Leading at All Levels : Using Systemic Ideas to Get the Most from the Workplace book cover
1st Edition

Leading at All Levels
Using Systemic Ideas to Get the Most from the Workplace

ISBN 9781782203797
Published July 30, 2018 by Routledge
154 Pages

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Book Description

Leading at All Levels: Using Systemic Ideas to Get the Most from the Workplace moves away from traditional perspectives on leadership and, utilising ideas from systemic consultation, provides a rationale for leadership at all levels, emphasising the potential of everyone in organisations to lead in their own area of work. Reviewing the theory of resilience and its place in organisational life, the book provides guidance on how to foster resilience in the workplace.

Written in accessible language, the book is divided into three sections: on work and leadership, on problem solving and finally on approaches to leading at all levels. A variety of perspectives on leadership are explored, as well as barriers to effective leadership and there are many suggestions for improvement. The book discusses the ways in which systemic thinking can contribute to enhance leadership, which includes considering different perceptions and experiences of leadership, the influence of power in workplace relationships and organisational outcomes, the link between positive employee engagement for performance and well-being at work, and the importance of interpersonal and relational behaviour on leadership. The book also considers the importance of everyday workplace interactions to our understanding of leadership and supports a wide understanding of workplace conflict. It contains examples throughout, which are applicable to different types and sizes of organisation, and provides suggestions for readers relating to the practice of leadership at all levels.

Good leadership is of great importance to today’s organisations. The book suggests that by paying more attention to leadership at all levels, organisations can work towards improving productivity, which has been highlighted as a critical issue in the UK since the 2008 recession.

Leading at All Levels will appeal to systemic trainees, practitioners and systemic consultants and to those in related professions, as well as to personal development practitioners and coaches.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Why leadership at all levels

Chapter 1 Work and Leadership

Chapter 2 Workplace Stress & Resilience

Chapter 3 Leadership

Chapter 4 Systemic Perspectives on Problem Solving

Chapter 5 Using Systemic Questions in Consultation

Chapter 6 Solution focussed Approaches to Problem Solving

Chapter 7 Systemic and other approaches to leadership at all levels

Chapter 8 Positioning theory

Chapter 9 Working with Conflict in Organisations

Chapter 10 Alternative Approaches to Leadership

Chapter 11 Systemic Contributions to the Practice of Leadership at all Levels


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Annette MacArtain-Kerr, is a UKCP registered systemic psychotherapist and consultant. She has held management roles in a number of different organisations in the voluntary sector and in education in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. She worked at the Graduate School at Queen’s University, Belfast, from 2008–2017. She works as a freelance lecturer and trainer in organisations, schools and universities, offers consultation and coaching to individuals and organisations, and continues to work as a systemic psychotherapist in the voluntary sector and in private practice.


"One of the strengths Annette brings is her breadth of experience working in a variety of academic, local authority and private sector organisations. Her obvious concern for the thoughtful promotion of the highest ethical and professional standards in all her activities stands out and is a challenge and encouragement to the faculty, students and her colleagues. I am very pleased to see her work reflected in this publication for the benefit of a wider audience." -- Stephen Coulter, Director of Masters in Systemic Psychotherapy Programme, Queen’s University Belfast (UK)

"This book provides an innovative application of systemic ideas to organisational contexts that offers the reader some pragmatic approaches to everyday work issues." --Dr. Aileen Tierney, CEO,Clanwilliam Institute, Dublin (Republic of Ireland)

"This book is a valuable contribution to the literature regarding the concept of leadership at all levels. Commencing with the authors personal journey and the strong research and practical application across an extensive range of potential practice environments. a personable style of writing as though in conversation with the author, her focus on the relational and moral attributes of the leader. Each situation requiring thoughtful reflection on perceived power and assessing self and others as been change ready, therefore building collaborative engagement enabling staff at all levels to demonstrate leadership in a collective context. I would recommend this as a good read for personal skills development and to facilitate students growing their systemic understanding." --Moira Mannion, Deputy Director of Nursing workforce and Education, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust Northern Ireland