Imagine my excitement: today I get to tell you all about a great new book on the subject of leadership.
Wait – before you say you’ve read a couple of those and they were completely useless – let me tell you why you may want to read this book.
First, the authors are amazing people. Kevin Eikenberry doesn’t just write about leadership, he is a leader. What he writes comes from experience and from the heart.
At TalentCulture we love leaders who lead from the heart. We’ve written about how many employers are stuck in a crisis – they have lost the ability to be leaders. At a time when the economy seems to be loosening up a bit and employees are reconsidering their options, managers are incredibly ‘tone-deaf when it comes to what they are saying to employees’, as I wrote back in November for the Lead Change Community. I think the core of the problem is a lack of emotional intelligence in leadership – what author Daniel Goleman calls the ability “to manage ourselves and our relationships effectively.”
Leadership styles vary, of course, and they should. Otherwise, this would be a very boring predicament and make for a dull workplace culture for certain. There’s also little out there to help a person make the transition from employee to leader, which is why Kevin and Guy’s book is so timely.
Kevin’s co-author, Guy Harris, is also his business partner. A trainer and coach, Guy blogs at The Recovering Engineer about workplace engagement, personal empowerment and other leadership themes. What a team!
Now to the book.From Bud to Boss (published by Wiley imprint Jossey-Bass) is Kevin’s new book and his first with co-author Harris. Not every leadership book states as an article of faith that all workplace leaders have within them the power to be remarkable. Of course my cynicism sets in here – it’s the leadership book equivalent of telling a child ‘good job’ just because he or she washed his or her hands. By proposing the idea that each of us can become a remarkable leader, Kevin and Guy take a risk – after all, how many extraordinary people have you met?
It turns out the extraordinary is within reach, if only we are willing to work hard to be that person. It takes work and focused energy to make this happen on any consistent basis.
In this book – Kevin and Guy explore the transitions new leaders must make to fully realize and inhabit the role of ‘leader’. Plenty of business leadership books suggest that you can become a leader overnight. Kevin and Guy, having coached plenty of new leaders, know the transformation requires effort, commitment and a range of fresh skills and behaviors.
In the book Kevin and Guy review those skills and behaviors. They address subjects such as managing change, learning effective communication and coaching skills, and mastering collaboration and conflict resolution. They do it in a friendly, humorous voice. The book is structured in an easy-to-read format, and it’s packed with anecdotes, checklists and bonus tools.
I would add learning to trust to the leadership toolbox. Trust is a component of emotional intelligence for sure. Trust also has transactional aspects, as I’ve written, but in the workplace it should be a condition of employment, which means leaders must make a study of trust: telling the truth, being clear and honest, reducing the unknown to the knowable for employees.
New managers or those pursuing the path to leadership may just benefit from From Bud to Boss. It’s on sale now. Then log in to the Bud-to-Boss community (which is home to loads of cool bonus content).
So do what I did – read the book, go to the online community, and please let us know what you think. We’re really excited here at TalentCulture – a new book, fresh insights, deep thinking on leadership issues. We hope you are too. Cheers.