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Notes on a Resource: The Objective Leader

Posted by Mark L. Vincent on Jul 17, 2015 7:11:00 AM

The Objective Leader

How To Leverage The Power Of Seeing Things As They Are

Publishing Information: by Elizabeth R. Thornton, Palgrave-Macmillan, 2015

Subject area(s): Social Media, Entrepreneurship

Type of resource: Business Leadership and Success

----Ratings (1-5)*----

Thought leadership = 5. Objectivity isn't new, but we live in highly ironic time where people claim to be scientific in their world view and yet readily let subjective desire skew the data residing under their nose. Ms. Thornton takes out the machete and hacks open the path to objective leadership once more. Her framework for objectivity on p.76 provides a solid method to use over and over and over.

Accessibility of the material = 3.  Different readers will pick this book up from a variety of motivations (subjectivity cannot entirely be discarded!). For this reader it was to dig into the objectivity framework, but it proved an early disappointment and a slower slog because the opening of the book was biographical and there were many case studies. It took a bit before the framework began to be revealed. Other readers may prefer this formulaic business book approach, however, needing anecdotal persuasion before they make use of the tools Ms. Thornton includes.

Mix of theory and practice = 5. The book opens with mal-practice from Ms. Thornton's own story, articulates the better approach with underlying theories without getting overly academic, and then details a better way.  objective_leader

Look and feel = 3. The dust cover attempts to demonstrate something out of focus becoming clearer. However, this is misleading and betrays a key insight from the book. Sometimes objectivity leads to the inevitable and paradoxical conclusion that clarity is not yet available. And, how many business books must there be with a pair of glasses on the cover to illustrate better sight? The cover almost screams "there is nothing new here!" when, in fact, there is a great deal for (re)discovery.

The volume is well constructed. A little more white space margin in the text might have made the book more easy on the eye.

Engagement of the audience = 3. The most interested readers will be leaders convinced they can and must grow their skill toward greater objectivity. The evidence is growing that leaders cannot be objective by themselves and without tested rubrics to drill down in order to make sense of data. Consider this Economist piece on big data and hiring if you need more evidence.

 

* How we construct our ratings 
1= Not registering
2= Present
3= Effective
4= Commendable
5= Outstanding

--mark l vincent

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Topics: process design, process consulting, organizational development consulting, executive leadership, Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International, notes on a resource, business success

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