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The Tests of a Leader.

The Tests of a Leader, Book, 2007, Harvard Business School publishing, $16.95.

What misconceptions hobble the leadership of many new managers--and, just as important, how can they be avoided? How can a leader develop a strategic network as opposed to a personal network? How do skilled leaders bounce back from disaster?

This Harvard Business Review special issue gives practical answers to these and other crucial issues concerning leadership. I want to emphasize "practical." This isn't a collection of long articles that present research results and make a parting gesture toward practice.

It is well suited for corporate training. It's also not ephemera that will be outdated soon. The content has staying power.

The articles define problems of leadership, but they also offer ways to solve them. For anyone involved in workplace learning, any number of pieces in the special issue could be the basis for an addition to existing leadership education, a free-standing activity, or simply the circulation of the article. (All the articles are available as separate reprints.)

I would start with Linda Hill's "Becoming the Boss." She has been studying the transition to management for 15 years and has uncovered misconceptions that new managers and leaders often have about how they are supposed to behave.

For example, many novice new managers believe their power is inherent in the position they hold. In fact, they have to earn authority with the people they manage and lead. The content is invaluable for helping beginning managers avoid key mistakes--and, more important, learn how to behave as a competent manager.

The issue has two classic articles, "Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail" by John Kotter and "When a New Manager Takes Charge" by John Gabarro.

You can read the issue online (requires subscription) or in print. The HBR website supplements the special issue with more resources.


Whether you buy "The Tests of a Leader" at the newsstand or read it on the Harvard Business Review website, the articles in it can change the way you prepare leaders in your organization.

Review by Bill Ellet
Product Ratings

The Tests of a Leader

Value of Content ****
Instructional Value *** 1/2
Value for the money *** 1/2
Overall rating *** 1/2
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Copyright 2007, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Author:Ellet, Bill
Publication:Training Media Review
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jan 1, 2007
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