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A summary of 5 leadership books

Here’s a hearty Leadership Freak welcome to Norm Smallwood and Dave Ulrich co-founders of the RBL Group,  guest bloggers for Leadership Freak.   What follows is a tight, information packed, synopsis of five leadership books they have written.  Thanks guys and everyone fasten your seat belts!

Norm Smallwood

1.  Leadership is more than individual, psychological competencies; it’s delivering results. When we ask people “what makes an effective leader?” Their responses include: sets a vision, has emotional intelligence, exercises judgment, makes thing happen, communicates well, and so forth. However, attributes are only half of what makes an effective leader.  An effective leadership formula is leadership = attributes * results.

2.  Leaders create value for employees, investors, customers, and communities. Here’s an example.  The value of gift giving comes from the bond of appreciation created between recipient and giver. Furthermore, the power of leadership enhances market value by bolstering investor confidence. This means two firms in the same industry with the similar earnings may have vastly different market value because investors have more confidence in the future opportunities of well led firms.

3.  Sustainable leadership development starts with business cases. During this last recession, we have learned (again) the difference between fair weather leadership development efforts and leadership development efforts that sustain. Leadership efforts starting and ending with individual leader competencies are not funded in deep recessions. Sustainable leadership development begins by asking, “If we had better leaders, what would happen?”

Dave Ulrich

4. Individual leaders matter; but organizational leadership matters more. We focus on, write about, and emulate celebrity leaders.  However, organizational success depends on an organization’s overall leadership capability and not celebrity leaders. The next time you read about a celebrity leader, ask yourself if this person has a successor.

5. Leadership “brand competencies” consist of leadership fundamentals and unique leadership differentiators. Leadership brand includes:  doing the basics well and differentiating yourself from others.  We’ve identified five basics called the “leadership code.” Read more at:  Additionally, “brand competencies” include differentiators that connect customers and employees in ways leading to customers paying a premium. Read more at

Thanks again to Norm and Dave!  Visit and search for their work.

Leadership Freak

Dan Rockwell

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