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Social Science


Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences



Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People by Edward M. Hallowell (Harvard Business Review Press)
Great managers serve others; they develop the shine in their people.
In Shine, bestselling author and ADD expert Edward Hallowell draws on brain science, performance research, and his own experience helping people maximize their potential to present a proven process for getting the best from their people.
The central question for all managers in these pressure-packed, confusing, unsettled times is how to draw the most from their talent. Finding the shine in someone, helping all ones people perform at their highest levels, isn't rocket science. It is brain science, but it has yet to be codified into a simple and reliable process that all managers can use. In Shine, Hallowell formulates such a code, the Cycle of Excellence. It is a process that he has created and honed over the past twenty-five years as a doctor, practicing psychiatrist, author, consultant, instructor at the Harvard Medical School and director of the Hallowell Center for Cognitive and Emotional Health. He explains peak performance and provides managers with a practical plan to bring the best from the people who work for them. More 

Exploring Leadership: For College Students Who Want to Make a Difference by Susan R. Komives, Nance Lucas, and Timothy R. McMahon (Jossey Bass Higher and Adult Education Series: Jossey Bass) This is the thoroughly revised and updated second edition of the best-selling book Exploring Leadership. The book is designed to help college students understand that they are capable of being effective leaders and to guide them in developing their leadership potential. Exploring Leadership incorporates new insights and material developed in the course of the authors’ work in the field. The second edition contains expanded and new chapters and also includes the relational leadership model, uses a more global context and examples that relate to a wide variety of disciplines, contains a new section which emphasizes ways to work to accomplish change, and concludes with concrete strategies for activism.

This popular textbook is likely to continue to win acclaim and use and general education classes, social psychology classes and business development classes.  Frankly anyone who is interested in becoming a more effective leader in any size group will find the examples and information in this work a useful way to help create more effective group experiences at any level social organization. The volume is especially well organized and the writing is exceptionally clear and to the point.  I wish more textbooks in social psychology could have such a clear focus and output.

Excerpt: What comes to mind when you hear the word leadership? Do you think of international or national figures like Condoleezza Rice, Tony Blair, Hillary Clinton, Wilma Mankiller, Martin Luther King Jr., Barack Obama, Mohandas Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Elaine Chao, or Rudy Giuliani? Our brains some­how immediately translate the word leadership to mean leader. You probably just did the same thing. You probably imagined a company president, a prime minister, your professor, your supervisor at work, or the person standing at a podium with a gavel. However, the premise of this book is that leadership is a relational and ethical process of people together attempting to accomplish positive change. In other words, leadership is about relationships. And you can be part of the leadership process, whether as a formal leader or as an active, committed group member.

Purpose of this Book

Chances are that you are reading this book because you want to learn more about leadership. You may be taking a leadership course, attending a workshop, learning to be a resident assistant, or just reading for your own development. Somehow, you want to be more effective in accomplishing change, making a difference, or working with others. Perhaps you have just accepted a new leadership role

or selected a career in which you will be called on to assume lead­ership responsibilities. Maybe you have had many leadership expe­riences, or maybe you have never thought of yourself as a leader at all. Indeed, you may have thought of leadership as emphasizing lead­ers—not followers or group members.

A popular sentiment wisely reminds us that all of us are smarter than one of us. The wisdom, common purpose, inclusivity, sense of community, and personal empowerment embedded in that state­ment are profound. Leadership is not something possessed by only a select few people in high positions. We are all involved in the leadership process, and we are all capable of being effective leaders. Through collaboration with others, you can make a difference from any place within a group or organization, whether as the titled leader or as an active member.

Scope of the Book and Treatment of Topics

Our rapidly changing world needs each of us to do what we can to make a difference in our own communities. Each of us is a member of many communities—our family, neighborhood, religious group, workplace, classroom, or sports team. In this book, we will ask you to examine yourself and your communities: where you live, where you work, whom you care for, what interests you, and how you want to develop. Together, we will explore how you see yourself in rela­tion to others and how you prefer to interact with others in group settings. Our aim in this book is to help you use your own college context and your experience as a college student as the frame within which to understand leadership. The students who helped us with this book said, "Most students skip the preface!" We are glad you did not do that. You will understand the book better for having read this section.

The three of us have, for many years, taught leadership courses, advised students in formal leadership roles, mentored student lead­ers and group members, supervised student workers, sought to bring students into campus governance, served as leaders ourselves, and read and researched leadership. When we developed the first edi­tion of this book, we were keenly aware that when we have taught a leadership course, we shared a frustration that the scholarship and literature in leadership studies did not connect with most students. Business majors often find themselves in the literature because so much of it comes from their major. Psychology and sociology majors usually relate to it because the leadership field is interdisciplinary and draws heavily from their fields. But many students have trou­ble relating to the leadership literature, much of which is written for corporate chief executive officers (CEOs). Some students find the leader-focused approaches to be self-centered, and some say, "I'm not a leader. I just want to make a difference."

Leadership can be viewed from various frames: political science addresses power and influence, business management sees leader­ship as effectiveness in outcomes or emphasizes supervisor-subordi­nate relationships, anthropology views cultural influences and such factors as symbols and norms, history looks to the influence of key figures during significant times or when leading major social move­ments, and psychology or sociology looks at individuals and groups as they interact. One book cannot do justice to all these diverse per­spectives, but we challenge you to explore how your field or fields of study approach leadership.

