A new book from ASTD takes a fresh look at leadership through a
compilation of insights, ideas, and tools that will enable
individuals, teams, and organizations to develop their leadership
capabilities. This book sets itself apart by emphasizing leadership
development and providing practical approaches to develop this
crucial need. But as broad as that sounds, the editor of The ASTD
Leadership Handbook, Elaine Biech, believes there is plenty of
wisdom and advice for CLOs and other high-level learning
"CLOs are in a unique position," says Biech. "Not only are they responsible for the leadership needs of their own organizations, but they should also be concerned with their own leadership skills. The leadership development section of the book, especially the piece by Tracy Byham, 'Leadership Development Strategy,' is an insightful chapter on the topic. Every CLO should pay attention to that from both a personal perspective as well as from a leadership responsibility perspective.
"Another chapter, 'Worst Practices in 360-Degree Assessments: Why
Feedback Fails,' by Craig Chappelow, would also be of interest to
most CLOs, I think. Providing good feedback to employees has to
start at the top. That falls squarely on the CLO."
Biech also recommends a third chapter in the book, "Learning on the
Job," by Ellen Van Velsor. "That would be of value to most
upper-level learning executives as well," she explains.
"It addresses how to get their jobs done when they have to do
everything faster, and perhaps with less money, or when they are
dealing with crises. How do they justify letting [employees] go
away for a few days or a few weeks for training? Learning on the
job has become one of the most critical elements in the workplace
learning field. Those three chapters pull together what would be my
top three suggestions for CLOs based on their lack of time and the
need to do it right the first time."
Why this book? Why now?
What made 2010 the year for the release of this book? Beich replies: "Everything is happening faster. The book provides a broad-brush picture of leadership, whether it is competencies of leadership, or the attributes of leadership, or even the expanding topic of ethics. This book is a resource to turn to if you are looking for that one nugget on a topic from the leadership gurus we know and trust. It all comes down to a matter of time. I'm not sure CLOs have the kind of time they would like to pull together a dozen different books on these topics and figure it out. This book does it for them."
In addition to the chapters themselves, the book features many free
tools for the reader. "These tools will help you implement the
leadership concepts you will read about in the handbook," Biech
writes in her introduction.
You can find a list of the tools in the appendix of this book. "But
here's the best part: You will also find the tools available for
downloading at a companion website," Biech adds. "We've invited the
authors to update their chapters on the website and to share new
ideas or answer questions."