Influencing Change Through Leadership

  • Posted on: 19 August 2013
  • By: Tina McCoy

In the New Year, don't hesitate to read a classic book on leadership! Leadership Without Easy Answers by Ronald Heifetz is one of the best books on leadership I have ever read. Emphasizing leadership with and without authority, it strikes at the heart of what it means to be a leader ‘de facto’.

Leadership Without Easy Answers CoverIf you are a not yet familiar with this book, get it now and make reading it a priority; you owe it to yourself and the organization you serve!  Heifetz gets at the heart of effective leadership by explaining the dynamics of organizational change through influence rather than coercion. He examines leadership in terms of the most challenging and most meaningful kind of work: adaptive work that requires changes in values, beliefs or behavior. In order for an organization to thrive over time, it must adapt to distress or changes that inevitably impact it.  Heifetz emphasizes the need to mobilize adaptive work that helps an organization to respond constructively to real, underlying challenges rather than reacting to surface symptoms. 

Leadership Without Easy Answers will inspire you and redefine your leadership paradigm.  At the same time, it will prompt you to understand how incredibly important and difficult your role as a leader really is – that is if you are influencing your organization in ways that really matter. This book is required reading for anyone who, with or without the authority to lead, seeks to make a positive difference in the world. Real life stories and examples make this book seem less academic and hold the reader’s attention easily.

Caveat: This book is not for the faint-hearted leader.  If you are unwilling to question your own thinking and uncover the ‘blind spots’ that impede the growth of your organization, this book will be lost on you.