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This book is for the many men and women who find themselves in leadership roles, not necessarily at the top of their organisation – where a lot of the attention tends to go – but nevertheless responsible for orchestrating and coordinating the work of people.
There have been many ‘cookbooks’ on leadership, academic treatises, case studies of successful leaders, and so forth, but this book tells leaders what most treatises on leadership don’t tell them – that there are no easy recipes or models which actually work. Letters to a Leader addresses the problem of why ‘pulling the levers’ does not seem to work and of why it is often so difficult to ‘get the message’ through to people.
Letters to a Leader places emphasis on the primacy of human interaction, and on the beneficial effects of an inclusive leadership style - liberating the leader from the burden of having to appear to know all the answers, and the risk of single-handedly making all the important decisions. Other books fail to address the inherent complexity and unpredictability of organisational life and tend to offer models and frameworks to minimise this uncertainty. This book proposes a leadership practice of accepting, responding and acting into uncertainty.
Letters to a Leader combines theory and practice, with five principles each being translated into some implied lessons for practice. Overall, the book challenges many of the conventional ideas about the way we think about organisations, and consequently about leadership. It constitutes a guide to thoughtful and ethical leadership, and what it means, in practice, to be ‘emotionally intelligent’.
About the author
Bill Critchley has been working as an Organisation Psychologist for some 25 years. He practises as an Organisation Development consultant, an Executive Coach, a Supervisor of coaches, and a Gestalt Psychotherapist. He runs his own business, Bill Critchley Consulting Ltd. and is accredited as a coaching supervisor by EMCC, and as a psychotherapist by UKCP.
Bill was the founder and director of the Ashridge MSc in Organisation Consulting, the Ashridge programme in Coaching for Organisation Consultants, and the Ashridge Professional Doctorate in Organisation Consulting. He was also a visiting Professor at Middlesex University. He has designed and led many programmes in leadership and facilitated many Executive teams and Boards.