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Where are the "gaps"? How to reduce (if not eliminate) them?

  • Aug 12, 2010
What we have in this single volume is a collection of essays that address the gaps in senior executive development from 23 contributors, including the co-editors who are Kerry A. Bunker, Douglas T. Hall, and Kathy E. Kram. As explained in the Preface, "The authors and editors came together for two days early in the [collaborative] process to identify the nature and pattern of the gaps in senior executive development, structure the format for the book, and identify and shape the content for individual chapters. We all returned to [the Center for Creative Leadership] after completing first drafts to identify and strengthen the collective themes in our work, fine tune the structure, and give and receive input on individual chapters. The integrative involvement and commitment of the chapter authors played an important role in teasing out the subtle and often invisible dynamics that either cement or undermine the development of extraordinary leadership."

Here is how the material is organized: authors of the three essays in Part One examine the gaps at the intrapersonal that "tend to block the pathway to growth and success at subsequent stages of leadership development"; authors of the three essays in Part Two "highlight several subtle yet powerful dynamics within individual leaders that, if not clearly understood, can undermine relations with colleagues at work and ultimately impede critical work outcomes...Sharing the basic premise that leadership is a relational process,...the authors offer specific strategies for transforming these invisible dynamics into positive influences"; the authors of the essays in Part Three "look at applying what we already know about developing leaders to promote understanding and management of power relationships in organization, and toward informed actions that promote inclusion in a diverse global environment"; authors of the essays in Part Four focus on the external environment "for a perspective that may be missing most often in writings on leadership [i.e. the gap at the institutional level]. Perhaps this view is missing because we often tend to think of leadership as focusing on the relationship between the leader and those who report to him or her. But the process of managing up or out is generally even more important than managing down."

Here are a few of the essay titles that suggest the scope of coverage:

"Unlocking Leadership Potential: Overcoming Immunities to Change," Deborah Helsing and Lisa Lahey

"Helping Leaders to Become Emotionally Intelligent," Cary Cherniss

"The Not-So-Secret Sauce of the Leadership Development Recipe," Morgan W. McCall Jr. and George P. Hollenbeck

"Developing Leaders with Cultural Intelligence: Exploring the Cultural Dimensions of Leadership," Laura Cornutt, Mireia las Heras, and Jina Mao

"Looking Forward: Creating Conditions for Extraordinary Leadership," Kathy E. Kram, Douglas (Tim) Hall, Kerry A. Bunker

As I began to work my way through the 14 essays, the thought occurred to me that extraordinary leadership would be needed to reduce (if not eliminate) the current "gaps" to which the 23 contributors refer. Moreover, that each "gap" poses challenges at the interpersonal level, between and among leaders, in the system, and at the institutional level. It remains for each reader to determine which specific subjects and which specific essays are most directly responsive to her or his own needs and interests.

I also highly recommend these two sources:

The AMA Handbook of Leadership
Marshall Goldsmith, John Balboni, and Sarah McArthur, Co-Editors
AMACOM (2010)

Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice: A Harvard Business School Centennial Colloquium
Nitin Nohria and Rakesh Khurana, Co-Editors
Harvard Business Press (2010)

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June 27, 2011
Sounds like a very informative read! Excellent job on this review!
About the reviewer
Robert Morris ()
Ranked #169
Professionally, I am an independent management consultant who specializes in accelerated executive development and breakthrough high-impact organizational performance. I also review mostly business books … more
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About this book


Wisdom for Developing Extraordinary Leaders

"This book contains a rich collection of wisdom, experience, and insight for addressing the gaps in learning and development that the traditional models for training, talent development, and succession planning fail to address. As you address your own executive development needs or those of others, we hope you'll create your own recipe for pulling everything together. A rich stock of openness, vulnerability, and learning readiness forms the base for developing leadership capacity and can carry all of the ingredients that high-performing managers need to set the table for extraordinary leadership."—From the Introduction

The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) is the world's largest institution devoted exclusively to leadership research and education. Since 1970, CCL has studied and trained hundreds of thousands of executives and worked with them to create practical models, tools, and publications for the development of effective leaders and leadership.

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Books, Cafe Libri, Kerry Bunker


ISBN-10: 0470479906
ISBN-13: 978-0470479902
Author: Kerry Bunker
Publisher: Jossey-Bass

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