Why Should Anyone Be Led by You?

What It Takes To Be An Authentic Leader

by Rob Goffee , Gareth Jones

Number of pages: 256

Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press

BBB Library: Leadership

ISBN: 9781578519712

About the Authors

Rob Goffee : Rob Goffee is a Professor of organizational behavior at London Business


Gareth Jones : Gareth Jones is Fellow of the Centre for Management Development at


Editorial Review

Too many companies are managed not by leaders but by mere role players and faceless bureaucrats. What would it take to replace these empty suits with real leaders—men and women who are confident in who they are and what they stand for and who truly inspire people to achieve extraordinary results? Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones argue that leaders don’t become great by aspiring to a list of universal character traits. Rather, effective leaders are authentic: they deploy individual strengths to engage followers’ hearts, minds, and souls. Authentic leaders are skillful at consistently being themselves, even as they alter their behavior to respond effectively to changing contexts. In short, the authors present a powerful case: that it takes “being yourself, in context, with skill” to be a successful, authentic leader—and they show you how to do exactly that.

Book Reviews

"Goffee and Jones draw from their research to describe how to improve and use one's leadership abilities while managing the inner tensions to be the heart of successful leadership. These inner tensions include showing emotions or withholding it, getting close to followers while keeping distance, and maintaining individuality while “conforming enough”. This book emphasizes the social nature of leadership and explores how leaders can remain attuned to the needs and expectations of followers." - Integral Leadership Review

"This is a book whose genesis was driven by a question, but it is one whose fruition, we believe, provides real answers to the leadership dilemmas we face. If you are serious about leadership, don’t try to be someone else: Be yourself – more – with skill." - Blessing White

"As Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones point out in their latest book, the need for visionary leadership is becoming increasingly important. Traditional business hierarchies gave managers and workers a sense of their own position and what was expected of them. Now, as these hierarchies break down, it is leaders themselves who must fill the void, helping subordinates to understand their own place and purpose. Personal leadership is beginning to replace organisational structure." - Financial Times

Books on Related Topics

Wisdom to Share

Undoubtedly, leadership is about results.

Obviously, the impact of leadership on our lives is profound at work, in our spiritual lives, in sport, and of course, in politics.

Great leadership has the potential to excite people to extraordinary levels of achievement.

We are increasingly suspicious that we are being "worked."

We cannot be freely our¬selves without an overarching set of shared moral values.

In organizations, the search for the meaning and cohesion leaders provide has become especially acute.

The traditional sources of organizational cohesion have all become weaker.

The old world was characterized by elaborate hierarchies, by more or less stable careers (for some, never for all), and by clear boundaries between organizations.

Now, hierarchies in most organizations are becoming flatter, driven by the need for faster response times and by the competitive pressure to drive down costs.

Remember, it's a trap to pretend that you are perfect!

Effective leaders are able to focus others' dissatisfaction around personal foibles that, paradoxically, make them more human and so more attractive.