At any given time, theres no shortage of publications offering practical advice on management and leadership. Recent


At any given time, there’s no shortage of publications offering practical advice on management and leadership. Recent business bestsellers included such titles as Good to Great, by Jim Collins; First, Break All the Rules, by Marcus Buckingham; and The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, by John C. Maxwell. Some of these books, such as Winning, by former General Electric CEO Jack Welch, are written by managers with years of experience. Others are written by consultants, professors, or business reporters. Granted, a lot of these books—okay, most of them—don’t have much theoretical foundation, and many are basically compendiums of opinions and suggestions unsupported by scientific evidence. Even so, many touch upon ideas that may well be worth the time it takes a busy manager to read them. 

Thus, a real issue for contemporary managers is knowing how to analyze what they read in the popular press and how to separate the practical wheat from the pop-culture chaff. This exercise gives you a little practice in doing just that. 

Exercise Task 

1. Visit and take the leadership style assessment there (if this URL is no longer working, use an online search engine to find another leadership assessment you can take for free).

2. Review carefully each question and each suggested answer. Do you see any correlation between the questions and the theoretical models of leadership discussed in this chapter? Which model or models do you think was used to construct this assessment? What details in the questions, answers, or both led you to that conclusion? 

3. Think of a book you have read about leadership. How valid or invalid do you think its views on leadership were? Do you see any connection between the book and the items on the quiz you completed earlier? Explain. 

4. Based on what you’ve learned from this exercise, how confident are you that an assessment or questionnaire is an accurate measure of leadership ability? Explain.  

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