April 30, 2008

Book Review - Lessons on Leadership

Lessons on Leadership: The 7 Fundamental Management Skills for Leaders at all Levels
Jack Stahl
HD 57.7 S73 2007

Stahl shares seven "frameworks" or responsibilities that he learned during his career were critical to business and leadership success. Each framework includes strategy, communication, and relationship behaviors that contribute to its effectiveness. Stahl first examines leadership and management, where he emphasizes the need to develop and communicate strategy and to take control for its execution. Next, he envisions creating a high-capability organization, focused on developing the necessary skills to succeed. Similarly, he emphasizes developing people, including providing them with opportunities to grow as well as appropriate feedback. He devotes considerable attention to the relationship between a company and its customers, both in terms of marketing and brand positioning as well as understanding the customer's preferences to best position the company's products with these. He relates financial practices and measures of success to the overall strategy of the business. He concludes with a discussion on the importance of effective communication, particularly the ability to influence people both inside and outside the organization. While Stahl outlines seven leadership responsibilities, his explanation of these areas demonstrates that they are interconnected and overlapping.