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What Philosophy Can Teach You About Being a Better Leader

Written by Alison Reynolds, Jules Goddard, Dominic Houlder, David Giles Lewis

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What Philosophy Can Teach You About Being a Better Leader Synopsis

For decades, we have looked to management theorists, organizational psychologists and economists to tell us how we can squeeze the most out of people at work. The result? People are uninspired, feel like cogs in a machine and prefer to leave traditional work structures behind. Numbers and productivity can only get you so far. What Philosophy Can Teach You About Being a Better Leader offers a different route that will allow you to reconnect with the humanist values of work. By turning to philosophy, and what it teaches us about finding fulfilment and living a good life, this book uncovers the ways you can re-engage your workforce by valuing its members as people, rather than just tools within the process. The four authors argue that the rise of the 'omnipotent leader', who focuses on telling rather than leading, risks creating a new generation of feudal CEOs and needs to be resisted. With the help of Aristotle, Socrates, Kant and Nietzsche, as well as a whole host of other brilliant minds, they turn traditional management practices on their head, showing how moving away from traditional, hierarchical, risk focused control structures can lead to improved employee engagement, increased productivity and better outcomes for the entire business.

What Philosophy Can Teach You About Being a Better Leader Press Reviews

This book restores to business thinking much of the common sense and time-polished wisdom that modern economic thinking has leached away. * Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman, Ogilvy UK * As business leaders we have an innate feeling that we have to have our team follow us and through them we achieve extraordinary results together. Unfortunately our business training and education all tend to focus on the tangible - results, KPIs, budgets and measurements, and through time these turn the focus upside down and our people somehow become means to an end rather than ends themselves and we become trapped in inhumane work environments over and over again. This book offers a real path to change for frustrated leaders and is a must-read for those who have the courage to take the first step towards making their work environment humane again - fertile ground for them and their team to flourish and contribute greatly to customers, the organization and themselves. * Savio Kwan, former President and COO, Alibaba * At a time when trust in leadership - in business, government and civil society - is fast eroding, this book is timely, asking you powerful questions about your own meaning and purpose as a leader. The most profound answers lie in values and philosophy, which have been neglected in the world of leadership education until now. The four authors rightly place these centre stage. * Dame Julie Mellor, Chair, Demos and The Young Foundation; former Chair, Equal Opportunities Commission and Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman * How can I flourish in an organization while helping colleagues and the organization itself to flourish? This great challenge of the modern world demands a personal response. The authors of this inspiring book evoke philosophers ancient and contemporary, bringing their insights to life as guides to wise and humane leadership. * Professor John Y Campbell, Economics Department, Harvard University * This book challenges the way we think about leadership, the habits and conventions that have become so ingrained that we are no longer aware of them. We are used to changing our processes, structures and systems with mixed results. It is time to take a long look in the mirror and ask ourselves deep questions about what it means to be a leader, a leader who wants to flourish and wants others to flourish. These are questions of philosophy. * Professor Nandu Nandkishore, Indian School of Business; former Global Executive Board Member, Nestle SA, Switzerland * A good manager is always recognized for their curiosity and ability to question themself. To develop these skills, philosophy is certainly one of the best fields of exploration that exists. * Franck Mougin, Director of Human Resources, Vinci * This book is for leaders who may want to refresh their leadership practice. It puts you on the spot, bringing a series of philosophers into your life who will raise questions about you and your purpose that cannot be ducked. Leadership is a lifelong journey, and who better as travel companions than quarrelsome Marx and impish Isiah Berlin? Socrates, Popper, the Buddha and so many others have been wonderfully reinterpreted for our modern, uncertain and turbulent world. This book is a double gift of leadership wisdom and philosophical teachings - it's readable, funny and very very wise! * Shaks Ghosh CBE, Chief Executive, Clore Social Leadership Foundation * This book is a unique and powerful blend of the insights of philosophers and the authors' extensive practical experience of change management. Reading it will challenge every leader to look again at what empowerment means, how organizations really function, and why human values of fairness and trust are vital for sustainable success in the modern economy. * Sir Martin Donnelly, President, Boeing Europe; former Permanent Secretary, UK Department of International Trade * Organizations are obsessed with 'Doing' and 'Knowing' and do not create time and space for 'Being'. This book is provoking us to start a new conversation that will bring more meaning and serve the well-being of all. * Anil Sachdev, Founder and CEO, School of Inspired Leadership, Gurgaon, India * To be a successful leader of a modern, sustainable, purpose-led organization that recognizes its responsibilities to the communities it serves, needs more than skills and ability - it needs authenticity. Authenticity is based in a deep leadership philosophy that inspires the individuals leaders seek to lead to take personal responsibility to do the right thing in every interaction they have with others. People want to be empowered, respected and fulfilled at a human level in today's workplace and to know that the values of the organization they work for not only match their own values but are embodied and evidenced consistently in the leaders they work with. What Philosophy Can Teach You About Being a Better Leader gives those who have been given the privilege of leadership new thinking and practical learning to successfully fulfil their roles by recognizing the need for those they seek to inspire to be engaged with meaning and purpose. * Sir Ian Powell, Chair, Capita plc *

Book Information

ISBN: 9781789660265
Publication date: 3rd October 2019
Author: Alison Reynolds, Jules Goddard, Dominic Houlder, David Giles Lewis
Publisher: Kogan Page Ltd
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 232 pages

About Alison Reynolds, Jules Goddard, Dominic Houlder, David Giles Lewis

Alison Reynolds is a business leader and consultant in strategy execution. She is part of the Faculty in Executive Education at Ashridge Business School. Jules Goddard is a Fellow of the Centre for Management Development at London Business School, where he has taught competitive strategy and creative marketing for 30 years. Dominic Houlder is an Adjunct Professor in Strategic and Entrepreneurial Management at London Business School. He is internationally recognised as a leading business strategist. David Lewis is Programme Director for Executive Education at London Business School and a renowned strategy and leadership expert. The four authors met while undertaking a ...

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