final chapter, “Living the Reflective Life,” in which they describe some of the key characteristics inherent in living a reflective life: “Only through reflection do we become everything we could be.”
Deftly written and researched, perceptive and relevant; an important addition to leadership literature.
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)