Category Archives: Instructor Resources

These books may be helpful to instructors to support their professional development in the area of leadership. Or, it may assist in designing leadership instruction.

The Advantage

The Advantage

Citation for Book:  Lencioni P.  The Advantage:  Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business.  Jossey-Bass; 2012

Recommended by:  Todd Sorensen,

Star Rating (1-5): 5

Review:  If you are a fan of Patrick Lencioni’s previous work (Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Death by Meeting), you’ll appreciate the way Lencioni weaves concepts from multiple books into a focused discussion on what creates healthy organizations.  If you’ve not read any of Lencioni’s previous works, you’ll appreciate the opportunity to gather some of his most important insights from years as a business consultant in one book.

The strength of The Advantage is how Lencioni takes the critical concept of “organizational health,” which has not been covered with this specificity or depth in his previous books, and creates an effective narrative via a combination of familiar concepts with new insights and effective stories from the field.  Lencioni states that organizational health is about “an organization being whole, consistent and complete.”  That it is “healthy” when its management, operations, strategy and culture fit together and make sense.  Unfortunately over his many years consulting with both large and small organizations, Lencioni has observed that achieving organizational health is illusive.  And in his experience, achieving organizational health by integrating these dimensions provides the foundation that establishes a key competitive advantage in the market sector of that organization.

While The Advantage does bring into its narrative several familiar Lencioni concepts, its notable for those who will have read prior books that The Advantage does not feel like a retread of that material.  It doesn’t seem redundant.  The focus is on collating key concepts in a way that provides guidance to a reader to address larger organizational issues than what had been the focus of those individual works previously.  It adds additional meaning and applicability to the concepts of team development, vision and organizational communication, allowing The Advantage to stand on its own with a distinctive message.

One thing that will quickly become clear to those who’ve read other books by Lencioni – The Advantage does not employ the fictional story narrative style.  This book is written in the first person from Lencioni’s perspective.  While the fictional story style was effective in illustrating key concepts and strategies, it doesn’t feel like it would be an effective writing strategy for the diversity of material presented here.


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Filed under Instructor Resources, Organizational Change/Excellence, Uncategorized

How will you measure your life?


Citation for Book: Christensen CM, Allworth J, Dillon K. How Will You Measure Your Life?. HarperBusiness; 2012

Recommended by:  Kyle Turner,

Star Rating (1-5): 5

Review: How will you gauge the outcomes of your personal and professional life? What will success look like? In his book, How Will You Measure Your Life, Harvard business professor Clayton Christensen discusses how to find answers to these important questions. Using a series of real-life vignettes, Christensen applies the issues of the modern business world to personal and professional life as a means to discover answers to three important questions:

• How can I be sure I find satisfaction in my career?
• How can I be sure my relationships become enduring sources of happiness?
• How can I avoid compromising my integrity – and stay out of jail?

This lecture-turned-text covers subjects such as personal motivation and incentives, intentional planning vs. unexpected opportunity, aligning resources, strategy and values, long term relationship investment, creating a consistent culture, troublesome outsourcing, the impact of small decisions, and more!

Readers will find this book to be insightful, motivating and deeply reflective. Regardless of your personal or professional background, the theories and ideas presented will aid in peeling back the layers of your life and help you determine if your own ship is sailing to your desired destination.

This book belongs on every person’s shelf. Teachers and learners will find it invaluable as they investigate and teach self-awareness, ethics and values, goal setting, career planning and more.

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Filed under Character/Values, Inspirational, Instructor Resources, Pharmacy Students-All

The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace – Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People

appreciation at workplace

Citation for Book: Chapman G. White P. Revised and Updated: The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace – Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People. Chicago, IL: Northfield Publishing, Inc.; 2012.

Recommended by:  David Fuentes, Pacific University Oregon

Star Rating (1-5): 5 Stars

Review: This book is for anyone seeking to maximize relationships and results in the workplace with natural extensions into one’s personal life. Chapman and White present a revised and updated work, “The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace” as 209 pages of reading addressing the five key areas of appreciating our colleagues in the professional realm. The concepts of this book were adapted to fit the workplace and address both the perspectives of hiring managers (or employers) and their employees as they provide a good discussion on the five different appreciation styles. Chapman and White urge us to also pay attention to our blind spots related to our least common (or comfortable) area of both giving and receiving appreciation. Finally, they end with the notion of what must be done in order to inculcate these languages in the workplace, as well as provide an overview of what the costs of not doing so may be. Books may also be accompanied by an Access code to find your own primary appreciation language to help guide your development. Overall, a quick, thoughtful and informative read.

