Book review 1

Title: The Leadership Shadow: How to Recognize and Avoid Derailment, Hubris and Overdrive

Authors Erik De Haan and Anthony Kasozi

Publisher Kogan Page

ISBN 978 07494 7049 4

Usefulness 5

What happens when leaders go into overdrive and act out the shadow side of leadership? What can be done about it? This comprehensive book – the result of years of research – offers lots of food for thought, and some answers.

The authors, having grappled for years with how to define leadership, also offer insight into what leadership is: the function that helps a team perform better and increase its output or impact. They posit that how we define leadership has a profound impact, exploring this within the book.

The book is presented in three parts. The first looks at how leaders thrive, exploring when they are at their best. The second, about how leaders come to grief, focuses on the shadow side of talents and competencies, sharing helpful cameos of leaders. Each chapter here focuses on a well-defined personality pattern and how this responds to pressure. The last chapter invites the reader to explore their own personality patterns.

The third section addresses how to bring together humility and hubris in a balanced way, presenting findings from leadership research, shifting the focus from the individual to the individual’s realities and challenges in teams.

A stimulating, comprehensive book, brought to life with references to drama, practical tips and plenty of case studies. Highly recommended.


Liz Hall is editor of Coaching at Work and author of Mindful Coaching

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