The Accountable Leader: Developing Effective Leadership Through Managerial Accountability
by Brian Dive (Kogan Page)
The spotlit black leather chair on this book's cover recalls the iconic Mastermind set, and to many people the very idea of leadership brings on cold sweats, rabbit eyes and stress. However, many of the problems that managers experience are due to frustrations at things that lie outside of their direct remit.
Thankfully, Brian Dive's The Accountable Leader is a sober, cogently argued exploration of leadership, accountability and organisational structure. Rather than couching his message in jargon, Dive talks about details and in particular the need for a close coupling of organisational setup and the people who make executive decisions. If moon and stars are not aligned, he suggests, you have a problem.
As Dive, an experienced manager and consultant, puts it: "After all, what use are potentially brilliant leaders (or managers), if an organisation is structured in a way that prevents them from using their skills to the advantage of that organisation?"
To which many managers will shout "hear, hear". There are plenty of books around that profess to tell people how to become good managers, but this one tells managers how to spot faults outside their direct roles, and as such is a refreshing change.