“Leadership is a science and an art”. So say Doug Watsbaugh and Rick Conlow, authors of Superstar Leadership: A 31-Day Plan to Motivate People, Communicate Positively, and Get Everyone On Your Side (CareerPress 2013). With 40 years of management experience and 15 years of business consulting experience between them, they have penned an easy-to-use workshop-in-a-book approach to leadership development aimed at supervisors and managers.
At its foundation leadership is a science because the building blocks involve management best practices and skills that can be learned. But it is also an art because it incorporates the unique thought patterns and values of individual managers combined with the degree to which each of them adopts the use of those management best practices and skills.
Superstar Leadership discusses:
- Why 50 percent of managers fail and how to avoid the pitfalls,
- Seven key principles to employee motivation,
- The High-Performance Formula for employee engagement and results,
- Nine interrelated strategies and corresponding competencies of a Superstar Leader,
- How to create a high-performing team and exceed goals and more.
Each day of the 31-day plan addresses a specific Superstar Leader topic, such as What Motivates People – Really? This interactive guide includes a Leadership Skills Test on Day 1, as well as warm-up activities and developmental questions after each chapter.
My favorite part of the book: the final four chapters about putting what you have learned in the previous chapters into action. The final chapter, Superstar Leadership Presence, hinges on the tried-and-true axiom ‘Know thyself’. The authors suggest that you know where you are starting from when you begin this leadership-development journey. Assess your strengths, weaknesses, beliefs, values, purpose, and goals.
In addition to self-assessment of these important elements, I recommend getting feedback from others who know you well. Otherwise you may miss a critical skill or attribute because you are too close to the subject – you!
That is why I use the 360Reach Survey to assess personal branding with my clients. It is an easy, online feedback mechanism that is confidential for respondents, so they can truthfully share their perceptions of your personal brand attributes, skills, strengths, weaknesses, leadership/team style, and much more.