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The Leadership Mystique: Leading behavior in the human enterprise, 2nd Edition

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The Leadership Mystique: Leading behavior in the human enterprise, 2nd Edition


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  • Copyright 2006
  • Pages: 304
  • Edition: 2nd
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 1-4058-4019-6
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-4058-4019-4

"This is a book that any senior executive will find enlightening, as it peels back the layers of self-deception to reveal how our hidden personalities, largely hard-wired since early childhood, affect the way we lead and manage others." Carol Kennedy, Director magazine 

"This book is a real gem.  The author writes with flair and precision. ... I recommend this book very highly.  It is clear, timely and accessible.  De Vries is a master of the elusive topic of leadership.  For the busy manager and consultant, it is a valuable balance to a growing library that merely idealises and idolises leadership."  HR Monthly, Australia

"Your business can have all the advantages in the world; strong financial resources, enviable market position, and state-of-the-art technology, but if leadership fails, all of these advantages melt away." - Manfred Kets de Vries

Organizations are like automobiles. They don't run themselves, except downhill.

Successful leadership today demands very different behavior from the conventional leadership tradition we are used to. It requires leaders who speak to the collective imagination of their people, co-opting them to join in the business journey; leaders who are able to motivate people to full commitment and spur them on to make that extra effort. It's all about human behavior. It's about understanding the way people and organizations behave, about creating relationships, about building commitment, and about adapting your behavior to lead in a creative and motivating way.  

So, stop right now and ask yourself what you're doing about the leadership factor. How do you execute your own leadership style? Whether you work on the shop floor or have a corner office on the top floor of a shimmering skyscraper, what have you done today to be more effective as a leader?

There are no quick answers to leadership questions, and there are no easy solutions. In fact, the more we learn the more it seems there is to learn. In The Leadership Mystique, management and psychology guru Manfred Kets de Vries unpicks the many layers of complexity that underlie effective leadership, and gets to the heart of the day-to-day behavior of leading people in the human enterprise. Assess your own leadership qualities with the probing self-questionnaires and learn how to develop your skills for maximum impact as a leader.

Sample Content

Table of Contents

1. Leadership in a dissonant voice: Using the prism of the clinical paradigm
Introducing key issues
The centrality of the clinical paradigm
2. Emotional intelligence in the world of work
Intelligence as a multifaceted attribute
A closer look at emotional intelligence
Honing the sub-skills of emotional intelligence
A mood too far: Managing emotional extremes
The core conflictual relationship theme
Deepening our understanding of our inner theater
Escaping psychic prison
3. The mussel syndrome
Corporate consequences of the mussel syndrome
The changing organizational paradigm
Companies that endure
4. The failure factor in leadership
Executive behavior: Myth and reality
Rational and irrational behavior
Dysfunctional patterns in leadership
The transference trap
The impact of narcissism
5. The dynamics of succession
Midlife dilemmas
The life-cycle of a CEO
Generational envy
6. The Dilbert phenomenon
The deadness within
Resuscitating “dead” leaders
Whole-life strategy versus deferred-life strategy
The tragedies of success and near-success
A summary prescription for revitalization &;
7. The rot at the top
Neurotic styles and organizations
The dramatic personality/organization
The suspicious personality/organization
The detached personality/organization
The depressive personality/organization
The compulsive personality/organization
Case examples
An organizational vicious circle
8. Achieving personal and organizational change
The process of change
The dynamics of individual change
The dynamics of organizational transformation
Leadership strategies for implementing change
9. Characteristics of effective leadership
Leadership models
10. Leadership in a global context
The wheel of culture
Identifying global leadership abilities
Global leadership development
11. Roles leaders play
Leadership versus management
The dual roles of leadership
12. Leadership development
Selection problems
Developmental tasks
Leadership in the “digital age”
13. Authentizotic organizations
The best companies to work for
The “healthy” individual bsp;
Characteristics of the “authentizotic” organization
The gender question
14. Final thoughts
Suggested further reading 7


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