What Authors of Leadership Books (Should) Know

What do you think would happen if you took all the books by Tom Peters, Dale Carnegie, Patrick Lencioni, Stephen Covey, Marshall Goldsmith, the EQ dude and John Baldoni and threw them in a wood chipper with some Psycho Cybernetics and bit of Sales 101? I think you’d get confetti. And you’d also get In Chaotic Times What Leaders (Should) Know by Robert Edmonson

Here is what authors of books like this should know:Edmonson

  1. If you must self-publish, hire an editor.
  2. If you publish something like this book, and you did hire an editor, you should ask for your money back.
  3. It’s bad enough that Tom Peters uses random fonts, styles and punctuation – you don’t need to do it too.
  4. If you are going to promise “a set of Coach-sulting ERA2®” cards in the back of the book, you ought to actually have them there. Anything less is In-sulting in any ERA. Dude, you owe me a Jack Welch rookie card.
  5. If you are going to write things like “…a myriad of surveys and assessments clearly show that 75% of employees have been mistreated by managers with low EQ”, you should cough up the sources.
  6. Have something new to say. Anything at all.
  7. OIC is not an acronym for “Oh, I seeeeee”.
  8. Irony looks like this line on page 50: “Credibility is being true to your words that match actions.”
  9. When you want to include a sample running dialogue between a leader and an employee, don’t call the employee Bryce and name the leader “Leader”. Only space aliens get away with that one.
  10. Sample dialogue should sound like two people speaking, not like a couple of automated voice systems arguing over an Ikea order.
  11. Sentences like this make readers wonder where you got your PhD. “Understanding how prospect’s (sic) ‘think’ (sic) equips you with the necessary tools to communicate better, establish trust and credibility to help prospects make a buying decision.”
  12. — is not a type of punctuation.
  13. The personal pronoun, “I” is always in upper case. Always. See number 2 above.
  14. All sentences deserve a subject.

This book has three bookmarks in it promoting other books like this one. It also has a sticker on the front that says “Autographed Edition”. The autograph inside says “Your thinking is who you are.”I have no idea what that means either. It’s like a double rainbow that way.

In fact, I have no idea what this book means. It opens, ominously, with this: “The 21st Century has ushered in a new era where leadership is superseding management, teaching is replaced by thinking and discovery, and “coaching” has become the new leadership paradigm.

Maybe if you make part of the sentence bold, it means something

We wander around in EQ-Land for a while and there’s a helpful self-evaluation EQ quiz at the back that doesn’t really reference anything. We visit the subconscious and learn that it doesn’t understand the word “not” so what we think we don’t want we end up wanting. Or maybe that’s backwards. No matter. On page 23 we learn that “Studies show that we have little to no control over what our brain processes. While we cannot control our thoughts — we can choose to rethink positively and control our ACTIONS by consciously deciding how to act.” We know this because Studies show it. But since we can’t control what we process I guess it doesn’t matter that there is no reference to the studies in question.

The rest of the book is an overview of coaching basics, which would be okay except that it’s so badly written, it’s almost impossible to focus on the message. For the most part the odd constructions and terrible grammar are just distracting. But there are far too many unintelligible sentences like this: How event will each be measured?

So who publishes a book like this? Here is what it says at the back: Robert is an internationally recognized executive coach, international consultant, facilitator, author of popular leadership books, business articles, keynote speaker at international conferences, talk show guest and adjunct professor at well-known universities.

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Exactly. Don’t read this.

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