Saturday, June 10, 2020

An Announcement

This is to let you all know that my latest book will be published in the Fall. I’ll let you know exactly when nearer the time. At the moment, I’m deep in the process of the final edit.

The title (unless it gets changed at the last moment) is “Slow Leadership: How to Make Your Workplace Civilized.” The book’s aimed at anyone who has any kind of position of leadership in an organization, whether their status comes from formal authority, expertise or long experience.

As a “taster”, here are a few brief passages:
Hundreds of thousands of intelligent, educated, professional leaders are coping with working lives filled with stress and anxiety—hours of work and levels of effort our forefathers would have seen as appropriate only for those engaged in the most menial kinds of work. We have experienced unprecedented material progress, but it has come with working lives that are sliding steadily backward towards drudgery and exhaustion.

If you believe it’s time to do something to redress the balance between material success and personal burnout, this book is for you. It will show you how to create a more civilized future for your workplace by getting back to the idea that work should be enjoyable as well as productive—and that your job as a leader is establishing ways of working that lead to high-quality, creative, and deeply satisfying jobs, not simply chasing figures on a balance sheet.

Today’s typical workplace is wildly unbalanced in the direction of the most assertive, action-oriented, shortest-term demands of “macho management.” Shareholders have lost sight of the need for business leaders to practice patience and restraint. By demanding stronger financial results in less time, they have driven out patient reflection on the best course to follow, in favor of off-the-shelf shortcuts and a never-ending series of quick fixes. It’s as if each day, someone fires a starting gun that sends a million action-obsessed managers scrambling frantically toward goals that few of them have chosen and even fewer understand. The magical “bottom line” gleams in the distance, while Wall Street investors goad managers forward, ever ready to sacrifice anyone who doesn’t fit in the current plan for pursuit of short-term financial rewards. How many people will suffer and fail along the way? How many will be compelled to sacrifice their home lives, health, and sanity to the cause of corporate growth? It seems that those in charge of the “big picture” simply don’t care about the effects on individuals.
Slow Leadership offers ways to recivilize the workplace, to step away from today’s unhealthy trend toward action at all costs, and to reject greater material wealth if it comes with a lesser quality of working or home life attached as a non-optional extra. It opposes thoughtless pressure for unbalanced, overassertive styles of management, especially those that equate good leadership with success in achieving good short-term results. That equation is the equivalent of defining a good diet as fast food—an endless supply of burgers, fries and sodas—simply because fast food is quick, simple and cheap: it achieves short-term objectives.

True leadership is the art of finding the right way forward, not just for today but for as far ahead as you can reasonably see. It’s not an activity that can be reduced to simplistic rules of thumb and numbered “to-do” lists. Leaders establish a future for themselves, their organizations, and everyone who works there. They need to take their time and get it right.

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Anonymous said...

Adrian - Congrats on the book, I look forward to reading it! Lisa Haneberg

11:12 PM  

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