Outstanding Leadership Book Award
Celebrating the Power to Influence Thought
In recognition of leadership as a valued practice and the fact that people can be effective agents of change in whatever position they hold, the Department of Leadership Studies has established this annual award to honor thought leaders.
2014 Outstanding Leadership Book Award Winner
Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling
by Edgar Schein
2013 Outstanding Leadership Book Award Winner
Leadership Matters: Unleashing the Power of Paradox
by Thomas Cronin and Michael Genovese
Leadership Matters: Unleashing the Power of Paradox represents a much needed addition to the established leadership canon. In this well-researched and well-written book, Cronin and Genovese successfully unpack the paradoxes of leadership and, in the process, move the field closer to the elusive unified theory of leadership. The authors do this by not only eloquently describing, but also embracing the inherent contradictions and paradoxes that underlie contemporary leadership theory. Their strategy – which involves moving beyond traditional “either/or” distinctions to embrace what may seem contradictory – effectively provides a significantly wider and more encompassing framework for leadership studies than is the prevailing norm. As such, it will be no surprise if Leadership Matters rises to become a true classic in the field.
Most impressively, Cronin and Genovese accomplish all this in significantly less than 400 pages, making Leadership Matters: Unleashing the Power of Paradox accessible to not only leadership studies scholars and graduate students, but also enlightened undergraduates. Their treatise begins with a discussion of the paradoxes of leadership and the ways that these contradictions can be used to define leadership. In the chapters that immediately follow, the authors provide a comprehensive historical look at leadership by focusing on the lessons that the classics teach. In these three chapters, Cronin and Genovese take us from Gilgamesh to the Bible, from Machiavelli to Shakespeare, and through the rise in constitutional democracy. Impressively, the authors effortlessly build upon these historical lessons with a series of four chapters that deconstruct what business, politics, the military and the entertainment industry can teach us about leadership and its paradoxes. The book then concludes with chapters on the darker side of leadership, the creative side of leadership, and with an exploration of leadership as a performing art.
This comprehensive and unifying look at leadership represents required reading for all those interested in leadership, and will no doubt be a mainstay on the syllabi of many undergraduate and graduate leadership theory courses. Further, the book is written in a manner that will also appeal to reflective practitioners and business professionals who hunger for a deeper dive into theory. We would recommend, however, that subsequent editions include an exploration of the lessons that can be gleaned from amateur and professional sports, arenas known for leadership and increasingly wrought with paradox. Another consideration is whether Leadership Matters is best served with its venture into policy, offering what is tantamount to an innovation agenda for the nation that begs critique. Notwithstanding, the authors are to be commended for this kind of ambitious reach in what is, in every other respect, a highly sophisticated and eminently readable text. As Doris Kearns Goodwin argues in her review of the book, Leadership Matters is “an absolute tour-de-force”, and as such, will no doubt become a powerful read for all those interested in both the practice and scholarship of leadership.
Other Finalists for the 2013 Award:
2012 Outstanding Leadership Book Award winner:
The New Psychology of Leadership Identity, Influence and Power
by S. Alexander Haslam, Stephen D. Reicher and Michael J. Platow
“We were particularly impressed by how New Psychology offers a refreshing way to examine the complexities of identity and its influence on the process and practice of leadership. With clear examples, cogent arguments, and careful critical analysis, you have crafted a work that is accessible and provocative. Your basic tenet that there is an embedded representation—a “we-ness” –at the core of leadership is worthy of deeper exploration, rigorous debate, and further study. The strength of your work will challenge practitioners to examine their approaches to organizations and invite scholars to consider their allegiances to prevailing theory.” -- Outstanding Leadership Book Award Committee
About the Authors:
S. Alexander Haslam is Professor of Social and Organizational Psychology at the University of Exeter. He is a former chief editor of the European Journal of Social Psychology, a recipient of the European Association of Social Psychology’s Kurt Lewin award for excellence in social psychology, and a Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.
Stephen Reicher is Professor of Social Psychology at the University of St. Andrews. He is a former chief editor of the British Journal of Social Psychology, a recipient of the British Psychological Society’s annual award for excellence in teaching, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
Michael Platow is Associate Professor of Social Psychology at the Australian National University. He is on the editorial board of European and Asian Journals of Social Psychology, a holder of several major grants from the Australian Research Council, and a former President of the Society of Australasian Social Psychologists.
Special Notice to Additional Finalists 2012
Honorable Mention for Contribution to the Field Leadership Studies:
The Dialogue of Disciplines
Ronald E. Riggio and Michael Harvey
Honorable Mention for Scholarship:
Political and Civic Leadership
Richard A. Couto
Honorable Mention for Innovation:
Leadership for an Age of Wisdom
Christopher M. Branson
Other Finalists for the 2012 Award:
Chaos Theory and the Larriken Principle, Working with Organizations in a Neo-liberal World
Bob Hodge, Gabriella Coronado, Fernanda Duarte and Greg Teal
Sharing the Rock: Shaping Our Future Though Leadership for the Common Good
Leadership for Environmental Sustainability
Benjamin W. Redekop
Driven to Lead: Good, Bad, and Misguided Leadership
Paul R. Lawrence
Transforming Leaders into Progress Makers: Leadership for the 21st Century
Phillip G. Clampitt and Robert J. DeKoch
The Executive and the Elephant: A Leader’s Guide to Inner Excellence
Richard L. Daft
2010 Outstanding Leadership Book Award