The Art of Winning Commitment: 10 Ways Leaders Can Engage Minds, Hearts, and Spirits

Dick Richards, Author AMACOM/American Management Association $24.95 (212p) ISBN 978-0-8144-0785-1
In this New Agey leadership primer, consultant Richards (Artful Work) notes that authoritarian leadership no longer jives with the democratic spirit of the age. Instead of barking orders at underlings, the business leader's tasks are now the far more exalted, if far less definable, ones of""helping people come to full human maturity,"" being""a medium for the emotional energy that is moving within the group"" and""rendering the current world spiritually significant."" Richards culls such insights from interviews with 20 contemporary leaders as well as a variety of other sources, including Zen Buddhism on the need to live in the moment, mythologist Joseph Campbell on a leader's duty to endure""the annihilation of the human ego,"" and Prudential founder John Dryden on insurance salesmen's role as""Missionaries of Love."" Leaders, he says, must be able to inspire intellectual, emotional and spiritual commitment; dividing his book into three main sections, Richards reveals how they can""win"" each kind. He explains how enlightened leaders can foster commitment in followers based on 10 leadership""competencies"" and 43""development strategies"" ranging from the practical (""hanging out with optimists"" and""getting a good night's sleep"") to the mystical (""following your bliss"" and""creating a sacred autobiography""). Further guidance is provided by a case-study chapter in which a model executive leader at a corporate gathering delivers a""heart-to-heart"" talk in which""his voice was both more thoughtful and more passionate, resonating from who he was as a person."" Managers seeking a more emotional way to connect with and lead their troops may find this book a gratifying voyage of self-discovery, but those favoring traditional approaches would be better served elsewhere.
Reviewed on: 03/01/2004
Release date: 03/01/2004
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