The Ascent of a Leader – Thrall, McNicol, McElrath

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Are you the kind of leader that others want to follow? Climbing the corporate, political or organisational ladder is a driving passion for too many of us. But too often during our ascent, we compromise our character to reach a performance goal, forgetting that lasting, positive influence depends on the kind of person we become, not simply on the titles, power or wealth we’ve achieved. While many leaders work hard to develop performance based skills, relatively few are intentional about developing character.

This compelling book by Bill Thrall, Bruce McNicol and Ken McElrath explores the process through which ordinary relationships can help you develop extraordinary character and influence. Character is crucial, the authors assert, because it “empowers our capacities while keeping them in check. It makes the difference between those who abuse power and those who stewart it well. It weaves values like integrity, honesty, and selfless service into the fabric of our lives, organisations and cultures.”

The Ascent of a Leader resonates strongly with many of the themes we discuss at the Forum each year, and would be a helpful guide to exploring these topics in greater depth.


Title: The Ascent of a Leader
Author: Bill Thrall, Bruce McNicol and Ken McElrath
Format: Book
Published: 1999
Publisher: Wiley
Access: This book is available to borrow in hard copy from the NSLF Library. Contact the librarian to arrange collection.

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