“I wrote ‘The Imperfect Leader’ to explore the ‘not-so-secret’ secrets of transformational leadership,” Taylor writes in his introduction. “It takes a leader who embraces a worthy mission, envisions a compelling, preferred future, and then leads from personally-held core values to engage and motivate employees to exceptional performance through values-based leadership.”
The book is appropriate for anyone who finds themselves in a leadership position, be it the upper echelons of corporate management or a small subcommittee, school, church or even at home.
The elegantly-written narrative acquaints the reader with Josh McCall’s plight: he is drawn to leadership positions and does reasonably well in them. Unexpectedly, he finds himself unemployed, humiliated and unable to provide for his family. At first he is insulted by leadership-expert George’s questions: “What are you trying to do, and what about you is standing in the way?” It does not take long before the two men are meeting weekly in a coffee shop to discuss values-based leadership. Through their discussions, George’s presentation and a meeting with a local business owner who successfully puts the values into practice, the reader gains an understanding of this common-sense leadership philosophy.
Interspersed throughout the book are the main tenets of values-based leadership to aid the reader in examining the framework of the philosophy. “Humility is the one indispensable trait of truly values-based leaders.” Humility is also almost impossible for the characters to define.
Nonetheless, the message here is that a good leader is not after personal gain and status but a positive, satisfying, encouraging environment for those they lead and clients they serve. Everyone must share the organisation’s values to achieve superior and transformational results.