Find out more about caring leadership in Leah's book

Front cover of Paradox and Power in Caring LeadershipParadox and Power in Caring Leadership

Critical and Philosophical Reflections

New Horizons in Leadership Studies series
Edited by Leah Tomkins, The Open University, UK
Publication Date: 2020 ISBN: 978 1 78897 549 0 Extent: 256 pp

Having leaders who care about us sounds irresistibly appealing. Not surprisingly, therefore, care has been linked to increased organisational commitment and morale amongst employees and other stakeholders. But being, becoming or even working for a caring leader is not straightforward. It is easy to be both too caring and not caring enough, with damaging consequences for both people and their projects.

So, how might caring leaders find that sweet spot between the two extremes in order to care just about enough? Moreover, how can leaders care about their subordinates if they do not like them very much? Do leaders have to genuinely feel nice things about other people or is caring all for show? Does caring help or hinder a leader when s/he has to make tough decisions? When does caring make a leader popular, and when does it tip over into making them unpopular and triggering resentment and anger? And since the roots of care lie in the family and in relations of similarity and kinship, how can caring leadership shake its connections with nepotism and tribalism – a crucial concern for leadership in public life, given the state of our national and international politics?

This book is available to purchase as a hardback or e-book. The introduction and first chapter are available to download free of charge. Visit the publisher's website to find out more.

This sparkling collection puts care where it always should have been – at the forefront of leadership studies. Drawing on a wide variety of perspectives it encourages us to think afresh about why leadership really matters and how it should be practised. It is a gem.

Dennis Tourish, University of Sussex, UK

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