Monthly Archives: January 2013

The End of Leadership

EndOfLeadershipKellerman, Barbara.  The End of Leadership.  New York, NY: Harper Business.

Recommended by:  Renae Chesnut, Drake University CoP

Star Rating (1-5): 4

Review: This book provides a history of leadership theories and the rise of the “leadership industry”, along with a critical assessment of the leadership courses, development programs, etc.  I found it thought-provoking as Barbara Kellerman stresses that as a society, we are spending more than ever before (~50 billion) on leadership yet, we seem to have more leadership collapses and failures than we have ever had before.

My ‘take-aways’ from the book include:

1)  The potential collapse of Leaders (note the big L) is greater today than ever before due to social media and other communication technologies. One mistake today can spread like wildfire and brand the leader as “inept or corrupt.”

2)  In our society today, the balance of power between leaders and followers has shifted, with leaders becoming weaker and followers becoming stronger. As such, we need to teach and develop followership skills in our students.

3)  The importance of including ethical foundations in any leadership course or development program are more important than ever before.

I was a bit disappointed that Kellerman did not provide more recommendations on what we as leadership educators should do to solve these issues…my guess is that those answers will be forthcoming in her next book!


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