Writing this book has been one of the greatest professional
experiences of my life. Several other authors told me how hard it
would be, and they were right. The book has taken much more
time than I thought it would, and the writing has evolved in ways
I did not imagine when I wrote the original outlines. I’ve spent
countless hours reflecting on and processing years of lessons about
leadership, communities, values, and my own leadership journey.
Develop Your Leadership Skills is John Adair's most accessible title on leadership. Full of exercises and checklists, it can help to boost confidence levels and guide and inspire anyone on their journey to becoming a leader of excellence. Acknowledged as a world expert, John Adair offers stimulating insights into recognizing and developing individual leadership qualities, acquiring personal authority and, most importantly, mastering core leadership functions such as planning, communicating and motivating.
This is a very personal book. It has grown out of my years
observing, advising and learning lessons from some of
the world’s most successful family-owned businesses and
business-owning families. Also, the book in a sense records my personal
journey through a period of remarkable change, beginning in an era (the
late 1970s) when family companies were largely seen as quaint anachronisms
of bygone times, and misunderstood as inefficient drags on entrepreneurialism
by dint of their under-investment and parochial management
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more,
you are a leader."
John Quincy Adams
When I sat down to write this introduction, I wanted to reflect on when my own journey as
a Leader first started. Was it when I first started writing articles? No it was long before
that. I thought about my first job working in retail but no, I felt I was a leader before that.
Thinking back, I believe I first wanted to become a Leader when I was six years old.
“Nokia is at a critical juncture, where significant change is necessary and inevitable in our journey
forward,” said Stephen Elop, Nokia President and CEO. “Today, we are accelerating that change through a
new path, aimed at regaining our smartphone leadership, reinforcing our mobile device platform and
realizing our investments in the future.”
Nokia plans to form a strategic partnership with Microsoft to build a global mobile ecosystem based on
highly complementary assets.
In 1996, as South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission was beginning its hearings, Nicholas Gcaleka, a healer diviner from the town of Butterworth in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, set off on a journey to retrieve the skull of Hintsa, the Xhosa king. Hintsa had been killed by British troops on the banks of the Nqabarha River over a century and a half before and, it was widely believed, been beheaded. From a variety of quarters including the press, academia and Xhosa traditional leadership Gcaleka's mission was mocked and derided....