Edwin A. Fleishman
George Mason University
There is a compelling need for innovative approaches to the solution of many pressing problems involving human relationships in today's society. Such approaches are more likely to be successful when they are based on sound research and applications. This Series in Applied Psychology offers publications which emphasize state-of-the-art research and its application to important issues of human behavior in a variety of societal settings. The objective is to bridge both academic and applied interests.
This book, “Leadership Development: Paths to self-insight and professional growth, ” by Manny London, presents a view of leadership that is solidly grounded in psychological theory and research and recognizes the centrality of self and interpersonal judgment to effective leadership. Unlike other leadership books that take a “how to” approach, this book recognizes that there is no simple formula for effective leadership. Leaders discover this for themselves. To do so, they need an accurate view of their strengths and weaknesses, organizational requirements and situational conditions, and others' capabilities. Self-insight is the key to this process, because leaders need to understand themselves—their own motivations, interests, and abilities—before they can assess others and make sound judgments.
Dr. London is especially qualified to write this book. His research and practice focus on how managers and leaders see themselves, how they evaluate and make decisions about others, and how they enhance their own and their subordinates' career growth. His work on feedback processes, career development, and continuous learning come together here to explain how leaders develop self-insight and use this insight to improve their own performance and build effective teams. London's focus on leadership competencies in high technology and emerging businesses makes this book all the more timely as leaders struggle with understanding what it takes to be successful in a highly competitive and changing economic climate.
London begins the book by defining the meaning of effective leadership in today's organizations and explaining why self-insight is important to leadership effectiveness. Self-insight helps leaders regulate their behavior, maintain their motivation, and overcome barriers to job performance and career growth. Self-insight and self-regulation are the foundation for establishing a meaningful career identity as a leader and developer of people and organizations. This identity is likely to change as fhe leader moves into different roles and life stages.