A Gem of a Book for Leadership Key Points
By John Parker Stewart
Leadership Excellence, $29.95, 228 pages
John Parker Stewart is an internationally recognized leadership coach with 35 years of experience in executive development, team performance and leadership coaching. Mr. Stewart created a leadership tool named LEAD NOW! Leadership Development Model and 52 Leadership Gems supports this tool. This book is practical and insightful. I found myself nodding and smiling a lot as I was reading the gems. When Mr. Stewart wanted to make a key point during a training or coaching session, he did so with a “gem” or core message. Often his learners would write them down, share them and even post them at their desks. Some of the gems are Stewart’s creation but most came from a variety of sources. They serve as an effective, daily reminder for key leadership ideas.
Each gem in the book is presented within a colorful box and is tied to leadership dimensions of Stewart’s LEAD NOW! model. Since the model’s dimensions are color-coded, they are also brilliantly color-coded back to the gem. Following this information is an overview and explanation of the gem. The next two sections are what really make this book an effective tool: application and reflection. For example, Gem #39 reads, “Change is bad until it succeeds.” This gem ties to the leadership dimensions of customer focus, focusing on results, change management, innovation, inspiring commitment and organizational savvy. Following that is an overview of how people often resist change. In the application section, Stewart offers three successful techniques when implementing change. Finally, in the reflection section, Stewart lists five questions to reflect upon as a leader is working through change with his or her team. The index ties each gem to the 21 leadership dimensions so it is very easy to find gems based on the topic one wants to address.
The beauty of this book is its simplicity in thought and organization. New leaders, as well as tenured ones, will find a practical, useful tool as they manage their teams successfully. Leaders will refer to this book often for the perfect quote, an insightful question or just to be inspired themselves.
Reviewed by Seniye Groff
These timeless books are available from www.JohnParkerStewart.com/stewart-leadership-series/