Arguing that the 21st century workplace requires a different approach to management and organizational growth, Marc and Samantha Hurwitz, a husband and wife consulting team, have written a wonderfully helpful and inspirational new book on leadership… and followership, Leadership Is Half the Story: Rethinking Followership, Leadership, and Collaboration. (University of Toronto Press)
Drawing on their deep pool of work experiences including their consulting practice and with unique and helpful insights from such experiences as dancing and iconic TV characters such as James T Kirk and Spock, the Hurwitz’s bring both energy and depth to the other side of the leadership equation – followership. The result is a practical, inspirational, and helpful book which provides today’s leaders… and followers… with many practical suggestions and tips as well as a road map, er, dashboard creating the conditions for better leaders and followers to do better collaboration and thus better work.
Using the acronym FliP (Followship, leadership, innovation, and Partnership), Marc and Samantha make a case fo co-vision, co-work, and co-flow in using leadership as a framing task and followership as a maximizing task the goal of which they call a Generative Partnership.
After a helpful introductory chapter on how the 21st century work place requires not just a change in leadership but a change in followership, they turn to outlining a “radical rethink” of followership and leadership. This is followed by several chapters devoted to their “five quality principles” such as “lean in to build connection,” and “value the positive and build on it.”
They then turn their attention to “five partnering skills”
“decision partnering skills, relational partnering skills, organizational agility partnering skills, and performance partnering skills.” They conclude with a chapter on their full Generative Partnership model and how it can be used in a variety of leadership and organizational settings.
While I have worked in business settings, primarily retail and property management, I have spent most of my working life in parish ministry and non-profit organizations and efforts. The Hurwitz’s work does have application for these two worlds as well. In fact, as I wrote this review, I found myself pleasantly overwhelmed with many practical tips and suggestions for my current work situation as I assessed my own leadership and followership skills and practice.
Two stood out to me as I first read them and I intended to incorporate them into my skill set right now!
First was their distinction between scouting and settling functions in the decision-making process. Such a distinction will be helpful to me in the process of decision making.
Second is the difference between fuzzy goals and stretchy goals. Such as distinction will help me differentiate in appropriate ways the kinds of goals which need to be set.
I found Leadership Is Half The Story to be a very helpful book. It is informational and inspirational. And, I believe, that no matter what kind of organization a person works for, this book will be a helpful guide to being both a better leader and a better follower.
I rate this book an “outstanding” read!
Note: I received a galley copy of this book from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review.