Gear-Up!: Shift development of your leaders in high gear

Mark van Dongen

Publisher: Xlibris Pages: 274 Price: (paperback) $24.19 ISBN: 9781524519223 Reviewed: May, 2017 Author Website: Visit »

A PricewaterhouseCoopers survey indicates that 97% of CEOs believe that having the right talent is the most crucial factor for business growth. In Gear-Up! Shift Development of Your Leaders in High Gear, Mark van Dongen lays out an intricately researched, tightly structured and detailed step-by-step plan to help companies achieve this by developing leaders internally. Targeted to human resource professionals, C-Suite professionals and academic students, this book focuses on international organizations.

Taking readers back 4,500 years to the building of Egyptian pyramids, the book sheds light on why leadership development is needed, providing highlights of the history of leadership implementation.

It then lays out meticulous and valuable strategies for recruitment, hiring, performance and talent development and includes specific models: The Human Capital Roadmap, which focuses on management processes; and the HEART model, which graphically details talent development processes. A self-assessment tool is also included for gauging progress. Perhaps most helpful, the book includes three in-depth case studies of companies that used van Dongen’s methods. These examples carefully detail the evolution of each company’s successes and how his methods were applied.

Interestingly, the author devotes considerable discussion to defining “talent,” noting that a 2006 UK survey found that while half of surveyed companies reported being involved in “talent management activities,” only 20% had a formal definition of the word.

Chapters include introductions summarizing their focus and end questions that can fuel company discussions. The book also offers endnotes, in-depth appendices, flow charts, a bibliography and indices.

The language can be awkward (such as a heading that reads, “Why so Few is Known on this Topic?”) and typos appear though both are only occasional occurrences. Still, this is not light reading. The material is dense and requires significant concentration.

If you’re looking for a warm and fuzzy leadership development book, this isn’t it. But if you would like a highly-refined, in-depth plan, this is a rock-solid resource.

Also available in hardcover and ebook.

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