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Indispensable: When Leaders Really Matter

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  • Posted September 9, 2012

    Indispensable: When Leaders Really Matter by Gautam Mukunda repr

    Indispensable: When Leaders Really Matter by Gautam Mukunda represents a unique contribution to the study of leadership and organizations. As the author has pointed out, we have been debating the importance of an individual leader for over two thousand years. Intuitively, it seems that leaders are very important. Off the top of one’s head, one could argue how different things would have been without Alexander the Great, or Napoleon, or Lincoln, or Hitler leading their nation.

    Yet, when social scientists have looked for this, they have not been able to pin down any particular quality that could be used as a touchstone for great leaders. In the last 30 years in particular, the prevailing hypothesis has been that leaders are so constrained by internal and external factors that any one of a number of competent people could be interchanged, and their actions would be close to the same.

    In his research, Mukunda has identified two different types of leaders between which there is a profound difference: filtered and unfiltered leaders. Not only has he done that, he has found a way to measure the difference in a manner that in breathtaking in the strength and the robustness of the signal he has found.

    To illustrate this, he has chosen a handful of examples and woven narratives that brings his innovation to life before our eyes. In the stories of leaders such as Jefferson, Lincoln, Chamberlin and Churchill, he lets us get the taste and feel of the differences between a well filtered and an unfiltered leader. He lets us understand not only that there are occasions where leaders matters, he opens the door to how one leader could have been replaced by one of several alternatives with no effect, while another produced results that others would not have.

    He has also left us asking for more. Each story left us wanting to know still more about the fascinating people he used to illustrate his discovery. And, his discovery has opened up a vast new territory for exploration, one I hope to see fruitfully explored in the years ahead.

    Indispensable: When Leaders Really Matter is a book to be treasured. It presents an innovation in an age old field of inquiry as well as being a very enjoyable read. I highly recommend it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2013


    No control over the clan. Sunclan is very dramatic and unwelcoming. She could work on it more...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2013

    My Rating~

    RockStar is the BEST clan leader out here. She is active, kind, and always welcoming new cats. You won't find a better leader! RockStar is probably the most respected leader, but there is the occasional dumba<c>ss that tries to imposter her.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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