Posted by: paultovell | November 11, 2009

The leadership marathon

Only four days left before I leave my job, and I’m doing a bit of swottiimagesng up on management things.  “How to Lead” by Jo Owen is a great book for this, and I’m considering even investing in my own copy (I know, despite being a librarian…)  I first came across this book at Newcastle railway station – one of those business-y books you find in platform-Smith’s, meant to inspire and interest you for your tedious train journey.  I wasn’t convinced, so I think I bought some chocolate instead.  But anyway, I remembered it and am now reading it.  I particularly like the idea that leadership is a marathon, not a sprint, and you have to sustain being positive for a long time – so get your attitude right, right from the start:

  • Focus on strengths, not weaknesses
  • Manage your feelings – if you feel upset or angry, that is your problem.
  • Visualise reaching your goal – works for interviews as well!
  • Do something worthwhile – ie, make sure you are getting fulfilment in your job
  • Move to action – don’t keep picking over the past, take control of the future
  • Wear the mask of leadership – whatever is going on underneath

“Successful leaders use a mixture of the above strategies to remain positive. By remaining positive, they encourage people around themselves to be positive as well.”  From this side of the start date, it sounds so simple.  I have a feeling it won’t be quite so straghtforward in real life, but I’m a firm believer in the power of the right attitude.  Some people have commented on this book that it’s not really written for the public sector, but most of what it has said so far seems highly applicable.  And I’ve seen plenty of examples of good and bad leadership – perhaps I’ll write my own book one day…


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