Why I wrote Dilemmas of Leadership

September 1, 2011

Video of author Tudor Rickards by Alex Hough

Why does any author write a textbook on leadership to compete in such a crowded marketplace? Obsession, vanity, a rich fantasy life? Maybe even because you think you have something new and hopefully valuable to say.

Arguably a bad time to ask the question is when (as now) the author is waiting for the final proofs to come back from the publishers.

Times they are a changing

At the time of writing the first edition of Dilemmas of Leadership, Twitter had not been thought of, Facebook was in its infancy and Smart phones, iPads and Wikileaks were for the future. China had only recently begun to be talked about as an emerging global superpower. The victory of Barack Obama, America’s first black President, was attributed in part to a campaign which mobilised a generation able to draw on the power of new media in its communications. The financial shocks of 2008-9 were followed by the political upheavals accompanying the so-called Arab Spring of 2011. Social media began to change the way in which knowledge was created and communicated. It would be difficult to continue to use a textbook that made no reference to such global events.

New readers start here

Dilemmas of Leadership, as its title suggests, concerns itself with leadership challenges which are difficult to resolve. Its fundamental approach involves the use of a metaphor of knowledge representation as a map. Map-reading, map-making, and map-testing are proposed as leadership skills enabling leadership development and more effective action possibilities in dealing with complex and uncertain situations. Subscribers to Leaders We Deserve will have come across the approach in many of the posts. The book has been applied on teaching assignments in a range of international locations including the introductory module for all Manchester Business School World Wide MBA programmes

The video diary

Video-maker Alex Hough is experimenting with ways of capturing ideas with minimum editing and rehearsal, as a kind of video diary. They seem increasingly appropriate as part of personal development programmes, using low-tech recording equipment.