Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Book twenty-two: Positive Leadership: Strategies for Extraordinary Performance by Kim Cameron.

The second book in the book club sponsored by the HR department at my office is Positive Leadership: Strategies for Extraordinary Performance by Kim Cameron.  I liked this book better than the first book probably because it felt different than most management books I've read (which isn't many).  Oh sure, the second half of the book devolves into prescriptive "do this, not that" guidance that makes up the bulk of "be a better manager" books.

So it's the first half of this book that I found most interesting. Here's a book that uses research to suggest truly successful corporations promote ideals such as love, hope, compassion, forgiveness, and humility. Those are words and ideas that seem out of place in a business book. Consider this passage: "Inducing positive emotions (such as joyfulness, love, or appreciation) enlarges perspectives and enhances the ability of individuals to attend to more information, make richer interpretations, and experience higher levels of creativity and productivity."  That's a sentiment that appeals to my nature.  The book even hints that organizations that worry less about profit and more about fostering a positive environment are more likely to succeed.  

Positive Leadership is a short read and may be the first management book I might recommend to a friend.  But then again, I'm one of those touchy-feely liberals, so your standard business conservative might not find this book as interesting.

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