Book review Authentic Leadership Courage in Action


Bookreview: AuthenticLeadership: Courage in Action


Bookreview: AuthenticLeadership: Courage in Action

Leadershipin the modern times has become one of the most revolutionized rolesin almost every aspect. With the establishment and adoption of newleadership styles, there have been massive changes with an approachto leadership. Different books, articles, journals, and reports havebeen authored over time, focusing on the effective style ofleadership. The endless changes in the world have led to the demandfor an effective approach to leadership. With constant agents ofchange in the globe today as well as everyday issues that affectcommunities as well as organizations, the time has for the globe toask it what leadership is and what is expected from the leaders.With different types of leadership, authentic leadership is one ofthe styles to have been adopted in different organizations, the styleoffers a distinctive orientation to leaders not to mention thepractical set of tools and resources that leaders can embrace anddeploy towards the enhancement of their leadership acts/undertakings.

SectionI: Introduction

Authoredby Robert Terry, “Authentic Leadership: Courage in Action” waspublished in 1993, with more than 350 pages. The book addresses theauthentic leadership comprises of enormous aspects such as giving theleaders courage, ethics, vision, and spirituality. The author hasfocused on authenticity as a key virtue of leadership. More so, heshows how a combination of authenticity and action would be an idealroot for what would be termed as effective leadership. According toRobert Terry, he is focused on delivering a view to his audience onhow to develop their own phases and contexts of leadership. He is aninternational educator recognized majorly in leadership contexts. Heaims at providing room for his audience to develop and contemplate ondifferent possible strategies for change and progress. Written in areport style, the book “Authentic Leadership: Courage in Action”has been an ideal approach to the ever changing leadership styles,more so focusing on authentic leadership which has become one of thecommon styles of the leadership approaches both in organizations andcommunities. The main reason behind the selection of this book byTerry Robert is the fact that, it has offered a detailed review ofthe authentic leadership style (Terry, 1993).

SectionII: of the Book

Accordingto Terry, an authentic leader, and a follower need possess certaincomponents like positive moral perspective, positive modeling andleveraged self-awareness with values and emotions. Authenticity inleadership means a clear and a well-established leadership withoutmanipulation or pressure to lead. An authentic leader willautomatically have authentic followers that portray the same valuesthey see in their leaders. Leaders are motivated or demoralized bytheir follower’s attitude which often is led by the leadersinfluence. Terry advocates for two questions when action need ariseswhat is really going on and what are we going to do about it. Itconsists of doing and advocating on what you believe is true toyourself, the organization and to the world (Terry, 1993).

Terrydeveloped an action wheel to help employees who always complain aboutthe extra working hours and to the supervisors or managers who findtheir work demanding. They have to make schedules on time they haveto be flexible in case of a change or at making sure to see the workdone. The action wheel consists of meaning which shows that theemployees and their superiors should observe some guiding values,principles, and ethics a mission that sets out their goals,objectives, and desires an existence that portrays their history andidentity. With regard to the action wheel towards leadership, theauthor has developed the 7-Zone leadership model. This is a two-waydimensional model, which shows the relation between the past and thefuture of an organization by measuring the direction, agreed with thepossible outcome. The agreement on the direction being loose and thepossible outcome being low, it leads to a future with change orchaos. Such is a character of unpredictability and unsystematic, itis a dangerous state for an organization (Terry, 1993). The 7 zonemodel also is a step like flow to an organization`s stability.

