Extraordinary Leadership: Thinking Systems, Making a Difference by Roberta Gilbert
Publisher: Leading Systems Press
Genre: Psychology, Family Systems Theory,
Synopsis: Today's leaders face increased individual and societal anxiety that affects their organizations. Unfortunately, their training has not provided them with any understanding or guidelines that show how to manage themselves in the emotional chaos and intensity. Bowen family systems theory provides the needed understanding. It has proven itself enormously effective not only in families, but also in non-family groups as businesses, institutions, and congregations. Extraordinary Leadership examines organizations as emotional systems through the lens of Bowen theory. The types of questions addressed include: What is an emotional system? How do leaders handle themselves in stirred up organizations? What are high-level and low-level leaders? Do organizations need principles? What about difficult people? What is a relationship master? As the subtitle suggests, Extraordinary Leadership teaches leaders how to think systems and how that makes a difference.
Review: I loved this book. I think it was very helpful in using systems theory in work place settings and seeing how we all tend to fall into certain roles. It helps you identify when you are emotionally hijacked and different ways of behaving. You can't change other people but you can change yourself and your behavior and it is amazing how small changes in the way you interact with people will change the situation. This is great for people who want to take a look at themselves and figure out how to improve their home or work environment. Gilbert's books do tend to be a bit repetitive so reading both this book and the 8 concepts book might be too much - if you have to choose I would pick this one.