Leadership on the Line - Book Review

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Review of "Leadership on the Line" by Ronald A. Heifetz and Marty Linksy The book Leadership on the line, is a practical and personal gift of wisdom on the trials of leadership especially leading through what the authors describe as an adaptive change. The authors not only encouraged us to put our life and ideas on the line, but also reminded us of the dangers of leadership and how to respond to the risks in healthy ways. Each chapter revealed an insightful principle, especially in rooting leadership in something transcendent and also taking care not to lose one's innocence, curiosity, and compassion through the hard work of leading. It offers much to be considered for anyone in leadership, such as those that may disrupt your tenure, and the difference between technical and adaptive change. Technical change is about using the skills and procedures that we are aware of to solve current issues and can be accomplished by those in authority. Adaptive change in contrast focuses on the heart and mind, in helping people with the problem to learn a new way that will generate a deep transformation of culture. It is important for a leader to understand the difference between these two kinds of leadership so as to not misconstrue the concept of transformation; treating the conception of adaptive challenges as technical problems. Arguing that leading change and one’s own survival are of equal importance, the authors identify the most common ways leaders get ‘taken out’ and highlights specific ways leaders can respond to these dangers. In the faces of danger the authors note the four strategies which organizational systems often use to challenge the danger presented by the unauthorized person who is stepping out to lead toward systematic change. These include the organization’s effort to marginalize, divert, attack, or seduce. When people resist adaptive work, their first

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