At last someone has produced a book that directly addresses the problem rather than the symptoms of the leadership crisis in business, politics, and the professions.
Andre van Heerden’s Leaders and Misleaders – the art of leading like you mean it flays the misguided belief that we can produce leaders through skills-training and quick-fix solutions, and insists that the key is character-development and the fomenting of wisdom through on-going education. Giving skills to people of negative character will see those skills misused, and this is why our society tends to produce misleaders rather than leaders.
The hard facts reveal a desperate shortage of leadership at all levels in society. The seemingly intractable socio-political, economic, and environ-mental problems of our world cry out for leadership.
The Global Financial Crisis of 2008/9 saw many prominent business and political heads brought low as corporate malfeasance and political corruption made regular headlines, and millions of people lost their livelihoods, life savings, and more through the actions of those they had trusted to lead the companies they had invested in. At the same time, many once-unassailable brands suffered serious damage in the global marketplace, and complexity and compliance continued to torment businesses large and small. While leadership has been scarce in the face of challenges like globalization, the emergence of the BRIC economies, energy and environmental issues, and snow-balling technological innovation, misleadership has been strongly in evidence. Andre Van Heerden argues that only leadership as it is defined in Leaders and Misleaders will enable companies and nations to meet the challenges.
After ten years of running a highly successful corporate leadership program, and a working life that has seen him teaching history, fighting in the Rhodesian War, and working as a Creative Director on an assortment of international blue-chip brands, Andre has a perspective built on solid empirical grounds. Apart from scores of workshops and conferences, over the past eight years he has guided almost 500 corporate leaders through the six month “Power of Integrity” program, personally conducting more than 3000 one-on-one sessions and analyzing nearly 8000 360-degree leadership assessments.
Leaders and Misleaders has earned high praise from significant quarters. Internationally famous author and social critic, Theodore Dalrymple, says: “This is the only book on management that someone who is not himself a manager could bear to read, because it is literate, philosophically-informed and truthful.”
Greg Fleming, CEO of the Maxim Institute, is equally emphatic: “This is a very important book. Andre van Heerden speaks directly to the leadership crisis and prescribes the perfect antidote – feast on the examples of those who have gone before us. Rediscover the character and vision that shaped those on whose shoulders we stand – those giants who lived for causes greater than themselves. To a generation of leaders standing on the quicksand of individualism and relativism this book offers purpose and confidence. Read it!”
The response from Professor Joe Wallis of the School of Business at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates is no less enthusiastic: “Simply outstanding – I will have no hesitation in using it in any future course I may teach on leadership and ethics. There are many books that make a contribution to our understanding of this complex topic but I cannot think of any with the potentially life-changing impact of Andre’s call to lead as though we really mean it.”
Leaders and Misleaders is rich in historical anecdotes, philosophical insights, and eye-opening personal experiences from corporate life, and includes a full and illuminating bibliography that will encourage readers to take their own education further.
ANDRE heads the corporate leadership program The Power of Integrity, and is the author of three books on leadership, Leaders and Misleaders, An Educational Bridge for Leaders, and Leading Like You Mean It. He has unique qualifications for addressing the leadership crisis. Since studying law at Rhodes University, he has been a history teacher, a deputy headmaster, a soldier, a refugee, an advertising writer, a creative director, an account director on multinational brands, a marketing consultant, and a leadership educator. He has worked in all business categories on blue-chip brands like Toyota, Ford, Jaguar, Canon, American Express, S C Johnson, Kimberley Clark, and John Deere, while leadership coaching has seen him help leaders and aspirant leaders in Real Estate, Retail, the Science Sector, Local Government, Education, Food Safety, Banking, and many other areas.
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