The Future of Leadership-A Book Review
Today’s Top Leadership Thinkers Speak to Tomorrow’s Leaders
Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco, 2001, (316 pages in hardback)
Edited by Warren Bennis, Thomas Cummings, and Gretchen Spreitzer
This interesting work is a collection of essays by some of the world’s most respected leadership thinkers. Contributors include Charles Handy, James O’Toole, Thomas Stewart, Tom Peters, Barry Posner and James Kouzes. These essays were first presented at a special conference held to honor Warren Bennis. Organizers labeled the conference a festschrift, a German word for a volume of essays assembled by colleagues to be a tribute to a renowned scholar. The essays were edited and divided into five parts:
1. Setting the Stage for the Future.
2. The Organization of the Future
3. The Leader of the Future.
4. How Leaders Stay on Top of Their Game.
5. Insights from Young Leaders.
The result is an insightful examination on the state of leadership today and the challenges it can expect to experience in the future. For example, Bennis writes the first essay and presents a number of challenging issues, including the widening disparity of talent among income levels, growing demographic changes between young and old and balancing the demands of work and home. James O’Toole looks at the organization of the future and remarks that leaders should view their tasks “as creating the systems under which others would be encouraged to do all the things that typically end up on the desk of the do-it-all leader.”
The Future of Leadership is a comprehensive examination of leadership today and tomorrow provided by a number of insightful modern day thinkers. It asks some judicious questions and dares to look into the future with assurance and confidence. Some essays are better written than others, but every reader will find some valuable material and learn a new perspective from its pages.
weLEAD rating recommended