Leadership and Performance Beyond Expectations

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BOOK REVIEW-LEADERSHIP AND PERFORMANCE BEYOND EXPECTATIONS Bass, B. (1985). Leadership and Performance Beyond Expectations. New York: The Free Press. It is one of the best leadership books I ever read so far. “Leadership and Performance Beyond Expectations” by Bernard M. Bass, published by The Free Press in 1985. It has been two decades since the book published, and some might says that the word “expectations” used as the title may be only applicable during that era, but for me, most of the ideas are still relevant and adaptable till present; as to agree with the a statement made by Abraham Zaleznik, Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Leadership, Emeritus at the Havard Business School on this publication, “This book will recast leadership research for the next decade or more”.

This book is generously filled with a collection of research from various aspects of leadership, sources and well known individuals namely Warren Bennis, Fred Fiedler, James MacGregor Burns, Victor Vroom, Abraham Zaleznik and Robert House. It presents a collection of literatures on the traits of an exceptional leader. Reading this particular publication is like reading a complete literature review on leadership. It does cover most or maybe all possible edges of leadership which I can think of.

Author starts with distinguishing the transactional leader which had been primarily focused half a century before and the new-aged transformational leader. Later found in this book, the author‟s elaboration detailing on the criteria and characteristics of the transformationalist, as to name some such as charismatic, inspirational and intellectual. Other concepts and styles of leadership were also argued in this book like the practice of authoritarian, participative style, mentor - protégé approach, individualistic and quality circles practices.

Purposeful This book serves the purpose of being a medium to a better understanding on the overall concept of leadership. As mentioned above, this book is a collaboration of leadership insight from various researchers, which later facilitated a positive change in the readers understanding of who these leaders are, how they get results and why their leadership often exceeds all expectable limits. All the theories, concepts and arguments are discussed accordingly as to enhance the readers‟ idea on leadership. The author seems has a vision on what to be expected from the readers as his elaboration did well in me. This book publication had served some objectives I assumed, that set by the author. To dump-in a chuck of insights from various sources is a very tough and challenging job, if it is done without a goal in mind. I believed that it is an honourable and purposeful effort to gather all those valuable information, finding the common ground among the leaders mentioned, and richly translate them into a publication as this. I strongly believed that the author had done a great job in gathering the insights, common direction from various leaders, and build a shared vision to improve his readers.

Inclusive Various theories of leadership were discussed in this publication, showing how well it covers most of the leadership scope; Maslow‟s need theory, Alderfer‟s, Path-goal theory and contingency theory to name some of them. Apart from citation from numerous famous researches on leadership, the author also relates his elaboration with the real-world situation as proven example of these transformational leaders and their success stories, namely Steve Jobs of Apple Inc, Lee Iacocca of Chrysler, President Roosevelt and JF Kennedy, Mahatma Gandhi, Charles de Gaulle and Kemal Ataturk of Turkey.

This book did not just being a medium of listing thoughts from all over the world, but the author also being inclusive by understanding, valuing and actively engages the diversity of views, approaches and styles of each researcher and the world-class leaders. All aspects of individuality from these sources in this book had added...
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