Imprint: Triarchy Press
List Price: £28.00
Offer Price: £25.00
Size: 15.2 x 22.9 cm
List Price: £40.00
Offer Price: £35.00
Size: 15.2 x 22.9 cm
Tags: Systems Thinking, Leadership, Systemic Leadership, Organisational Leadership
The Search for Leadership:
An Organisational Perspective
About the author
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Paperback: Cost: £25.00
E-book version: (read-only)
The Search for Leadership: Reviews
From Jim Stroup's review on Managing Leadership:
"Tate asks with disciplined focus what, precisely, leadership in organizations is intended to serve, and how we are to make sure that it does so...
He is especially concerned with the problem of leadership development as it is typically conceived and undertaken in contemporary organizations. He insists that it must not be allowed to continue as a patchwork of personal improvement modules pursued independently of the needs of the outfit.
The first step in the creation of such programs, he laments, is ordinarily an almost eerie disassociation from the organization’s needs. Rather, developers turn earnestly but disconnectedly to the assemblage of boilerplate individual leadership components. He argues repeatedly that such programs should begin not with a discussion of what the attendees may need, but of what the organization needs from the leadership it wishes to generate and benefit from in its strategic and operational efforts.
...At bottom, he rightly makes a strong case for the view that leadership is, at the very least, inferior to the organization. And he does so in an engaging, readable manner, reinforced with vivid expression and memorable metaphors. This book represents an important full forward step in the right direction toward an effective understanding of leadership – and how to rein it in."
Read the review in full.
"...check out "The Search for Leadership: An Organisational Perspective" by Bill Tate. His work actually takes [John] Adair's work up a notch - from team to the wider organisation (a bigger team in a sense)."
Dave Mettam, International Specialist in ‘Dynamic OD’, Change and Talent Management.
"This book takes a refreshingly different view of the concept of leadership. Rather than taking the well trodden, but futile route of trying to describe how to turn individual managers into great leaders, it views leadership as a system. As such, it shows that, in order to improve the quality of leadership within organisations, it is necessary to change the system. It uses a number of well publicised examples of systemic failures of leadership. These include the Jonathan Ross / Russell Brand fiasco; the cases of Victoria Climbié and Baby P; the collapse of Northern Rock and the Abu Ghraib scandal to name but a few. When such issues hit the headlines, there is much huffing and puffing about "systemic failures", but few people have previously been brave enough to try and identify ways of putting the system right. This book puts forward a series of practical approaches to eliminate such systemic failures within organisations.
The main benefit of this book is that it assists in changing our perception of organisations. It challenges the reader to get outside the box and, rather than just blame "the system", to actually start changing it for the better."
thoughtful, clear and highly practical...
William Tate has written a comprehensive assessment of the leadership debate and, in a congested arena, found space for a different way of understanding leadership from which new applications can be developed. He asks the critical question, "How does the system work to deliver leadership and ... take advantage of it?"
After a testing review of the conventional approaches to leadership, in the second half of the book he tests his proposition by assessing his systemic approach against key criteria. The book deals with an unclear subject with great clarity and contains many practical measures for the practitioner in addition to a thorough analysis of the subject of leadership.
HR Director, Marks & Spencer plc, (2004-2008)
Leading change has become the mantra of the moment, and Tate’s book is a timely and highly significant contribution towards our thinking about the interactions between an organisation and leadership, and how each influences the other in an open systems model. His work is thoughtful, clear and highly practical.
Professor W. Warner Burke
Edward Lee Thorndike Professor of Psychology and Education
Columbia University, New York
In his fascinating new book Bill Tate offers a fresh perspective for thinking and talking about leadership in organisations, looking beyond individual leadership development to the systemic development of leadership, equipping organisations as systems to use leadership to continuously change and adapt. Full of practical tips and insights, this is a ‘must read’ book for any leadership or organisational development practitioner who wants to make a difference to business success.
Director of Research and Policy, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, UK
This is a refreshing, insightful and above all, useful book on leadership in organisational contexts. It is a pleasure to read and it offers a practical road map for understanding and improving organisations and the way they are led.
Professor of Management, The Open University Business School, UK
Organisations spend a fortune developing leaders, most focusing on the individual rather than the organisation. Without addressing leadership as a fundamental part of the organisation the organisation will never progress. Bill Tate proposes that the organisation must address leadership as a corporate responsibility. Organisations that value leadership flourish, but to achieve this all the various levels of management must embrace leadership, with systems and processes that support the ethos.
Dr Richard Cullen
former Director of Training and Development, Metropolitan Police Service, London
Seeing leadership from the organisational rather than the individual dimension makes obvious sense - you can train individual swimmers to perfection but put them in a swamp and the dynamic changes completely. In this book, Bill Tate rightly re-focuses the lens onto the organisation itself in a series of simple, clear and relevant examples. As someone who has used the diagnostic Organisational Leadership Audit, I believe this offers insights that simply cannot be achieved in other ways; you might have gut feelings, but do you have the evidence? The first step is, however, for the leadership to look at itself and realise what its organisation needs. This book is that first step.
Air Vice-Marshal Jon Lamonte
Royal Air Force
Bill's insights into systems leadership enables developers to move beyond short-term operational needs and pressures. The book provides the language and rational argument that will enable the kind of strategic conversations with your executive to transform the way that leadership is developed in organisations. Let's stop polishing the fish and tackle the dirty tank instead!
VP Learning & Development, Metronet Rail
Our work in the Management Lab at London Business School calls for nothing less than wholesale reinvention of how to run companies. Bill's latest book makes a valuable, timely and highly practical contribution to that debate. The travails in the financial sector show how urgent and deep the need is. His forthright, informed and practical style shows organisations how to assess their system's leadership needs and how to go about getting them met using a systemic perspective. The financial crisis in Britain's and western economy brings into sharp relief how badly broken are our models of management and leadership. Bill's bold model shows how a systemic approach sheds light in some dark corners that are badly in need of illumination and improvement.
Professor of Strategic and International Management, London Business School
Bill Tate has produced a book to challenge both orthodox thinking on leadership, and shift the focus to the organisation. He cleverly mixes generic concepts with case studies and real experience, in a blend of the commercial and public sectors. There is also a neat diagnostic tool to ensure engagement with the approach articulated. This book is a valuable addition to the corpus of leadership doctrine.
Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary, London
Much has been written about personal leadership, but until now very little about leadership’s organisational purpose. William Tate offers a journey of discovery, looking through the other end of the telescope and focusing on what leadership should really be about – engaging directly with the organisation’s needs. Tate’s book de-mystifies the complexity and theory of leadership in a practical and systematic way, enabling the reader to appreciate the strong inter-dependency between the leadership process and organisations looking for wholesale improvement. This ground-breaking work should be read by all who are interested in improving the way their organisation works and how it is led.
Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development, Somerset County Council, Taunton
The Book's Home Page
Key Points of the Book
Systems Thinking & Leadership
Why Leadership Needs Managing
Read Chapter 2
Systemic Leadership: The Toolkit
The Decision Loom
Growing Wings on the Way