Why Should Anyone Be Led by You?

What It Takes to Be an Authentic Leader By Robert Goffee and Gareth Jones Book Review by Dr. Ron Cacioppe

Many companies are managed not by leaders, but by role players and boring bureaucrats. But what does it take to be a real leader—one who is confident in who she is and what she stands for, and who truly inspires people to achieve extraordinary results? In their book: “Why Should Anyone Be Led by You?” Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones, two British management consultants and academics, state that leaders don’t become great by having a list of universal character traits. Rather, effective leaders are authentic: they deploy individual strengths to engage followers’ hearts, minds, and souls. They are skilful at consistently being themselves, even as they alter their behaviours to respond effectively in changing situations. What qualities make a great leader? Why do we dislike being led by some, but embrace being led by others?

Opinions about leadership, leadership styles, and leaders themselves have resounded through the centuries, growing increasingly complex. Theories have been espoused by Plato, Voltaire, Weber, Freud, and many others. Over time, certain traits like decisiveness, honesty, and confidence were considered the key things that resulted in successful leadership but this approach gave way to situational and contingency approaches that brought in factors such as the power of the leader, and the level of development of the followers in order to try to better predict the effectiveness of leaders. More recently, having a great vision and the … Continue reading