1st Edition

Leadership Agility Developing Your Repertoire of Leadership Styles

By Ron Meyer, Ronald Meijers Copyright 2018
    290 Pages
    by Routledge

    290 Pages
    by Routledge

    Leadership is about influencing others to move in a certain direction and there are many ways of achieving this influence. Each of these leadership styles has its inherent qualities and pitfalls, and will be more suited to specific people and different circumstances. The more leaders understand their preferred leadership styles and are able to flexibly switch to the most suitable style given the situation, the more effective they will be. This book maps out ten sets of opposite leadership styles, giving readers the possibility to understand the strengths and weaknesses of both sides, and to identify their own current preference.

    The ten leadership style dimensions cover the full range of leadership roles, from the leader as coach (interpersonal leadership), to the leader as organizer (organizational leadership), as strategist (strategic leadership), as sense-maker (leadership and mission) and as role model (leadership and self).

    Readers are invited to draw up their own leadership development plans, which is supported by an interactive App. Readers are also challenged to reflect on how they would approach a number of cases, after which they can go to an interactive web-forum to read how others have responded and engage in a discussion with them. Leadership Agility is a useful tool for practitioners in the corporate world as well as business students and emerging leaders.

    Preface, Part 1: Leadership, Chapter 1 The Nature of Leadership, Chapter 2 The Practice of Leadership, Part 2: Interpersonal Leadership, Chapter 3 Interpersonal Steering: The Paradox of Activities & Conditions, Chapter 4 Interpersonal Feedback: The Paradox of Challenge & Appreciation, Part 3: Organizational Leadership, Chapter 5 Organizational Composition: The Paradox of Unity & Diversity, Chapter 6 Organizational Decision-Making: The Paradox of Direction & Participation, Part 4: Strategic Leadership, Chapter 7 Strategic Goal-Setting: The Paradox of Idealism & Realism, Chapter 8 Strategic Priority-Setting: The Paradox of Exploitation & Exploration, Part 5: Leadership and Mission, Chapter 9 Purpose-Setting: The Paradox of Wealth & Health, Chapter 10 Interests-Setting: The Paradox of Self-Actualization & Service, Part 6: Leadership and Self, Chapter 11 Leadership Problem-Solving: The Paradox of Thought & Action, Chapter 12 Leadership Attunement: The Paradox of Authenticity & Adjustment, Part 7: Leadership Development, Chapter 13 Developing Leadership Agility, Chapter 14 Mastering Leadership Agility


    Ron Meyer is Professor of Strategic Leadership at Tias School for Business and Society, Tilburg University and Managing Director of the Center for Strategy and Leadership. For years, Ron has been combining boardroom consulting with in-house management trainings and applied management research. Besides that, Ron gives speeches and presentations on topics such as leadership, corporate strategy, business innovation, change management, strategic thinking and organizational development. He has (co-)authored numerous articles and books, among which is the internationally leading textbook Strategy: Process, Content, Context.

    Ronald Meijers is senior partner Leadership, Transformation and Governance at Deloitte. For years, Ronald has been engaged in boardroom coaching and consulting, while fulfilling various management roles in professional services firms, such as co-chairman of the executive board of Krauthammer. He sits on various supervisory and advisory boards, e.g. at Dunamare, an education group. He gives key-notes on topics such as corporate culture, organizational collaboration, change management, creative thinking, leadership and governance. He has (co-)authored numerous articles, books and columns, among others in Management Team and Management Scope.

    "A refreshing and insightful journey into the inexact science of leadership. For leaders who look for new ways to develop their agility." Eric Rondolat, CEO, Philips Lighting

    "Ron and Ronald have done it again. A very readable book on leadership with a focus on the main characteristics of agility. With a world that is increasingly facing the dilemmas caused by the diversity of diversity we need a new paradigm of leadership that goes beyond situational leadership. And this well-written book helps you to get aware of your dominant style and how to go beyond it." Fons Trompenaars, Partner KPMG Trompenaars Hampden-Turner Culture for Business and co-author of Riding the Waves of Culture: Understanding Cultural Diversity in Business

    "Successfully navigating through the storms and swells of a major transformation effort requires a compass, map and that old and trusted notebook with the lessons we and other captains learned on earlier traverses. This book provides exactly and all that in a practical and pragmatic manner." Harry Brekelmans, Member of the Executive Committee, Royal Dutch Shell

    "Oh no. Not another book about leadership. Trees are too important to be turned into leadership books. Books that typically promote tricks, styles and interventions that will allow you to become Winston Churchill or Jack Welsh in a heartbeat. And in the process ignore the single most important requirement for good leadership: authenticity. Faking a leadership style that is not yours, or playing a leadership role that ignores your very nature, is a recipe for organizational disaster and personal frustration.

    This book, you guessed it right, is different. It is descriptive rather than prescriptive. It does not advertise the one leadership style that will save the world, but describes different dimensions of a leadership style.

    Why is that helpful? First, it helps you understand yourself. Along 10 different dimensions you can assess your own style, understand what your basic leadership is, and what it is not. It makes you realize what your environment observes, and what not. And in that way helps you execute and communicate your decisions and messages much more effectively, because you better realize their impact. Second, it helps you better understand the leadership of others. Of your peers, your team members, or your boss. You understand that the fact that their style is different from yours does not make them bad leaders; just, indeed, different! It helps you build your own team, in recognizing that leadership styles might complement each other and lead to a more diverse and complete leadership culture. For the fans of a federative leadership style, that is (right, one of the 10 dimensions).

    And finally, because the book makes for an interesting and captivating read. The case studies are insightful, thought provoking and fascinating. I still feel sorry for the tree, but at least it has turned into something that is both entertaining and helpful!" Roger Dassen, Global Managing Director, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu

    "A refreshingly practical book on leadership that is in sync with the fast changing environment in which agility and high engagement of staff are keys to success. This is an insightful guide to analyzing and developing your leadership skills required to achieve excellent results, whereby authenticity (staying close to yourself) while adjusting to the circumstances is central. A great tool for anyone in management!" Dick Harryvan, former-CEO, ING Direct

    "Practice shows that there is a huge need to improve leadership as it turns out that too many leaders do not create an environment in which their employees feel engaged. Therefore, this book of Meyer and Meijers is well timed. It provides the reader with great insights and inspirations, which hopefully can be transformed into practice as this could improve leadership in action." Flemming Poulfelt, Professor of Management and Strategy, Copenhagen Business School and co-author of Managing the Knowledge-Intensive Firm

    "A book based on many years of practical experience. Very inspiring with a lot of food for thought." Nils Herzberg, Global Lead Internet of Things, SAP SE

    "This is immensely readable book on the need for leaders to be agile in an increasingly volatile, complex and uncertain world. But above all, the advice that it provides is accessible, practical and no-nonsense." Jamie Anderson, Professor of Business Strategy, Antwerp Management School and co-author of The Fine Art of Success: How Learning Great Art Can Create Great Business

    "Paradoxes in today’s organizations are demanding for leaders. Leaders have to be able to learn, switch and sometimes combine different leadership styles. Stated differently, now and in the future, leadership agility is the meta-skill for leaders. If you want a book with an excellent conceptual body around this core idea, start here. Ron and Ronald offer you 10 paradoxes in a clear and very compelling way." Jesse Segers and Koen Marichal, co-directors of The Future Leadership Initiative, Antwerp Management School