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"8 Paradoxes of Leadership Agility is a compelling business advice book that encourages adaptation and balance." ~Foreword Clarion Reviews
Renowned leadership coach Yeo Chuen Chuen's 8 Paradoxes of Leadership Agility: How to Lead and Inspire in the Real World is the perfect book for those getting into or struggling with leadership in today's ever-changing business world and society in general, including the non-profit sector. Yeo promotes the Re4 Coaching Model, which helps leaders see their problems in new ways, and helps them learn to resolve these using a practical, individualized approach. Old forms are tossed out in favor of new ways to lead. Instead of relying on outdated leadership paradigms, each would-be leader, or struggling leader, should take a look at themselves, discover their own strengths and style, and implement change this way. In clear-cut, real-life examples, Yeo shows how to navigate the waters between two paradoxes. The answers are there, and this book will help you find and understand them.
The author writes in a way that makes complex ideas easy to understand, regardless of what your leadership skills are or have been. It's not about how you used to do things. It's how you can do them from this point forward. Change isn't always easy, but the author gives examples to show how possible and easy it is. Leadership has been a one-size-fits-all concept, but it shouldn't be. Each leader, company, and organization has unique needs. The questionnaires and worksheet questions help you think about what has been working for you, and what hasn't, and how you can incorporate Re4 into your day-to-day leadership tasks. I recommend 8 Paradoxes of Leadership Agility to anyone searching for new ways to solve problems in today's world, and to rethink the way they've been going about their business.
By Tammy Ruggles, May 2020.
Yeo Chuen Chuen’s engaging personal development book 8 Paradoxes of Leadership Agility contains useful advice for navigating contemporary leadership challenges.
This well-organized text begins by defining Chuen’s four-step coaching method through difficulties like resistance to particular visions for the future or difficult bosses. This method includes strategies such as reconstructing a map, wherein leaders subject themselves to a reality check: owning up to their own failings and mistakes; weeding out biases; and shifting to new identities. The intriguing shifts in identity involve personalized anchoring metaphors, a masterful and creative stroke that forces the audience to derive meaning from their own experiences.
The text then presents eight paradoxes, such as weighing enforcing changes against empowering employees; it introduces Yeo Chuen Chuen’s own clients as case studies. Each client confronts a particular problem, and the book shares the work that was done to overcome them. The text closes with a workbook to help leaders identify where they struggle and steps to take to fix issues. This approach is logical and is supported by attractive infographics and highlighted themes to help with understanding each paradox.
A claim is made that each of the book’s paradoxes are applicable across a broad range of situations, “irrespective of differences in nationalities, cultures, ages, genders, academic and industry backgrounds.” In service of this notion, a range of personal stories are shared, their challenges reflective of a diverse cross section of businesspeople. Willingness to adapt tactics and strategies to meet real world challenges is encouraged, bolstered by a story about a woman working to change a large institution, but who was forced to admit the limits of her own power. Such examples point to the intersection of theory with concrete actions and mix elements of interviews, observations, and narratives.
From this perspective, effective leaders have to master agility and adjust to changes as they come. A strong argument is made that leaders negotiate a host of competing priorities, with corresponding examples. But the book asserts that it is possible to both face change and to stay true to oneself: an anecdote about a woman choosing when to remain “principled,” and when to adapt to move forward in her career, reinforces this. Fresh insights arise, and the book has a balanced approach to achieving personal career goals.
8 Paradoxes of Leadership Agility is a compelling business advice book that encourages adaptation and balance.
Reviewed by Jeremiah Rood
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"This book is a must-read companion book for all leaders who want to be more effective and strategic. It’s so easy to take action once you see things differently. "
"The stories here illustrate how every leadership paradox can be solved using Chuen Chuen's coaching model. I see so much potential for workplaces to become more productive and businesses more profitable by using Chuen Chuen’s model. "
"Being agile often means to simplify our processes instead of adding more layers. This book for me, has done it. Other than giving names to some of the paradoxes I personally face, the coaching model Chuen Chuen has developed accelerated the process of shifting my mindset."
"Chuen Chuen’s coaching model is simple and practical, the anecdotal examples are true-to-life which one can easily relate and adopt. I highly recommend this book to anyone who acknowledges the challenge, and desires a guide to embrace effective agile leadership in their everyday life."
"I especially like how Chuen Chuen used metaphors with clients to help them put their finger on a complex situation in a simple way. The quest for simplicity is even more pressing now than ever before when we are swamped with more information than we could digest. "
"After reading the excerpt I decided this was one book I wanted to read rather than just adding to my wish list. Many books I end up buying but not reading, but the concise, easy to digest style appealed as did the opportunity to understand paradoxes faced by others. The book lived up to expectations. The exercise are nicely packaged into section 3 with further detail for those who want it, meaning that I could swiftly make my way through the first two sections knowing I could go deeper if needed. Well worth the read."
The What, Why and How of '8 Paradoxes of Leadership Agility'
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