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The Leadership Challenge - sixth edition

Ibadete Fetahu
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’This book should be embraced by all who want to learn about the challenges of leadership, whether they are in the early stages of their career or are an existing leader’

Title: The Leadership Challenge - sixth edition

Author: James. M Kouzes & Barry Z Posner

Publisher: Wiley

Reviewer: Anne Duell, Ward Sister, Birmingham Community NHS Trust

What was it like?

The Leadership Challenge has been described as a classic in terms of leadership standards. Having read it I would agree. It is a comprehensive guide, which anyone can embrace at any stage of their career to support them in understanding how they can develop their career and embrace the challenges of leadership that they will encounter in their career development.

It is unique to find a book that, although presenting a standard is not new, is still highly relevant. This model was originally presented around 30 years ago but has been presented in a way which is highly relevant to our current times.

What were the highlights?

The highlights within this book are too numerous to mention. I was dubious when I first received this book to review as it did not appear to directly relate to anything within the field of nursing or healthcare. However, I was soon proved wrong. The authors have a real sense of expertise when it comes to teaching about leadership and the challenges future and current leaders will encounter as well as providing techniques to aid fulfilling the developing leadership role.

It is clearly evidence based and provides a clear methodology for readers to embrace and utilise as their needs require. The authors draw their readers into this journey of self development and provide learning exercises at the end of each section to aid learning and development.

Strengths & weaknesses:

The obvious strength of this book is that it is usable across any discipline. It is not restricted primarily to nursing, therapy or even healthcare. Despite the original version being around 30 years ago the authors present the leadership challenge in a manner that is relevant to the current times. Another strength is that the reader is encouraged in how to find their voice and to appropriately challenge existing processes giving due consideration to innovation and change, while enabling others to achieve their goals whether that is as individuals or as part of a team.

It may appear that not much time is given to team members who are not embracing their leaders or their management techniques and change management , yet they deal with it in a different manner through discussion around fostering collaboration and they deal with the nature of a leader and the need to build resilience and trust. So we see authors who present the negatives of leadership within a positive framework.

Who should read it?

This book should be embraced by all who want to learn about the challenges of leadership, whether they are in the early stages of their career or are an existing leader and what to bring their team onboard with changes or even to foster better team work or self management.

As mentioned earlier this book is usable in any field of work whether hands on healthcare or office based. It could be of help for students who need to focus their mind on their career development, their management placements; or even for anyone that wants to feel more confident in their work and interaction with patients/clients or colleagues. The readership is never ending and is a book I would certainly recommend.

leadership challenge 6e

leadership challenge 6e



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