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Book Review: The 8 Dimensions of Leadership: Strategies for Becoming a Better Leader by Jeffrey Sugerman, et al

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The strategies of The 8 Dimensions of Leadership are vital to success. All eight dimensions need to be incorporated into a successful leader’s approach toward problem solving. The dimensions are pioneering, energizing, affirming, inclusiveness, humility, deliberation, being resolute and being in command. There are pitfalls to each dimension and the book cites them exhaustively.

For example, an energizing leader will take the chance on new ideas to promote greater growth or exploit untapped potential. An inclusive leader will be diplomatic, accepting, and patient. The downside of too much inclusiveness is analysis paralysis.

Deliberate leadership tends to be systematic in the approach. Caution and analysis are the order of the day. The downside is that deliberate leaders tend to be risk averse. Resolute leaders tend to question authority, take an independent stance and challenge the status quo. The important
aspect is to be resolute in the right course of action.

Pioneers like to maneuver in uncharted territory. Proponents of the Space Program were pioneers. Without their risk taking, many theories in science could never have been tested outside the earth’s atmosphere. Without pioneering in the heavens, we would know very little about deep space and extensive natural gas sources in the periphery of Saturn.

Energizing leaders place a premium on a pleasant atmosphere and have low tolerance for negative emotions. Without some organizational conflict,

the best decision options cannot be thrashed out, discussed, and decided for the benefit of everyone. An affirmative leadership places importance on building morale. Proponents of this style tend to be averse to organizational conflict. Once again, some organizational conflict is necessary to arrive at the best decisions.

The authors make us aware of the strengths,weaknesses, opportunities and downsides of various leadership elements and styles . In fact, this is a primary
strength of the book. A weakness of the presentation is that the authors do not devote enough attention to the organizational design, vertical / horizontal
conflict and performance assessment by management. These aspects may over-ride some of the meritable theories set forth in this presentation.

In addition, The 8 Dimensions of Leadership doesn’t relate merit pay to the accomplishment of the difficult goals set forth. Without merit pay and a definitive system of rewards devoid of non-performance bias, the accomplishment of anything major in an organization is less likely.

Furthermore, there is an organic organizational design which is non-bureaucratic and ideally suited for complex analytical tasks which are multi-disciplinary in nature and span the organization horizontally. Since this environment tends to be very fluid and prone to changed conditions, the approach to problem solving must be open to all 8 leadership dimensions in addition to a systems analysis regimen applied toward problem identification and resolution .

The 8 Dimensions of Leadership has an excellent set of references. The concepts are explained in simple language. There is a minimum of technical jargon. The price is reasonable for the value of the information contained.

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About Dr Joseph S Maresca

I've taught approx. 34 sections of collegiate courses including computer applications, college algebra, collegiate statistics, law, accounting, finance and economics. The experience includes service as a Board Director on the CPA Journal and Editor of the CPA Candidates Inc. Newsletter. In college, I worked as a statistics lab assistant. Manhattan College awarded a BS in an allied area of operations research. The program included courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability, statistical inference, linear algebra , the more advanced operations research, price analysis and econometrics. Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society was granted together with the degree. My experience includes both private account and industry. In addition, I've worked extensively in the Examinations Division of the AICPA from time to time. Recently, I passed the Engineering in Training Exam which consisted of 9 hours of examination in chemistry, physics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability/ statistics, fluids, electronics, materials science/structure of matter, mechanics, statics, thermodynamics, computer science, dynamics and a host of minor subject areas like engineering economics. A very small percentage of engineers actually take and pass the EIT exam. The number has hovered at circa 5%. Several decades ago, I passed the CPA examination and obtained another license in Computer Information Systems Auditing. A CISA must have knowledge in the areas of data center review, systems applications, the operating system of the computer, disaster recovery, contingency planning, developmental systems, the standards which govern facility reviews and a host of other areas. An MBA in Accounting with an Advanced Professional Certificate in Computer Applications/ Information Systems , an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Organizational Design were earned at New York University-Graduate School of Business (Stern ). In December of 2005, an earned PhD in Accounting was granted by the Ross College. The program entrance requires a previous Masters Degree for admittance together with a host of other criteria. The REGISTRAR of Ross College contact is: Tel . US 202-318-4454 FAX [records for Dr. Joseph S. Maresca Box 646 Bronxville NY 10708-3602] The clinical experience included the teaching of approximately 34 sections of college accounting, economics, statistics, college algebra, law, thesis project coursework and the professional grading of approx. 50,000 CPA examination essays with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, membership is held in the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society chartered in 1994. Significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences.