Learning and growing as a school leader through reflection, training, and experience is a professional choice.The ironic part of rising to greater levels of leadership is that the skills, traits, and talents that got an individual to the new position, may not be enough for her to excel in the new role.
This idea of being promoted to one’s level of incompetence was coined by Laurence J. Peter in The Peter Principle. The concept is fascinating because we’ve all experienced or have witnessed this in our own organizations–people who rise to great heights due to superior performance in their role, only to find themselves in over their head in the next position.
This begs the question: how do we avoid this situation for ourselves and others? We appreciate the remedy found at Investopedia because it directly aligns with what our featured author, Michael Useem describes in The Edge, which is that leaders must continually learn to keep their organization succeeding.
A possible solution to the problem posed by the Peter Principle is for companies to provide adequate skill training for employees receiving a promotion, and to ensure that the training is appropriate for the position to which they have been promoted.
The Edge is filled with real stories that leaders can learn from. Useem paints a very detailed picture of the challenges that many CEOs faced and the conditions in which they were operating. From Kroger to Tyco, he reveals what is adversely affecting the organization and how it was handled and how some CEOs evolved and rose to the occasion by realizing they needed to learn more. He willingly looks at both successes and failures, even within the same company.
This is one reason The School House 302 loves his work, whether The Edge or other books like The Leadership Moment, Useem tackles the very difficult realities that leaders face. This is not a feel good book, but rather an instrument of learning if you are willing to invest the time. Additionally, the book has powerful figures like the one below that illustrates how the mighty have fallen.
As Useem writes, this book is really “…updated leadership for a new era…” We hope you enjoy it as much as we did. And don’t miss our interview with Michael on the site.
Featured Author: Michael Useem
Featured Book: The Edge: How Ten CEO’s Learn to Lead — And the Lessons for Us All
The second featured book this month is an oldy but goody–Gung Ho! Turn On the People in Any Organization. This is a great, easy to read book, with clear strategies on how to raise the performance of individuals in a company. Make no mistake, easy to read and easy to do are not the same thing. Implementation is key, which is why we couple this book with The Edge.
Blanchard and Bowles provide a step-by-step way to increase morale and really build a culture that is willing to learn and grow. Andy, the main character, demonstrates the opposite leadership characteristics than the bad behaviors that we wrote about this month.
The three principles of Gung Ho are:
- The Spirit of the Squirrel
- The Way of the Beaver
- The Gift of the Goose
You won’t be disappointed as you become Gung Ho! in your own organization. However, the question remains about actually doing the work; having knowledge and using knowledge are two different things.
Featured Author: Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles
Featured Book: Gung Ho! Turn On the People in Any Organization
Let us know what you’re reading by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And don’t miss our leadership newsletter every week by subscribing on the site.
We can’t wait to hear from you.
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This episode of our ReadThisSeries was brought to you by GhostBed, a family-owned business of sleep experts with 20+ years of experience. With 30K+ 5-star reviews, you can’t go wrong with GhostBed. Their mattresses are handcrafted, and they come with a 101-night-at-home-sleep trial. For a limited time, you can get 30% by using our code — SH302 — at checkout. And, even if you tell someone about GhostBed, you can earn a $100 referral reward. Go to Ghostbed.com today and use SH302 at checkout.