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The Inspirational Leader

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The Inspirational Leader

How to Motivate, Encourage and Achieve Success

Kogan Page,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Who you are, what you know and what you do all shape your leadership, but the critical element is the example you set.

Editorial Rating



Leadership guru John Adair talked with a bright young executive about leaders and the tenets of leadership, and recorded the conversations in this unique, philosophical book. Adair addresses tough questions about leadership and drills down beyond management and deep into human nature. He doesn't bother with leadership buzzwords, but instead discusses in meaningful terms the qualities that make a leader effective. People aren't born leaders, Adair says, they are made. Although the book is a bit too philosophical at times, the author's instructions to the young executive (which make up the text of the book) are thought-provoking, and the quotes peppered throughout the book are memorable. If you aspire to transform your management abilities into true leadership skills, getAbstract encourages you to sit down with the professor and his young protégé and enjoy the conversation.


Three Prongs of Good Leadership

Leaders aren't necessarily born; sometimes they're made - with training in management techniques, yes, but more importantly, with training in human nature. A good student of human nature has the foundation to be a good leader.

Leadership defines itself based on three critical, interdependent characteristics:

  1. Your qualities, or what you are.
  2. Your situation, or what you know.
  3. Your function, or what you do.

Leaders' character traits define them. These attributes might include:

  • Courage.
  • Persistence.
  • Optimism.
  • Morality.

Organizations or groups are also defined by certain qualities. As a leader, you must be able to take on the qualities of your organization as your own. For example, if you are leading a group of insurance salespeople, it is important for you to be an excellent insurance salesperson.

A good leader needs many qualities including enthusiasm, warmth, bravery, integrity and judgment. But, the most important characteristic is enthusiasm. All good leaders exude sincere enthusiasm. A leader's enthusiasm ...

About the Author

John Adair has written more than 30 books on leadership and leadership development, Adair is professor of leadership studies at the University of Surrey in England. His other books include The Leadership of Jesus, How to Find Your Vocation, Effective Strategic Leadership and Not Bosses But Leaders.

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