If you’re into management self-help books, then here’s one for you. Jennifer White, founder and CEO of The JWC Group Inc, a US executive coaching firm with a clutch of heavyweight clients, is billed as a “leading expert on leadership in today’s economy”. In this book, she presents a forcefully argued case for a new breed of leaders in business. White’s goal is to help readers build successful organisations that are able to keep their top-performing staff.
Drive Your People Wild Without Driving Them Crazy
The book is based around a seven-point model that takes in key aspects of leadership behaviour, for example, creating sense out of chaos, valuing people, communicating effectively and ensuring that you and your staff get the work-life balance right.
It is well structured and written in a powerful, if somewhat journalistic, style with many illustrative examples.
The content is written around the seven points of the model with a chapter devoted to each.
At the end of each chapter, there are two lists: one of things that “drive your people crazy” (ie what not to do) and the other of things that “drive your people wild” (ie the “right” things).
There are also self-assessment questionnaires at the end of each chapter and several smaller quizzes dotted throughout the text.
Drive Your People Wild will be loved by some and hated by others. While I imagine that it could be seen as a piece of inspirational writing, it is not to my personal taste, and there are certain ideas expressed in the book that I simply could not endorse.
The issues raised could well be perceived as thought provoking, and if you are the type that finds it difficult to switch off from work completely when taking a break, this book could make a stimulating and entertaining holiday read!
Lyn Stansfield is lecturer in HRM and director of studies, Evening MBA Bradford University School of Management