The Tests of a Leader.

Author:Ellet, Bill
Position:Book review

The Tests of a Leader, Book, 2007, Harvard Business School publishing, $16.95.

What misconceptions hobble the leadership of many new managers--and, just as important, how can they be avoided? How can a leader develop a strategic network as opposed to a personal network? How do skilled leaders bounce back from disaster?

This Harvard Business Review special issue gives practical answers to these and other crucial issues concerning leadership. I want to emphasize "practical." This isn't a collection of long articles that present research results and make a parting gesture toward practice.

It is well suited for corporate training. It's also not ephemera that will be outdated soon. The content has staying power.

The articles define problems of leadership, but they also offer ways to solve them. For anyone involved in workplace learning, any number of pieces in the special issue could be the basis for an addition to existing leadership education, a free-standing activity, or simply the circulation of the article. (All the articles are available as separate reprints.)

I would start with Linda Hill's "Becoming the Boss." She has been studying the transition to management for 15 years and has uncovered misconceptions that new managers and leaders often have about how they are supposed to behave.

For example, many novice new...

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