This compilation reveals how followers help an organization get better and how effective followers—leading from the middle—are essential to the best kind of leadership.
While liberating management theories are well known to the profession, the traditional command-and-control structure prevails, leaving many libraries as reactive—not proactive—institutions. How can libraries create encouraging workplaces that are collaborative in decision making and action taking, have a clear mission, and are committed to bringing out the best in each person?
In "Leading from the Middle," and Other Contrarian Essays on Library Leadership, John Lubans, Jr., argues for democratic library organizations with shared leadership and decision making by leaders and followers. His book distills 15 years worth of leadership essays to advance a theory of a collaborative and empowering leadership, touching on such subjects as teamwork, empowerment, "followership," challenges, values, coaching, self-management, collaboration, communication, and techniques and tools.
Lubans's 36 essays draw new and insightful perspectives on leadership from disparate realms: travel, sports, music, retail businesses, and airlines. All of the essays have been edited and revised for this book and many have been extensively updated with new material and epilogues. The essays flow from the author's experience as a manager/leader, his teaching of the topic, and his research into and experimentation with organizational leadership. Insights and suggestions are tempered by a candid reflection on successes achieved and mistakes made.
• http://blog.lubans.org/ has been created for the book and supplements the book in multiple ways, with essays, observations, media, discussions, case studies, and self help tests
• Photographs and illustrations emphasize points made within selected essays
• Offers a practitioner's experiences and reflections
• Teaches how to become an effective leader in spite of yourself, as well as how to be an effective follower
• Offers alternative ways to make organizational progress based on lessons drawn from other industries