An author and associate professor provides an in-depth breakdown and study of executive-level leadership in the business world.
White (Leadership and Professional Development, 2012) opens her work with a simple question: why another business leadership tome to add to the towering pile already in print? And her answer is astonishing: “There is not a book that blends into one whole the what, when, how, and why of leadership and professional development for emerging leaders and shares the secrets of executive-level leadership.” There are literally thousands—perhaps tens of thousands—of volumes that do exactly this, and since White must know that, readers must search elsewhere for justification for the guide’s existence. They won’t have to look far: White is a very open and engaging writer, and she presents readers her concept of “motiva-cation”—a blend of motivation and education—as a series of elaborations on the system she has devised, the Johnson White Leadership Model. The JWLM is organized around three “modules”: Focus, Action, and Great Leadership. White—who worked at IBM in marketing, sales, and training—moves straight to the details of each one and how they interrelate. In this scheme, Focus examines the inner person and the ability to sell oneself; Action addresses interpersonal elements such as character and self-expression; and Great Leadership brings together these threads and directs them outward, concentrating on team building and thinking on the organizational level. White walks her readers through all of these larger categories and refreshingly grounds them in both a wide array of business writings by contemporary authors (and not so current: the great Dale Carnegie gets his due) and some very nuts-and-bolts analysis of modern corporate culture—differentiating, for instance, among sponsors, mentors, coaches, advisers, and role models. The author rounds everything off with a very approachable personal tone. White, a business instructor at Morehouse College in Atlanta, mentions early on that the book is suitable for seminar and academic use, and its complexity bears this out. Business students should find a great deal to interest and challenge them in these pages.
A searching and cleareyed leadership blueprint for the 21st century.