How is this book different from other leadership books?
Go to your favorite search engine and enter the word “leadership”. You will find thousands of books and articles. But if you enter the terms “leadership” and “progress” together you will discover relatively few titles compared to your first search. For the moment, put aside this admittedly crude research technique. Aren’t these results a bit odd? Aren’t leaders supposed to make progress? Progress should be at the center of any discussion of leadership. Yet relatively few leadership experts devote much attention to the issue.
Many works on leadership are based on either original research or reflections of those in leadership positions. Both are valuable. Yet, few authors seek to integrate the two and glean actionable insights. In fact, our first book on leadership, Embracing Uncertainty, might be classified as research driven. While many leaders found value in our research, they will find even more value in insights that integrate leadership literature, original research, and reflections of successful leaders.
The core insights led to the development of 7 specific strategies and related tactics that leaders can use to move their organizations forward. The strategies and tactics suggest specific action items that almost any leader can implement in short order.
How were the progress makers selected?
We used three criteria to select our progress makers:
- They must have assumed leadership positions over an extensive time period
- They must have moved their organizations forward by both exploring and refining
- They must have had extensive experience moving from one platform to another
We were fortunate to interview many of these extraordinary people. We crafted these compelling interviews into Progress Maker Profiles, which are sprinkled throughout the book at the end of chapters. Other smaller vignettes of progress makers are discussed in various parts of books. Clearly this is not a comprehensive list, nor was it intended to be. Rather, we use the stories of these leaders for research and illustrative purposes.
How was the research conducted?
The 7 strategies we highlight in the book emerged from a synthesis of three different “pools of insight”:
- leadership literature
- reflections on our personal leadership experiences
- special research projects developed for this book
Numerous ideas worthy of discussion flowed from the pools of insight. We then filtered out the redundant and inconsequential, channeling the remaining into 7 essential insights that form the basis for the second section of Progress Makers. You can find more specific information about the background research, special projects, and research tools in the scholars section.
Progress should be at the center of any discussion of leadership. Aren’t leaders supposed to make progress? Yet relatively few leadership experts devote much attention to the issue.
Self tests can be found in the student section.