The Existential Leader: An Authentic Leader For Our Uncertain Times invites us to reconsider our preconceptions about leadership, introducing a new model more in line with our uncertain times: existential leadership.
Monica Hanaway presents an illuminating overview of existential thinking and describes how an understanding of philosophy can improve leadership, drawing on existing leadership theories to show how this new model is more fitting for the challenges of today. The approach is primarily philosophical, rather than systemic or behavioural. It invites us to re-examine what we think about leaders, whether we really need leaders at all, and, if so, which existential concerns leaders must address. The book offers an introduction to the development of existential thinking and main concerns, including meaningfulness, anxiety, loneliness, freedom, choice and responsibility, authenticity, and values and beliefs. These are explored in the leadership context, with practical approaches for using these in everyday leadership dilemmas. Unique and accessible, The Existential Leader paves a way for modern leadership perfectly suited to the challenging times we live in.
Innovative, theoretical and applicable to our changing world landscape, this book will appeal to coaches, HR and L&D professionals, executives, business consultants, and current and future leaders. It will also be of interest to academics and students of coaching psychology, applied philosophy and psychology.
"In my work with leaders I am acutely aware of the challenges of today’s world with all the uncertainties we face. I welcome a book which understands these existential leadership challenges and integrates wider philosophical ideas with the practicalities of the role of leader. The author explores the nature of leadership and the styles this takes, and introduces a new existential approach, which although embodying the ideas of existential philosophy, psychotherapy and coaching provides a practical grounding for leaders in the 21st century.’ This book is a resource for leaders and those working with leaders as trainers, coaches or consultants.' - Colleen Harris MVO, FRSA, MICG; personal brand coach; communications adviser; diversity adviser; Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London, UK
"For anyone willing to embark on a healthy jog through the history of existentialist thought and phenomenology, Monica Hanaway translates this theory into a framework for action that has relevance for the choices to be made, not only by leaders, but by everyone involved in the life of an organisation. For those of us who find "the business of life" itself frequently challenging, what a comfort it is to find an author who can make this topic sing, in a genre too often associated with gloomy introspection. The Existential Leader is a practical, no nonsense & learned reflection on ‘being’ in the world - a book for anyone trying to better appreciate & better manage this human condition we find ourselves in." - Tim Macready, Executive Chairman & Founder of SKILL CAPITAL LLP
"Leadership has always been important, but the emphasis is changing. The hierarchical boss culture is no longer fit for purpose. The increasing pace of change and complexity means that leaders must adapt and modify their leadership style to inspire that "can’t wait to get to work" ethos. Most effective leaders have one element in common – people want to work with them. Monica Hanaway’s The Existential Leader sets out clearly the rationale for collaborative leadership and provides a well-illustrated approach for developing authentic leaders. This book is one that every leader should keep in their bookcase." - Felix Spender, former army officer, international negotiator and SME business leader
"As a leader and leadership trainer I am passionate about equipping leaders for the challenges of the world we live in. At this time of great uncertainty, we need a leadership approach which holds this uncomfortable truth at its core. In writing The Existential Leader, Monica Hanaway provides a practical leadership approach which embeds the existential concepts of uncertainty, freedom and anxiety which all leaders face today. These philosophical concepts are presented in a clear, practical and straightforward way" - Yvonne Coghill CBE, OBE, FRCN; Professor of Primary Care and Head of Child Health at the School of Public Health, Imperial College London; Director at NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) Implementation in NHS England. She is a member of the equality and diversity council at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in the United States
"As Chair of the Tutu Foundation UK (Patron Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Honorary Patron FW de Klerk), I grasp the extraordinary parallels between Existential Phenomenology and the African philosophy and tool of Ubuntu, lived and promulgated by Desmond Tutu and indeed Nelson Mandela. I have worked with Monica Hanaway in Belfast where she listened to the Leaders of the Loyalist Paramilitary who wanted somehow to move forward in their lives and help the next generation both as a whole group and then as smaller units. I was extremely impressed by her disciplined psychologically informed way without taking notes, without telling them what to do, without promising anything and could yet afterwards in private with me describe exactly what had been said and draw conclusions about where they were coming from as individuals. This approach is mirrored in The Existential Leader and there are lessons to be learnt for leaders in all contexts." - Clive Conway, Chair TFUK
"Monica Hanaway’s book is unique in that she has managed to blend existentialism and leadership in practice in such a way that reader will not have to wade though treacle in order to grasp the philosophical concepts that underpin this approach to leadership. In other words, she uses the philosophy as an applied rather than an academic science. This is existential thinking in action in the context of being a leader. Having said that, this is a book that will be of interest to anyone who is interested in the dynamics of working with others while also being very thought provoking for readers who are interested in an existential and a psychological understanding of relationships." - Diana Mitchell, UKCP reg; psychotherapist; acc. mediator
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: What do we mean by Existential?
Chapter 2: What do we mean by ‘leadership’?
Chapter 3: The 21st Century Leader
Chapter 4: What do we mean by ‘Existential Leader’?
Chapter 5: Leadership in the context of Existential Assumptions
Chapter 6: Existential Leadership Skills
Chapter 7: Four Ages of Existential Leadership
Chapter 8: Conclusion
About the Author
Monica Hanaway is an accredited mediator, psychotherapist, supervisor, leadership coach, management and leadership trainer. She designed the Middlesex University MA in Existential Coaching.