Leadership, not necessarily a national industrial policy, is the key to restoring America's competitiveness in the global economyand the key to leadership is the ability to think, not management charisma or personality traits alone. Consultant Michel Robert maintains that management must master a set of mental skills, critical thinking he calls them, and use them to develop a coherent strategy that others in the organization will accept. Moreover, effective leaders encourage innovative thinking and apply its decisively when problems arise. These skills can be acquired by, and communicated to all levels of the organization. Codifying them and presenting them systematically here for the first time, Robert shows how he and his colleagues at Decision Processes International have introduced them to their various client organizations with measurable success.
Robert advises management to think globally, but act locally and to keep in mind that human resources are growing scarcer, while the need for quality and innovation is growing greater. He defines the three fundamental skills of leadership, distinguishes between strategic and innovative thinking, and describes how both contribute to sound decision making. After illustrating what he means by the leader as strategist, innovator, decision maker, process manager, and implementor, he shows how these roles are played in, and contribute to the creation of, learning organizations. He offers readers a clear, useful method to assess the critical thinking ability of their own organizations, then defines the point at which strategy, innovation, and decisiveness intersect in the total package of management skills. Illustrated with charts, diagrams, and checklists, developed for DPI's clients, The Essence of Leadership will be of particular interest and help to executives at all levels and in all industries and organizations and to students of management in the academic community.
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About the Author
MICHEL ROBERT is founder of Decision Processes International, a Westport, Connecticut, consulting firm with partners and offices in 14 countries. It specializes in helping organizations and offices improve the quality of their strategic and operational decisions. He is the author of three books, including The Strategist CEO: How Visionary Executives Build Organizations (Quorum, 1988).