The Leaders We Need and What Makes Us Follow

Michael Maccoby, Author . Harvard Business School $26.95 (249p) ISBN 978-1-4221-0166-7

In an unusual take on America's leadership crisis, Maccoby calls for a new kind of leader: collaborators rather than stern bureaucrats, who are able to attract a new kind of follower. For workers in the information economy who are “skeptical of father figures,” psychoanalyst Maccoby (Narcissistic Leaders ) advocates relationships to bosses that are less parental and more siblinglike. Exploring “why people follow different leaders in different times and circumstances,” he rests his analysis on Freud's concept of unconscious transference. Though Maccoby's language is straightforward, skeptics will question the book's emphasis on personality: today's workers seem too detached to see their bosses and CEOs as siblings, much less parental figures. The author moves from theory to practice in calling for “exceptional” leaders to find new sources of clean energy, quality education and universal health care. In a detailed, hands-on chapter, Maccoby brings together leadership, personality types and organizational design to describe how a premier health-care organization should function. But it's his chapter on “the president we need”—examining personality types and managing styles—that will draw attention. Maccoby makes no endorsement for 2008, but he lays out the flaws of the current president, who, he writes, “has taken big gambles without fully understanding the odds or the consequences of failure.” (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 09/10/2007
Release date: 10/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 249 pages - 978-1-4221-0333-3
Open Ebook - 271 pages - 978-1-4221-6360-3
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