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Level Three Leadership

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Level Three Leadership

Getting Below the Surface

Prentice Hall,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Move beyond outdated methods of management and employee relations with New Age and high-tech philosophies.

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Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


At first glance, this might seem to be yet another standard text about management and employee relations. You’ll be pleased to find that, instead, author James G. Clawson has written an engaging book about history, human psychology and the modern workplace. He offers intriguing insights, strong research and even a New Age wrinkle or two, with a few well-placed comments about meditation, inner vision and martial arts. Despite a few redundant passages, this is not a dry HR manual, though it provides helpful professional charts and summaries. With its you-need-to-know-this-now tone and its comments about gravity, magic and inner vision, the book is actually fun. getAbstract recommends it to managers at all tiers, to employees seeking advancement and to MBA candidates.


The Executive Viewpoint

Do not be deluded about management. There are no magic spells or secret incantations. Leadership does not rest on grandiose titles or corner offices. Those are just its trappings. The real key to the executive suite is having a leader’s viewpoint.

How are leaders different from bureaucrats, administrators and rank-and-file employees? Leaders ask different questions. They have the courage to take risks and the thoughtfulness to understand below-the-surface issues, problems and potential. Leaders seek new information and novel solutions by asking a different range of questions than other kinds of managers:

  • The follower asks - What do you require of me? Can you clear the hurdles I face? What is my job description? How can I earn more authority?
  • The bureaucrat demands - Where are the forms? What are the procedures I must follow? What is the chain of approval?
  • The administrator wonders - How can we maintain market share? Why are we deviating from past procedures? What is corporate policy?
  • The leader asks - What do we need to do? What are the underlying issues? What action can I initiate to improve the situation...

About the Author

James G. Clawson, a professor at the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia, previously taught at the Harvard Business School, Northeastern University and the International University of Japan.

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