There are thousands of books and articles on leadership development. Most of them are subjective fluff. If you are looking for a leadership model with research rigor and practical application, I recommend Zenger|Folkman. Their book, The Extraordinary Leader, may be the only leadership development book you'll ever need.
Based on over 200,000 360-feedback assessments correlated with various business metrics, Zenger and Folkman were able to identify what characteristics lead to extraordinary results. To summarize their model:
- There are 16 competencies that can correlate with being an Extraordinary Leader (a leader who gets amazing results)
- Leaders do not need to develop all of these traits but should discover which of these they already possess and work on developing 3-5 of these strengths
- Don't focus on your weaknesses, just work on mastering 3-5 strengths (of the 16 competencies)
- An overpowering strength will cover up perceived weaknesses (called the "halo effect")
- However, there are some weaknesses--"Fatal Flaws"--that can have the opposite effect (sometimes called the "horn effect") and will overpower any perceived strengths
- There are 5 "Fatal Flaws" in this model, which, if present, must be dealt with before moving on to develop strengths
- Leaders need feedback to find out their strengths (or fatal flaws) and should set goals to develop strengths with a coach or mentor
Zenger|Folkman has several excellent leadership development programs which include a 360-feedback tool, exceptional workshops, and materials, and offer coaching services focused on leadership development. I have seen this program in action and the results that come from it. It works!
Web site: http://www.zfco.com/