Summary of The Little Black Book of Leadership

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If a “little black book” is a list of top date choices, Todd Dewett’s book is well named. This handy little volume provides a quick overview of the basics – enough information to have a fling with leadership, but not enough to be ready to marry it. While it lacks deep insight, it is certainly helpful as a directory for new managers and wannabe leaders. Dewett adopts a global, big-picture approach, outlining and discussing the personal and professional attributes, qualities, and characteristics leaders need. His suggestions include some detail (note the cogent two pages on body language), but they may seem routine unless you need an introduction to the basics. Even Dewett characterizes his concepts as “simple ideas,” but his time-tested advice tells novice managers how to start stepping out – and isn’t that one of the things a little black book is supposed to do? getAbstract suggests this book as a useful guide to first dates for new leaders.

About the Author

Todd Dewitt speaks, writes, consults and teaches about leadership. He is professor of management in the Raj Soin College of Business at Wright State University.



Looking at Leadership

Leadership, “the ability to achieve great personal and organizational results through others using positive interpersonal relationships,” depends on three qualities: First, being smart is helpful, though it’s not the defining factor. Second, you must make an effort. The harder you work, the better a leader you’ll be. Third, you must build leadership skills by developing your abilities to communicate, make decisions, motivate others, manage conflict and direct teams. Many observers contend that managers and leaders are separate species. Not true. Leaders manage and managers lead. Leadership relies on a steady, consistent effort. It’s a marathon, not a 100-yard race, and it is the subject of numerous myths you must ignore:

  • “Leadership is complex” – It is anything but. Leadership is straightforward and simple.
  • “Leadership is about ‘great men’” – You don’t need to be charismatic to be a successful leader. Most effective leaders are not. Instead, you must understand who you are and recognize your personal strengths.
  • “Leadership is defined by big moments”Au contraire, leadership is built on the actions...

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