I'm participating in leadership discussions at my library. We're starting with discussions about our mission and will delve into different articles and books on leadership. One I've recently read and found wonderfully simple, yet very much on target is Monday Morning Leadershipby David Cottrell. It's a quick read and really gives some food for thought.
I recently took a 2 day leadership course facilitated by Lou Weatherbee. I learned about the five leadership practices written in the Kouzes and Posner book titled "The Leadership Challenge". The practices are 1) Model the Way, 2) Inspire a Shared Vision, 3) Challenge the Process, 4) Enable Others to Act, and 5) Encourage the Heart. The book is really good so I recommend reading it - although not so much a quick read!
I'm currently participating in the Sunshine State Library Leadership Institute, and our main text has been Kouzes and Posner's The Leadership Challenge. So, I'd second your recommendation, Diane. It's a really good book to start with if you want a general overview of Leadership and its challenges. The facilitator who is leading us through the book is Elizabeth Curry from Curry Consulting Services. I'd recommend her, too. She's excellent!
I'd also recommend the books Integrity by Henry Cloud and The Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey. They cover two key elements that are the foundation of Leadership: integrity and trust.
Cloud bases his book on the following abilities:
1) The ability to connect authentically (which leads to trust).
2) The ability to be oriented towards the truth (which leads to finding and operating in reality).
3) The ability to work in a way that gets results and finishes well (which leads to reaching goals, profits, or the mission).
4) The ability to embrace, engage, and deal with the negative (which leads to ending problems, resolving them, or transforming them).
5) The ability to be oriented towards growth (which leads to increase).
6) The ability to be transcendent (which leads to the enlargement of the bigger picture and oneself).
He also addresses the trail of good or bad results we leave behind us in our lives. He refers to this as our "wake". Very compelling stuff.
As for Covey's book, just to go to amazon.com and check out its table of contents. It reads like a checklist of how to establish and reestablish trust.
Note: I've edited my original post to more accurately reflect Cloud's list of 6 abilities. I had originally copied/pasted/altered a list from someone's review on amazon.com which, although it saved me time, was not as accurate as I had originally thought it to be. I realized my error after I had the opportunity to check my copy of the book. My apologies.
We also used Lou Wetherbee (note the spelling) for a 3-year project. I learned so much from her. She has a rudimentary website, and (by her own admission) is not a prolific writer. But many of her clients have put up websites that detail their work under her guidance. A Google search will reveal some of these.
For a while the University of Buffalo (NY) had a website showing the work they did with Lou from around 2001-2. Many of the links now seem to be outdated and broken, but a Google search will reveal some of the remaining documents.
One of my colleagues, Debbie Moss (Assistant Director at Orange County Library System), was recently honored by ULC with the Joey Rodger Leadership Award. With funding from the award, Debbie participated in the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard program "Driving Government Performance: Leadership Strategies that Produce Results." Debbie, already a strong and driven leader, came back energized by her stint at Hahhhhvard and by Bob Behn who led the program. Here is a link to Bob's "Public Management Report" that I've already found to be packed with great insight - hope others find it helpful as well: http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/thebehnreport/
Take a look at this interesting article from Harvard Business Online. It goes beyond the typical points, and argues that blogging is about managing one's professional reputation.
Tammy Erickson on Why You Need to Blog.
Our reputation will be proven over time by how we choose to position ourselves in relation to those two questions. (The philosophers have known this for millennia!) How we choose to act in relation to truth and goodness will affect our reputation far more than whether or not we blog.
What will we choose to do when we are confronted with the truth? Will we choose to move towards the truth? Will we choose to move away from it? This is the stuff that reputation is based on.
The wake that we leave behind us (a significant portion of our reputation!) may or may not include a blog. If it does, I hope that it matters enough to us that what we blog is both true and good.
I just bought a copy of What Type of Leader Are You? Using the Enneagram System to Identify and Grow Your Leadership Strengths and Achieve Maximum Success by Ginger Lapid-Bogda. And even though I’m still working my way through it, I wanted to make a recommendation for it. I found the third chapter, Strive for Self-Mastery, especially valuable. In it the author describes six components that are required for self-mastery: demonstrating a deep level of self-awareness; responding to feedback in meaningful ways; being self-responsible and self-motivating; demonstrating self-management and emotional maturity; possessing integrity that is aligned with your personal vision; and being committed to personality integration through lifelong learning. Wow! That sounds pretty close to the self-mastery mark to me.
In each chapter she covers a basic concept and then goes on to apply that particular idea to each one of the 9 different Enneagram personality types. Some of the other chapters focus on team leading, making decisions, change, and “Stretching Your Leadership Paradigms” (that one sounds really interesting to me). If you decide to read it, let us know what you think.
The author has also written Bringing Out the Best in Yourself at Work: Using the Enneagram System for Success. Its scope is slightly broader than the leadership book and includes chapters on communicating effectively, giving constructive feedback, managing conflict, etc. It’s worth reading as well.
Thanks Kevin for the suggestion. You should consider doing a workshop at Computers in Libraries in April of 08 in Arlington, Va. It would be helpful to a lot of librarians because there are not enough workshops at these annual conferences about leadership.
That’s a great idea, and I’d love to do it, Julia, but with a tax crisis looming in Florida, it wouldn’t be prudent for me to make plans to attend/participate. (Depending on how the people vote, we might find our travel budget drastically reduced.)
Thanks for the suggestion and the vote of confidence!