What Do Leaders Really Do?: Getting under the skin of what makes a great leader tick

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John Wiley & Sons, Sep 24, 2007 - Business & Economics - 224 pages
An enormous range of literature on leadership and management theory has been produced over the years, some of it highly academic and much of it contradictory. What Do Leaders Really Do? takes the basis of the best-known management theories to see how they fit with the practical reality of leadership. How do leaders spend their time? Are they really preoccupied with strategy, vision and inspiring people? Do they lead by accident, or design? The book challenges the assumption that leaders are born, not made and explores the theory that female leaders are fundamentally different from their male counterparts.

What Do Leaders Really Do? Looks into the everyday working lives of well-known leaders in a variety of fields - business, sport and the armed forces - in order to identify the elements that encourage people to follow where they lead. Drawing on the experiences of a wide range of leaders with varying backgrounds and roles, as well as a range of respected academics and management writers, this book will closely analyze the background, experiences and behavior of a diverse set of leaders. A central part of the analysis will be a detailed examination of what these leaders do on a day-to-day basis.

It is not a book about management theory but an accessible, no-nonsense guide to those theories and how they translate to real life. Many people lead effectively without knowing how they do it; this book will isolate and identify the core skills and behavior displayed by effective leaders.

What Do Leaders Really Do? is intended to be a refreshing alternative to the hundreds of academically-oriented leadership books that are available. The tone will be straight-forward, accessible and sometimes humorous, rich with first-person evidence and anecdotes. It will dissect popular leadership theory into the easily understandable basics, with reference to the practicalities of real-life leadership situations. After all, what good is theory if it doesn't work in practice?

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About the author (2007)

Jeff Grout is a respected adviser, commentator and columnist on the subjects of motivation, recruitment and retention.  He is a regular speaker at conferences and events, specialising in topics such as Building high-performance teams and The characteristics of success.  He is also business manager to Clive Woodward, the former England Rugby coach.
Jeff is an experienced television and radio participant and has collaborated with the BBC in producing an interview training video.   He has also run interview technique courses for a number of the UK’s leading companies.
Jeff is co-author of Mind Games, The Adventure Capitalists and My Brilliant Career, which insights into the characteristics of career success, based on public interviews with high achievers from the fields of sport, business media and the stage.

Liz Fisher is a freelance journalist and writer, contributing regularly to many business and professional magazines.  During her twenty years as a business journalist, she has interviewed leaders in a range of fields, from the RAF to the RSC.  She is co-author of The Bluffer’s Guide to Accountancy and author of Brand Identity in Retail Financial Services and a careers guide for young accountants.

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