Zone1 is practically a review of the past and its drawbacks as changeoccurs. The state of the organization is factored by the past as theytry to make it stable and steady one of the activities being employeeorientation to familiarize with the changes. Zone 2 brings aboutstability and comfort with the learned skills being discipline andlogical reasoning by both the employees and the top power holders.They focus on a slogan for the cause-effect running of the firm wherethey believe that science knows it all. Zone 3 is about designing andmanaging an effective system creating bureaucracies and ordereddeliveries making it flexible and adaptable. The leaders are able toassess and monitor the whole system of operations. The next sub-zone,3.5, directs that the leaders have the skills to solve problems andare able to come up with goals, objectives, mission and vision aswell as strategic plans for the organization. There is interactionwith the customers while focusing on their needs. Zone 4 encouragesteamwork that helps in joint decision making which is effective andagreeable. The teams also are able to manage conflicts amongthemselves chaos free. Zone 5 is where environmental scanning occurs.The employees are more innovative than the leaders and they haveclear visions for the organization typically bringing out thestrengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) for the firm.In zone 6, leaders engage in negotiations in trying to build theirimage to the world. Here, the risk is, however, big since they engagewith strangers in fields unknown to them. Zone 7 is all aboutadaptation to negotiations necessary for leadership and engaging thepotential people for future negotiations (Terry, 1993).

Withthe massive evolution in the leadership role today, the role hasstarted by identifying the definition of leadership as identified byother authors to have written on the same topic. More so, from thevarying views of leadership, the author has identified traditionaland proactive views of leadership to bring forth his messageregarding authentic leadership. Leadership is a situation we find twodifferent parties where one believes or does some things emulatedfrom the other party and the other party bears the influencing power.Leaders have a greater power over the led but if they fail thefollowers, then their credibility are at stake. Every organizationhas a framework for leaders on a hierarchical basis and so does everyleadership society (Terry, 1993).

SectionIII: Critique

Inconclusion, according to the book by Terry, “Authentic leadership:Courage in action” much can be attributed to the vast developmentand evolution of the leadership and its evolution to the moderndiversity and roles. One of the major understands I have drawn fromthe text is that authentic leadership is a more detailed style ofleadership. It is a conscious commitment to an individual’s core aswell as enduring values. With regard to the book by Terry, differentinspirations can be drawn from the book for a person who is aspiringto be an effective leader. With the use of zoning (zone leadershipmodel), different approaches can be approaches for one to become anauthentic leadership. More so, the book is an ideal reference for onewho wants to become a perfect leader. Not just a leader, but anauthentic leader.

Onthe other hand, after reading the book, I have identified that it iswell presented with the use of simple language, and I can greatlyadvocate the text to be read by any person who plans or intends tomake a positive mark as an authentic leader. Before reading thepublication by Terry, I had a restricted definition of who is aleader however the author has well established a varying definitionof what is leadership drawing from different kinds of literatureabout leadership. To make his work more effective, the author hasdeveloped all entailing definition of an authentic leader, what it isall about, qualities of an authentic leader, what one ought to becomeone, not forgetting the self-assessment process as a leader? Byproviding the three traditional views of leadership, the authorestablished the evolution of the traditional leaders to a modernaspect of being a leader, whether political or in an organization.One of the major ideas I have drawn from the book is that I have beenin constant belief that, leaders are born with special talents,skills, ideas or personality, however, having read the book by TerryI can say that, I have totally changed my beliefs. I am for the ideathat, leaders learn through others or through experience. There arepeople who have that urge to being a leader way back from childhood.You find a child while playing with their friends commanding othersand giving instructions on how the game suit for them. If they findthat their word is followed they tend to act as the principal membersof their groups. Similarly, in schools, class or co-curricularactivities leaders practically portray an image of a leader.

Finally,I have learned the traits that make one an effective leader not tomention how to engage the employees or followers, who are in aconstant follower of a leaders steps. More so, I have learned toapply the varying definition of leadership to different situations,more specific an authentic leader (Terry, 1993). This brings alongthe some key hints I have gained from the book such as “Leadershipis a dynamic relationship based on mutual influence and commonpurpose between leaders and collaborators in which both are moved tohigher levels of motivation and moral development as they affect realintended change.” The application of zoning model has also been arevelation in terms of making or becoming an effective authenticleader. This is due to the fact that, going through the differentzones, I have learned the key skills relevant towards influencingpeople as a leader. Another point I have learned from the text,“Authenticity, while rooted in the limit and possibility ofexistence, moves around on the Action Wheel and expandspossibilities” (Terry, 1993).


Terry,R. W. (1993).&nbspAuthenticleadership: Courage in action.San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.