Another question Kogan Page asked us in our interview with them was: how is our 5-S Framework different from any other leadership theory or model?
Whilst techniques, tools and theories can be useful in leadership development, if we lean on them too much they can end up being counter-productive.
What organizations really need are leaders who can help them gain advantage by thinking differently.
So the 5-S Framework is designed to support this with 5 key leadership themes: seeing; showing; shaping; serving; and sharing.
But this book is not just about leadership, it’s about uncommon leadership. So each theme also relates to an uncommon insight:
What makes this book different from the many other books on leadership? This second question in our recent interview with Kogan Page made us think about both the obvious and the uncommon aspects of the book.
The most obvious answer is that the book is structured around our own framework which addresses 5 relatively common leadership themes. But what’s really distinctive is that each of these explores an uncommon insight, designed to help leaders think differently, and to help them build a competitive advantage.
Although perhaps the real question should be: did managers and leaders find the book different and if so, how? Well, in time-honoured fashion we’ve tested it on a few managers before committing it to print, and here’s a summary of some of their feedback:
- The cases and examples were singled out as especially helpful.
- The balance of scholarship and a practical toolkit has worked for readers so far.
- A Harvard academic described the book as ‘a tour de force of the experiences and lessons learned from seasoned, successful leaders all integrated into a fascinating intellectual package’. (We’re proud of this one!)
- One manager even said she couldn’t put it down … (we’re even prouder of this!)
So we think the book has much about it that is different from other books. Although we’d love to hear what our other readers thnk!
What first prompted us to write Uncommon Leadership? This is the first question we were asked in a recent interview with our publishers Kogan Page.
Two things – firstly, an insight from Charles Handy that made us change the way we ran our workshop sessions. We were both very taken by his distinction of what separated thought-leaders from the rest. Thought-leaders, according to Handy, are special because they find the sense before it becomes common sense.
Then secondly, as we ran these workshops differently, we found they really struck a chord. Which prompted us to think that such an approach might be helpful for a wider audience. We discovered that using uncommon ideas about leadership prompted what our delegates called ‘radical thinking’. It also left them feeling ‘keen to put into practice’ what they’d found through this thinking.
But in listening to how they coped, adapted and succeeded, often in very difficult situations, one thing stood out. Leadership may be important and rewarding, but it’s also hard work.
We were impressed with the way delegates responded to our approach, which prompted us to ask ourselves a question. How could we use our approach, encouraging uncommon ideas about leadership, to help other managers and leaders? And the result is this book!