This provocatively titled book is not about “narcissism and self-serving destructive motives and action on the part of so many power holders,” as some may surmise, but rather promulgates “intertwined, synergistic … process-based leadership.” So write business professors Charles Manz and Craig Pearce, who elegantly describe four components of twisted leadership as complementary strands woven together in a rope: Self-leadership, SuperLeadership, Shared leadership, and Socially responsible leadership.
The professors identify the destructive effects of “centralized, top-down, hierarchical leadership,” labeling it “leadership disease,” and propose the four strands referenced above as “effective medications.” The strands are fully discussed in individual chapters, which include an overview, a seven-step progression to achieve success, and several questions for the reader to answer.
Each form of “twisted leadership” is uniquely important and stands on its own, but as Manz and Pearce point out, together they are “like synergistic strands that, when twisted together, can create a formidable rope.” To demonstrate the collective power of the four strands, the authors use as an example W. L. Gore and Associates, a highly successful manufacturer of multiple products that all use as their primary ingredient the company’s well-known Gore-Tex.
Twisted Leadership closes with a chapter that details “prescriptions” for implementing the principles of twisted leadership in organizations, along with a useful resources section for further study. Competing with the authors of numerous other leadership books in a burgeoning category, Manz and Pearce are to be commended for putting a new twist on the subject.
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