"Being open-minded is a quality of a flexible leader. He or she holds a ‘there is more than one way to accomplish a task’ mentality."

A major current of thought in the field of leadership today holds that the ability to be an effective leader is not necessarily limited only to individuals born with a certain set of characteristics, but that leadership skills can, in fact, be taught and learned. Osborne, whose background is in speech pathology, holds this to be true, and in her book on the subject, offers a plethora of practical information and ideas. Such areas explored include the disposition (or attitudes) of both leaders and followers, the examination of leadership theories, issues of funding and networking, and the all-too-important role of communication expertise. Additionally, she takes a look at differences between businesses owned and led by families versus those that aren’t family-owned, as well as that which she terms “providential leadership,” which is essentially used in Christian-based businesses, where “the main thought is the winning of a soul to Christ whenever possible.”

Osborne presents much useful analysis—backed up by studies and anecdotal accounts—from which businesses of any kind can benefit. The author has a keen awareness of generational differences and how those dissimilarities come into play in the business world. Another highlight of her years of insight shines a light on the specifics of communication style. “The actual manner in which one pronounces words,” she writes, “has a great impact on a leader’s audience.” Throughout the text, Osborne succeeds in making the case that leaders—of all stripes and in any business or organizational setting—must grasp a strong understanding of individuals’ “emotional components” in order to have success in motivating the people under one’s leadership. Perhaps the book’s greatest strength is the author’s acute knowledge of specifics in communication style and how that knowledge is shared with the reader, using concrete examples and suggestions for action.

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