A Different Lens on the Art of Leadership Development
By Steven Snyder
Berrett-Koehler Publishers, $19.95, 206 pages
Often leaders are expected to have all the answers, but Steven Snyder contends that not having all the answers helps leaders grow. In Leadership and the Art of Struggle Snyder, with 30 years of leadership experience, exclaims that struggle makes better leaders. Additionally, failure is not necessarily a bad thing. People expect leaders to “have all the answers”, but truly great leaders use failure as a wake-up call to develop missing skills and traits. Part One of the book focuses on becoming grounded. Part Two covers exploring new pathways and Part Three reviews deepening one’s adaptive energy. Snyder has five grounding practices: adopt a growth mind-set, become resilient in the face of failure, draw a tension map, create mind, body and spirit and finally, find the support you need. The book is full of real-life examples of challenges leaders faced and how they resolved the issue. Snyder has sections at the end of the chapters called “Exploring Practice” where the reader applies the concept to their particular situation. There are also Reflection Exercises where the reader should write down the answers to some specific questions that Snyder asks. The book also shares some additional resources to supplement the book. Leadership and the Art of Struggle offers a new lens on leadership. The examples are engrossing and the reader will definitely ponder new ideas to add to their own leadership toolbox.
Reviewed by Seniye Groff