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Filed under Instructor Resources, Personal Development, Skill Building

Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t

Leaders Eat Last

Citation for Book: Sinek, Simon. Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t.  New York, New York: Portfolio/Penguin, 2014

Recommended by: : Jack J. Chen, Marshall B. Ketchum University

Star Rating (1-5): 5

Review: Leaders Eat Last. This sums up leadership behavior. The title of the book is derived from an observation of culture in the US Marines in which the leaders eat last, placing the needs of others above their own, and illustrating that leadership privilege comes at the expense of self-interest. Another corollary example he gives is that leaders provide cover from above; allowing the people on the ground to feel safe. This instills loyalty and drives people to excel in situations.

Writing in an easy to understand manner, Mr. Sineks speaks about leadership from an anthropological voice and utilizes facts and observations to illustrate his points. Much of what is discussed relates to organic attributes (such as empathy, integrity, sense of belonging, teamwork, selfishness, distrust, and trust) and how a leader can be more in tune with these primal elements to foster an environment for a healthier organization. The title of the book resonates with me because I immediately understand it’s anthropological underpinnings. As a parent, I often eat last and provide cover from above to my family and children. As an organizational leader, the challenge will be to live up to this credo.

In this book, the anthropological and primal concept of the Circle of Safety is introduced. Leaders, by reducing the threats people feel inside an organization, allows them to focus more time and energy to protect the organization from external threats and to seize opportunities for the advancing the collective. He gives illustrations on how incentive structures within organizations can penalize employees for behaviors such as cooperation, information sharing, or reaching across the organization to ask for or offer help; behaviors that are necessary for maintaining the Circle of Safety. Mr. Sinek devotes 2 chapters on discussing and illustrating the role of neurotransmitters and molecules (e.g., cortisol, dopamine, endorphins, oxytocin, serotonin) as organic mediators of human behavior, neurocognition, stress, trust, and the Circle of Safety. Mr. Sinek then weaves these organic concepts throughout his book.

Leadership is about taking responsibility for lives and not numbers. Mr. Sinek believes this and provides corollaries to describe the modern state of business cultures in which the sheer scale of systems has made human lives, resources and services into an abstraction of numerical metrics. He provides a clarion call for managers of metrics to become leaders of people. Values alignment is heavily emphasized. If people have values consistent with the organization and they feel trusted and connected, they will excel.

Mr. Sinek speaks about the role of technology throughout the various “generations” (e.g., Gen X and Y), and how it has allowed the unprecedented “upscaling” of world and certain elements such as acquisitions, economies, performances, and processes. As I reflected, I realized that in the world of education, despite technological advances in instructional tools and delivery, our students’ inherent “learning speed” cannot be scaled up by technology (despite what we or our students think) and that time-tested, traditional methods of andragogy/pedagogy still have a fundamental place in the classroom. My students are someone’s children. Their parents worked hard to give their children an opportunity for a good life and education. As an academician, I have responsibility for that education.

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Filed under Changing Perceptions/Paradigms, Defining Leadership: Theories & Models, Instructor Resources

Mind of a Manager Soul of a Leader

Mind of a managerHickman, CR. Mind of a Manager, Soul of a Leader. New York, New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1992.

Recommended by: Michael Nelson, Regis University School of Pharmacy

Star Rating (1-5): 4

Review: As the title suggest, Mind of a Manager, Soul of a Leader explores the differences between managers and leaders and between management and leadership. At the heart of this book is the premise that any successful enterprise requires both effective managers and effective leaders, and Hickman explores how the skills of each may be best leveraged. I recommend this book to leader development instructors who are looking for ideas on how to explain the difference between leadership and management or are looking for an effective argument that both are necessary for success.

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Filed under Defining Leadership: Theories & Models, Instructor Resources

Heroic Leadership

Heroic LeadershipLowney, C.  Heroic Leadership. Chicago, Illinois: Loyola Press, 2003.

Recommended b: Michael Nelson, Regis University School of Pharmacy

Star Rating (1-5): 4

Review: Heroic Leadership discusses leadership in the context of the “4 Pillars” of leadership principles that the early Jesuits practiced. The result was a game-changer for religious orders, in which the Jesuits became a religious order which sought to help others through solidarity and education, rather than by seclusion in a monastery. Given the times, the early Jesuits were amazingly successful at leading this change, and time has proven their sustainability as evidenced by the present-day impact of Jesuit higher education.  Lowney argues that these principles are timeless and critical to effective leadership, and that leadership is much more of a personal journey rather than learning a set of leadership tips. I recommend this book for those who would like to read a book with a refreshingly different approach to addressing timeless leadership principles.

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Filed under Defining Leadership: Theories & Models, Instructor Resources

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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Filed under Instructor Resources