LEADERSHIP, EH? by Murray Janewski

LEADERSHIP, EH?

KIRKUS REVIEW

A Canadian business consultant extols the many virtues of professional guidance and direction through the cultivation of strong leadership skills.

Picking up where his dad (“the greatest leader I have known”) left off, Janewski puts fictitious, coffee-loving “father-figure” “Ernie” to work dispensing beneficial instructions on developing a good business acumen and improving interpersonal relationships. Each chapter in Janewski’s humorous-yet-effective educational tutorial is basically a fanciful story with a moral pertaining to the ways and means of office guardianship. Along his travels, the author learns (and Ernie joyfully confirms) that truly effective leadership comes from within, that it can be situational or an innate, natural talent, and can often be confused with having a competitive edge, as in the sports arena. Janewski poses different life scenarios to Ernie and though his revelations and conclusions tend to be stock-standard, they are accessible and can also be understood and utilized by a wide-ranging audience. In response to the author complaining about employee efficiency in the workplace, Ernie advises that diminishing a workforce by 5 percent may spur remaining workers into increased action. Other concerns are quelled with clear-eyed, optimistic reasoning imparted in a sincere, sympathetic tone. Ernie cautions that employees’ learned fear of a boss’s reprisal can actually decrease productivity, but that hiring both competent and happy people will ensure a workforce sure to “follow the loyal actions you show”–although his blueprint for reducing office wastefulness (dubbed “lean thinking”) gets lost in translation. Through Ernie, Janewski imparts that true leaders have several key components in common. They expect nothing in return for their guidance, they develop their expertise from within, and all are solely focused on helping someone “become a better person or be more productive” rather than expecting something in return. The ultimate key to being a true leader, he remarks, is how leaders influence others.

A homespun guidebook filled with intelligent scenarios and utilitarian life lessons.

Pub Date: July 3rd, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-42518-739-2
Program: Kirkus Indie
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