Building The Bridge As You Walk On It: A Guide For Leading Change
Author Robert E. Quinn
What is this book about?
Written by a professor at the Michigan Business School, this book is the sequel to his book Deep Change, also published by Jossey Bass (see our review of Deep Change on this website). In that book Quinn had addressed the need for change of ourselves before we could change the world. Also he had described the deep personal change as a necessity if we wanted to avoid “slow death”, a condition of gradually losing our energy, our passion and eventually ourselves in a world of reactive complacency. The sequel book originated from the messages Quinn received from his readers in which they related their own personal change stories. In it, Quinn integrates these stories powerfully into a new concept of leadership that transcends competency-driven models.
Who should read it?
The purposes of this book, as stated by the author, are:
There are three parts to this book. Part I introduces the stories of people who read Deep Change and then made deep change themselves. Part II describes eight disciplines as the pillars required to build a new concept of leadership. Part III covers the topic from the angle of education and training—how do we teach people in a classroom to enter the fundamental state of leadership.
As in Deep Change, at the end of each chapter, there are questions for reflection and for connecting the chapter concepts with your life/work situations.
Why should he/she read it?
Because it goes beyond traditional models of what leadership is. It defines leadership as being in a fundamental state, rather than practicing “leadership” competencies. It integrates the “either / or” approach of competencies (you either have it or you need to develop it) into eight disciplines of navigating two paradoxically connected opposites.
The book connects eight key disciplines as preconditions for entering the fundamental state of leadership. In the fundamental state of leadership one becomes purpose, integrity, other-focused-ness and openness.
Additionally, the reader should read it because it challenges with radically fresh questions our ideas about how to develop leadership in others and ourselves.
Finally, there is a very good reference and brief comprehensive description of work by other researchers (Prochaska, Norcross & DiClemente) into the different stages of change and the tools appropriate for each one of them.
What are the main points?
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