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leadership a very short introduction

3 Reasons to Read “Leadership: A Very Short Introduction”

Start your summer reading list with “Leadership: A Very Short Introduction.”

Here’s 3 reasons why you absolutely need to read this book.

First, it’s A Very Short Introduction.

Seriously. I love this series. It’s brilliant. If you are looking for an introduction that’s more substantive than Wikipedia and yet equally approachable, then you need to try some Very Short Introductions. Among other topics, I’ve spent free time learning about globalization, science fiction, and historiography. Oxford University Press publishes these books, selecting experts as authors. The series includes over 300 volumes, and they average under 200 pages in length.

Second, it would have helped me with my PhD Comps.

Part of preparing for a comprehensive exam is the skill of summarizing, synthesizing, and analyzing multiple sources addressing the same topic. The VSI series does that. For the leadership edition, the result is a helpful overview of the development of thinking about leadership as well as commentary on issues such as how we define leadership, the proverbial question of whether leaders are born or made, how leaders lead, and followership.

Third, it’s a great argument for collaborative leadership.

What immediately caught my attention about the book was its discussion on “wicked problems” vs. “technical” ones. Technical problems are fairly linear and have definitive solutions. “Wicked” problems are “wicked” in that they don’t have definitive solutions. They are often systemic problems that involve so many factors that one single POV simply can’t address all the issues. As such, wicked problems require collaborative efforts. While the distinction between wicked and technical problems is not new, I found this distinction at the outset of the book to be a helpful reminder.

To go beyond this very short blog post and learn more about the Very Short Introduction series, go to the website or check out the Very Short Introduction page on Facebook.

You can also read Leadership: A Very Short Introduction here.

Stan Ward

Stan Ward

Dr. Stanley J. Ward is the Dean of Capstone Studies at Claremont Lincoln University, where he continues to develop CLU's unique action research model for mindfulness, dialogue, and collaboration that lead to values-based change. As dean, he also supervises graduate student action research projects in ethical leadership, social impact, and interfaith action.

Outside of academia, he is a certified 360 feedback facilitator through the Center for Creative Leadership and a certified change management practitioner through Prosci. In 2014, he founded Influence Coaching, LLC (www.coachingforinfluence.com) to provide individual and small group coaching resources that help leaders maximize their strengths, correct their liabilities, and make peace with their weaknesses, all while developing others in their organizations.
 
Dr. Ward holds a PhD in Leadership Studies, thinks fountain pens are cool, and jams on the ukulele with his family.

Claremont Core

Claremont Lincoln University

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Stan Ward

Stan Ward

Dr. Stanley J. Ward is the Dean of Capstone Studies at Claremont Lincoln University, where he continues to develop CLU's unique action research model for mindfulness, dialogue, and collaboration that lead to values-based change. As dean, he also supervises graduate student action research projects in ethical leadership, social impact, and interfaith action.

Outside of academia, he is a certified 360 feedback facilitator through the Center for Creative Leadership and a certified change management practitioner through Prosci. In 2014, he founded Influence Coaching, LLC (www.coachingforinfluence.com) to provide individual and small group coaching resources that help leaders maximize their strengths, correct their liabilities, and make peace with their weaknesses, all while developing others in their organizations.
 
Dr. Ward holds a PhD in Leadership Studies, thinks fountain pens are cool, and jams on the ukulele with his family.

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