||Leadership: Research findings, practice,
||Andrew J DuBrin
A good leader is the key to a successful organisation. With
effective leadership, an organisation can utilise its resources including its
most importantemployeesfor better efficiency, productivity and profitability.
The art of dealing with people is what makes a true leader. There are many instances
where organisations have travelled from bankruptcy to profitability because
of the right leadership.
Leadership: Research Findings, Practice, and Skills by Andrew J. DuBrin (Fourth
Edition) talks about the importance of leadership and its impact upon an organisation.
It offers an insight into the qualities of an effective leadera subject
which has gained importance in recent years. The book not only lists the practices
a leader should follow, but also the ethics and social responsibility necessary
for a true leader of the organisation.
The language is simple and illustrative, complemented with informative charts
and infographics. The book has fifteen chapters in five sections which deal
with essentials like leadership characteristics and traits, leader behaviour
and style, and group member characteristics. Also detailed are the influences
exerted by internal and external environments to help the reader understand
relationships between chapter topics and provide a framework for understanding
The book is targeted at helping executives understand the effective leadership
required to successfully run an organisation. It is a useful resource for executives
heading teams, task forces and units at all organisational levels.
Each chapter includes a summary which outlines and gives a quick review of the
topics covered. Case studies of different people and their real life experiences
of dealing with problems help the reader connect with the book. Leaders such
as Sunil Bharti Mittal of the Bharti group, Azim Premji, owner of Wipro, Anil
Agarwal of NGO Center for Science and Enviroment are the personalities whose
life scan give inspiration to many.
Each chapter deals with a different perspective of leadership making it a complete
book for people aspiring to pursue leadership roles in their organisations.
One of the chapters of the book, Developing teamwork, discusses
the leaders role in a team, the need for outdoor training and team development
in running a team successfully. Communication and conflict resolution
skills speaks at length about the role of a supportive communication,
ways to overcome cross-cultural barriers which is one of the major hurdles in
leading a team and how can a leader help in resolving conflict and negotiations.
Another chapter which might interest the reader is Leadership development,
succession and followership, which explains that real learning is self
learning and is attained through self-awareness and self-discipline. It delves
into the role played by ones education, experience and mentoring, different
kinds of leadership programmes, and the essential qualities of an effective
Skill building exercises and quizzes give the reader an opportunity to evaluate
ones performance as a leader and the learning from each chapter.
Internet skill building exercises are included where a reader can apply the
concepts outlined in each chapter to learn more about current leadership topics
and trends. The book also has a SWOT analysis test.
The unique feature of the book is its adaptation to the Indian scenario. There
are three Indian case studies, which add a familiar context and a closer to
home feeling for the readers. For example, one Indian case study deals with
a school administrators dilemma over staff morale. Another case study
deals with a public governance project in a southern Indian district. Profiles
of six Indian leaders in business and society gives a relevant Indian outlook
and flavour to the book.
Examples on different aspects of leadership from English feature films such
as Gandhi are also used to explain how a particular film touches upon leadership
as well as the different areas and theories covered in the film.
While the book makes effective use of charts, case studies and figures, it is
a lengthy read at 572 pages. That said, it can hold the interest of a team leader
because of its relevance and real life approach.