MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Twelve Qualities That Make You a Leader by Sheila Murray Bethel

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Twelve Qualities That Make You a Leader

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Pep-talk pap from an overly earnest didact whom the publisher's promotion material describes as a ""motivational speaker."" By the numbers, Bethel identifies a dozen common denominators that, she asserts, characterize leaders in business, community affairs, government, or any other walk of life, In her book, initiative takers are ultra-ethical, sensitive, decisive, willing to take risks, courageous, committed, and able to communicate effectively; they also have missions that matter, think big, understand change, use power wisely, and ""maximize people potential"" via team-building Conspicuous by its absence is any mention of a sense of humor. Bethel's profession goes a long way toward explaining the text's weakness as to content: anecdotal fragments that may sound fine from the lecturn lose much of their impact on a printed page. Inconclusive cases in point range from the short-take tale of a black woman bishop (in the United Methodist Church) through the antic notion that sports heroes like Ty Cobb, Joe Louis, and Babe Ruth were worthier role models than their latter-day counterparts. Equally irritating is Bethel's penchant for interjecting basal reviews, e.g., ""Make a statement you believe to be true about each of the following areas of your life. . ."" Muzzy inspirational fare that (to mangle Fielding) sketches differences without distinction. Those seeking substantive reflections on stewardship's demands should check John W. Gardner's On Leadership (p. 1509).

Pub Date: Jan. 16th, 1989