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Leadership Brand: Developing Customer-Focused Leaders to Drive Performance and Build Lasting Value

Leadership Brand: Developing Customer-Focused Leaders to Drive Performance and Build Lasting Value

by Frank Roche on February 20, 2008

in Books

Leadership BrandHere’s a refreshing take on leadership: It’s not about the superstar individual leader. Sure, they matter, but what Dave Ulrich and Norm Smallwood cover in Leadership Brand is a system of leadership. What they call the leadership brand.

First, leaders versus leadership. They’re not the same thing. Both matter. Focusing on the leader emphasizes the qualities of the individual and how he or she leads and engages. [SNIP] Focusing on leadership emphasizes the quality of leaders throughout an organization, not just an individual leader and the systems and processes that create those leaders.

The premise the book is that companies spend inordinate energy on developing leaders, when, in fact, they should spend more resources on developing leadership. It’s a matter of not training people to be individuals, but to have a full pipeline of leaders who can articulate the values of the organization.

Leadership Brand is an excellent read. If you’re thinking about spending money in L&D on “leadership” training, it would be a good idea to take a look at the book and evaluate why you’re doing what you’re doing. Is it internally focused, or, as Ulrich and Smallwood ask, externally focused on what will satisfy customer needs?

I liked the book very much. I must admit I’m partial to business books by academics (Ulrich is a professor of business at the University of Michigan and Smallwood is his business partner at RBL), who go beyond the good idea and back up their writing with research. I like to see citations. I like case studies. Leadership Brand has those elements and then some.

Leadership Brand: Developing Customer-Focused Leaders to Drive Performance and Build Lasting Value
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
ISBN-10: 1422110303
ISBN-13: 978-1422110300

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