Author picture


At last we have a well-researched, deeply thought-out and clearly presented handbook for wise leadership. This book presents a robust model of leadership for the good, based on the concept of leadership presence, with self-mastery at its core.

Integrating and transcending previous, less accurate models of leadership, author James Scouller presents the innovative “Three Levels of Leadership” model. The three levels are: Public, Private, and Personal leadership. The first two outer levels may be familiar to students of leadership theory; however the third, inner level is the most influential yet often neglected leadership realm.

Leadership is defined, the essential responsibility of a leader is identified, four dimension of leadership are described, and tables identify 34 distinct public leadership behaviors and 14 private leadership behaviors. Self-assessment tools, available on-line, allow readers to determine those skills that are strengths and those areas that need the most improvement. Of course these can also be used to evaluate others who seek to lead you.

But improvement in personal leadership—increasing that often elusive quality of leadership presence—provides the greatest opportunity. We learn that leadership presence has these seven qualities:
1. Personal Power—Accepting full responsibility for what you do
2. High, real self-esteem—based on an accurate assessment of your competencies
3. Drive to do more, to grow—striving to improve and contribute toward the good
4. Balance—integration of your purpose with respect for the free will of others
5. Intuition—creative insight and foresight distilled from your grasp of complexity
6. In the now—paying full attention to current issues
7. Inner peace of mind and fulfillment—joy and a state of psychological flow

Together these create a wholeness based on an authentic understating of your true self. Genuine leadership presence contrasts with charisma, the more familiar yet superficial behavior often cited as a leadership characteristic. People sense the difference, respond with trust, and become inspired by your leadership presence.

While the first half of the book is a well presented leadership guide—surveying, augmenting, and integrating existing leadership advice and theory—the second half of the book breaks new ground that can unleash true leadership potential.

Personal leadership requires developing skills in three areas:
1. Technical knowledge and skills includes knowing details of the particular business you are in, along with general skills in individual psychology, group psychology, and time management.
2. A positive attitude toward others is the belief that other people are as important as you. If you want to excel as a leader you must serve those you lead without harming others
3. Self-mastery is a commitment to self-awareness, self-integration, growth, and flexible command of your psyche.

The book introduces a new model of human psyche. This model is combined with principles of personal change that assist readers in overcoming resistance when making the personal transformations required to increase self-mastery and become a wiser leader.

Several tools for developing self-mastery are provided in the form of mental exercises to be repeated daily over periods of months or years. These include the three core techniques of: disidentification and centering, mindfulness meditation, and self-enquiry, supplemented by three techniques of: mental rehearsal and affirmation, knowing your values, and developing a personal mission-vision statement.

Use these exercises to deliberately discover your true self—who you truly are—identify and dismiss unconscious limiting beliefs, and get on with the work of leading wisely.

The richness of this book does justice to the complex topic of leadership, yet the book is well-written, accessible, and easy to understand and apply. Each chapter ends with a summary of key points, several helpful tables throughout the book assemble, list, and summarize essential skills, and a companion web site provides supplementary aids to help readers master the materials.

Study this book, complete the exercises, and transform your leadership skills.
lbeaumont | May 19, 2013 |