Friday, October 20, 2017
Book Review: 'Why Leadership Sucks(TM) Volume 2' by Miles Anthony Smith
Wisconsin author Miles Anthony Smith is `a Gen X'er leader and author, cares enough about organizational health to make the tough decisions, hire and coach the right people, set clear expectations, develop a strong team culture, and strengthen organizational cash flow, exhibiting both humility and fierce resolve. He currently works for Rawhide Boys Ranch as Director of Vehicle Donations and Digital Marketing. His mission in life is To Chart the Course, Pave the Pathway, and Light the Lane for Others to Eclipse My Own Success in Leadership.' Miles earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Oral Roberts University (he is a classically trained violist, violinist, and composer) and a Master's in Business Administration from the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University. His expertise in the business management field includes in depth experience in accounting, finance, human resources, marketing, servant leadership, small-business management, and macroeconomics. Miles obviously has the skills to advise us on career planning and how to be agile, adapt to ambiguity and develop resilience.
In his Introduction to this Volume Two of his Why Leadership Sucks Series he states, ‘We have more management consultants than ever before in the history of the world. Yet we have a severe lack of leadership in most areas of government, business, and even non-profit organizations. So why is that? I believe it is a lack of follow-through... plain and simple. We all gorge ourselves on leadership conferences, webinars, books, and so on, but how much do we actually put into practice? This book is about putting what we learn into practice, and it is a hallmark of the servant leadership and Level 5 leadership style that I try to emulate every day. At times when our lives feel out of control, we need to get back to the basics of life and leadership. We can get so distracted by things in life that we forget about what is seminally true. It is always about the fundamentals: fundamentals in work, life, sports, faith, and relationships. We can easily allow ourselves to become distracted by all kinds of things that really don’t matter, and most of the time a return to the fundamentals brings us back into balance and promotes peace in our lives. That’s what this book is about.’
Miles discusses the levels of servant leadership – with the highest level being Level 5 – ‘Leaders at this stage are able to build enduring greatness (over many years or even decades) through a paradoxical combination of personal humility and professional resolve.’
He divides this second volume into four parts – Part 1, To serve or not to serve, Part 2, ‘Leggo’ my ego, Part 3, The danger of ‘persona non grata’, and Part 4 Fierce competition steamrolls ahead.
To attempt to reduce this book into a quick summary does not do Miles generous manner of teaching service. Read it slowly, absorbing all the details, and you will come away with an enriching experience that offers the road to meaningful leadership – or rather, servant leadership! Grady Harp, November 16
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
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