Book Report Table of Contents Introduction 2 Selection of the Topic 2 Selection of the Book 3 Summary 4 Primary View 4 Identification of Two Words 5 Linkage 6 Take Away 6 Meeting with the Author 7 Conclusion 9 Reference 10 Bibliography 11 Introduction ‘The Practice of Leadership: Developing the Next Generation of Leaders’ authored by Jay A Conger and Ronald E Riggio has been an immensely successful book in the domain of management with special emphasis on the function of leadership. The book, published from John Willey and Sons in the year of 2007, has considerable influence upon my understanding of the subject. This report deals with the various facets of the book. Selection of the Topic ‘Leadership’ is one of such topics that attract me because of its special attributes.
To become a successful manager, one needs to be a good leader. It is my desirousness that I would be a successful manager and can train the subordinates as they also can become successful in their fields and ultimately can successfully achieve the organisational targets and goals. It demands to build a leadership quality in me. I understand that the quality of leadership can not be built up externally as it is an in-born quality but with the changing global scenario one must keep himself updated and should learn the latest techniques which can sharpen the leadership qualities.
Self- assessment is the best technique to take decision on any issues related with oneself and I also followed the same. On doing so, I found that I have an inherent quality to organise a group, understand the requirements of the group members and solve their problems. I have identified this quality while work as a team leader in different projects. Therefore, in order to update myself and to become more effective in this respect, I had chosen this interesting topic of leadership. Selection of the Book Being a student and not an expert in the corporate world, I was searching for such a book which would be easy to understand and from where practical experiences can be drawn.
Standing at the edge of the corporate world, these practical experiences will help me to understand the requirement of the industry. ‘The Practice of Leadership: Developing the Next Generation of Leaders’ by Jay A Conger and Ronald E Riggio resolves all my queries and fulfils the requirements.
After searching few other books, I had found “The Practice of Leadership” to suit best for accumulating the ideas and practices of leadership from the experts of this field. The entire book had been written in much organised way and an easy format. I would like to share the names of few other books such as “Leadership Power Plays” and “Leadership without Easy Answers” as I considered these books too for the purpose of selection. But I found that both these books were unable to cover the every small issue of leadership development that the selected book has done with practical exposures.
Another most important issue of choosing this book has been that apart from describing the traditional factors of leadership such as task, capabilities of leader, the authors also provided great emphasise to describe the requirements of leadership as the unique demand of the present world. Summary This book has been organised in four parts. The four parts include leadership development and selection, task and capabilities of leaders, leadership of organisation and leadership requirement of the unique demands of today’s world.
The book shows that all the leaders can not be equally effective and they would not possess similar skills. It indicates that leadership is the process of determining one’s hidden talent and utilise it to face the organisational challenges. According to the authors, the focus of the organisation should be on the core competence rather than various competencies and should try to build up the leaders who will able to meet the strategic challenges and the process is expected to produce the future leaders too. Primary View According to me, the book is not directly about the planning, organising, staffing, coordinating, motivating, leading, or controlling but in few of the areas, the book provides emphasis on the selection of the leaders which can be linked with the staffing.
Even developing the leadership skill also requires proper planning. The portion of the task of the leader can also be summarised as organising a group and then motivating them to reach at their goal along with co-ordinating and controlling the subordinates through out the process. Therefore, it can be said that the book indirectly and secondarily focuses on these factors but not in very specific sense.
Identification of Two Words One of the two words is that of ‘Affirmative Action’. It refers to a hiring policy. It required analysing the entire workforce with respect to the protected classes. This protected class can be the minorities also. This action indicates the preferred treatment to these classes through removing the discriminatory employment practice (Infinity Internet. No Date). The sentence can be as follows: ‘Every organisation should implement affirmative action to fulfil the commitment towards the internal customer as well as the community also’.
Another word is ‘Tapestry’. The word implies an outward appearance of textile art, woven on a vertical appearance. The sentences using this word can be the following: “In earlier days, kings use to send the tapestries by rolling it up to their intimate ones’ ”. Linkage In the book, ‘The Practice of Leadership: Developing the Next Generation of Leaders’, one human resource tool had been described to analyse the selection of the leaders namely the ‘360 Degree Feed Back Process’.
It is also used for performance appraisal. 360 Degree Feedback Process means the feedback for selecting leaders should be taken from each and every stakeholders of the company irrespective of upward or down word communication. This tool is very effective in this manner as the leader should be the one who will be accepted by all the subordinates and the employers. This topic is also discussed in the class room even various journals on this topic has also been referred. Take Away The three most prominent ‘take-aways’ from ‘The Practice of Leadership: Developing the Next Generation of Leaders’ by Conger and Riggio have been the following: Take Away I: I believed that leaders are inborn and not much formal guidance is needed to sharpen their skills but after reading the book, I recognised that there is a need of leadership development.
In born qualities are not enough for it. The corporate leaders or the executives need to change their self according to the changing environment to meet the strategic challenge. Take Away II: I never know that a leader could be selected through the 360 Degree Feed Back Process.
I had a perception that leaders always come to frontline by exhibiting their leadership quality in their day-to-day activities and get recognised accordingly. The concept of taking feedback through the questionnaires completely changed my notion in this regard. Take Away III: I did not possess any idea regarding the partnership of coaching and the ‘Go It Alone’ process. The book helped me to understand that the executive, the organisation and the coach are three partners and all of them are responsible for the improvements of the executives and that of the entire organisation.
Meeting with the Author The authors stated that any organisation should focus on the core competency and should strive to produce leaders to meet the strategic challenges. I could not totally agree with the authors in this regard. I presume the leadership development process should focus more on selecting the best person at the beginning of the process as they can focus on producing the future leaders among the subordinates and provide them training to identify the strategic challenges and take preventive actions against all shortcomings.
If I could meet the authors personally, I would have surely sought their clarification in this regard. Conclusion Despite the above mentioned dis-agreement with the authors, it should be acknowledged that the book ‘The Practice of Leadership: Developing the Next Generation of Leaders’ has been a great help for me to understand the various domains and segments of leadership and I am sure it would help me in my corporate exposure by considerable extent. Reference Infinity Internet. No Date. Affirmative Action. Glossary of Leadership Definitions.
[Online] Available at: http: //www. nwlink. com/~donclark/leader/leaddef. html [Accessed June 29, 2010]. Bibliography Conger, J. A. & Riggio, R. E. The Practice of Leadership: Developing the Next Generation of Leaders. John Wiley and Sons, 2007..