Leadership Any Degree Book Review

Pages: 4 (1225 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Leadership

Keohane's reliance upon historical examples is particularly timely in this section, in which she denotes how previous presidents kept members from rival parties as part of their cabinets in order to fully embrace a balanced perspective which inevitably colored -- and aided -- their own leadership. This notion is underscored by the fact that the author believes that "thoughtful leaders will make sure those close to her point out drawbacks occasional without fear of losing their jobs" (Keohane, 2010).

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In the face of such incisive findings regarding the relationship between leaders and followers, the chapter which the author dedicates to pondering the importance and the question of gender in leadership seems a little superfluous, and certainly seems to slow the narration down. Perhaps this occurrence is due to the fact that by virtue of Keohane's own accomplishments as a female leader, the question of gender in such a role no longer seems as important as it perhaps once did. Gender differences are a mere facet of life, and while there may be traditionalists who are not desirous of female leadership, such leadership is a reality today and does not appear to worthy of an entire chapter in this book -- especially since some of the other issues addressed in it are more trenchant. The author determines that "socialization and cultural expectations, rather than hormones and genes" (Keohane, 2010) are responsible for the difference in styles of leadership attributed to the sexes. Yet this revelation, or little of the other information in this chapter, does little to add a great deal to the primary theme of this work -- what and how to produce the most effective form of leadership, which can be done by either a man or a woman.

Book Review on Leadership Any Degree of Comprehensive Assignment

Of particular value in this manuscript is the portion that the author dedicates to discussing the role and challenges of leaders in democracies. Although there are different nuances in the place of both of these factors in a democracy vs. those of other forms of government, leaders still have a job to do in democracies what is oftentimes circumscribed by the very nature of such a political system. In this respect, Keohane's manuscript does well to demonstrate the very obstacles present in America's democratic form of government -- such as the rigid system of checks and balances and the dedicated amount of resources employed to limit authority and leadership including political partisanship -- that counteract effective leadership from a single individual. Keohane explains that the executive branch of government, then, while readily viewed as the head of the country, essentially has to wheedle its way to the implementation of policies -- which is simply part of what the other denotes is an intrinsic part of the conundrum of leadership in a democratic society.

Throughout Thinking About Leadership, Keohane maintains a refreshing perspective that allows her to add unique insight to time honored topics (with the lone exception being in her detailing of the issue of gender in leadership) and to delve into less explored aspects of leadership (such as the difficulty of leading in a democratic form of government). Her prose is relatively straightforward, and provides an accessible blend of academic diction and familiar cliches that allows for a wide audience to read, understand, and ultimately learn from the information presented within book. Although the manuscript certainly could have benefitted from statistical evidence to reinforce a number of her assertions, the three-pronged methodology that she uses to substantiate many of her claims -- personal experience, historical examples, and leadership theory -- help to elucidate many of her arguments just fine.


Keohane, N.O. (2010). Thinking About Leadership. Princeton:… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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