The primary perspectives or frames we use in this book are a combination of psychological and educational approaches; we emphasize learning about yourself and understanding yourself in the context of others. Being aware of your personal values, beliefs, and commitments builds a strong foundation for your position as a mem­ber in the world's many communities. Self-awareness is central to being able to understand others and interact effectively in groups, organizations, and communities.

We believe that you can learn to understand yourself and oth­ers, that organizations are most effective when they are learning environments, and that our rapidly changing world will require people leading together toward meaningful change. The belief that leadership is grounded in learning together must be modeled in our educational environments. Yet the world does not always work this way. You constantly will be challenged to understand how things are, see how they could be, and be a part of change if necessary.

Throughout the book, you will find quotes from students from across the country. We think you will find their attitudes and expe­riences interesting.

Summary of the Contents

Because personal awareness and personal development are central to learning leadership, the focus of this book is as much on you and your relationships with others as it is on understanding leadership theory, styles, practices, and applications.

We organized the book around five major themes: leadership for a changing world (Part One), with an emphasis on the Relational Leadership Model; relationships as the foundation of leadership (Part Two); the context of leadership in groups, organizations, and communities (Part Three); understanding change and how to make a difference using leadership (Part Four); and leadership identity and personal renewal (Part Five). This second edition includes a number of revisions and updates to the original chapters, along with new chapters on understanding change, strategies for change, and developing a leadership identity.

In Chapter One, we introduce the concepts in this book with specific attention to the variety among groups of students with dif­ferent experiences who learn leadership for different purposes and practice it in various settings. In Chapter Two, we show how the study and understanding of leadership has evolved through recent times and how rapidly changing times lead to new leadership approaches. In Chapter Three, we present the Relational Leader­ship Model (RLM). This model emphasizes the nature of relation­ships that are the building blocks in working with others to make a difference and accomplish change. The new graphic in this chap­ter is a more clear interpretation of the RLM than the graphic in the first edition.

In Part Two (Chapters Four, Five, and Six), we ask you to explore yourself, others, yourself in relation to others, and the nature of leading with integrity. Understanding self includes under­standing your values, character, and the preferences you have in interacting, deciding, and learning. Self-awareness is an essential foundation for understanding leadership and helps you respond to the differences and commonalties you have with others. We also promote the concept of leading from your strengths and talents. Please note that although we have a dedicated chapter on leading with integrity, the treatment of values, ethics, and character is a theme throughout this book.

Part Three (Chapters Seven, Eight, Nine, and Ten) examines the various settings in which leadership is needed; for example, in groups and teams. It also examines aspects of complex organizations and how these may raise distinct issues for the practice of relational leadership. It explores the core elements of communities and emphasizes collaborative processes, and it presents the need for organizational renewal in all the contexts of leadership.

Part Four (Chapters Eleven and Twelve) is new for this edition. It presents material on the nature of change, the change process, and being change agents. It explores such strategies as service learn­ing, coalition building, and activism. This part also contains another widely used model of leadership development, the Social Change Model of Leadership Development.

Part Five (Chapters Thirteen and Fourteen) brings the focus back to you as the reader. This section presents the importance of individual self-efficacy for leadership and research on how a lead­ership identity develops, along with the need for you to stay renewed and balanced. These two chapters close the circle and bring you back to where you started, with the most foundational aspects of self-awareness and the importance of staying renewed in the leadership process.

Leadership Can Be Learned

This book (and perhaps the course you are taking as well) is designed to expose you to key concepts of leadership and to provide activities that will encourage you to learn leadership. You will need to practice these new skills and help your classmates and peers prac­tice them as well. If you want to learn to play the piano, you might imagine playing with gusto, but you know it will take practice to do that. If you want to learn to play tennis, you can imagine hitting a cross-court backhand, but you know you have to hit many of them to perfect that stroke. Likewise, if you imagine a group coming to agreement after much conflict and going forward with shared vision and a sense of respectful community, then you have to learn a lot about yourself and practice the skills of listening and collaborating. You would not drop piano lessons when the first scale you learn gets boring or sell your tennis racket when you develop a sore muscle. Likewise, you do not give up on practicing leadership because you find it hard or challenging. Practicing together will help each per­son learn leadership.

If you are using this book as a textbook for a class, you will find it is designed to help your class become a learning community. After an introduction to leadership, the book focuses on you. Learning activities are designed to help you reflect on yourself and show you how to listen to and learn from others. This will not always be easy or painless. But the classroom provides an opportunity to practice the difficult skills of building learning communities in which to experience collaborative leadership. Many students tell us they dis­like group projects, but unless you learn the skills required for work­ing effectively with others and building common purpose with others, including handling frustration when things do not go well, you have not practiced collaborative leadership. Most great things were not accomplished by an individual acting alone. Even when one person is singled out for credit, there were usually many others who contributed or collaborated to make that accomplishment pos­sible.

As you read and discuss this book, we encourage you to think about yourself. Do not distance yourself from the pages, but connect with the concepts and ask yourself, In what ways could this help me be more effective? Not everything will relate to you all the time, but think about your life right now and the many roles and responsi­bilities you anticipate acquiring as you go forward. We invite you to begin your leadership journey as you explore yourself in various contexts. Each step of the way will enhance your sense of self-aware­ness and help you realize that you are leading when you are actively working with others toward a shared purpose. You do make a dif­ference.

We are still on our own leadership journey and know this is a lifelong activity. As we change and as times change, we will always need to be sensitive to the relational process of leadership. We hope you will enhance your own abilities to be effective in this leader­ship journey.


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