Leading Team Alpha: Leadership in Novel Form
Reviewed by Joseph Yurt for Reader Views (1/11)
Author and business leadership guru Joel DiGirolamo proclaims in the preface to his new book, “Leading Team Alpha,” that “…mounds of research data and many concepts have been generated in the academic community and yet little has leaked into the business community.” Further, he explains, organizational and industrial psychology practitioners have tried to bridge the gap but with only limited success. The author’s goal is to bring viable research from the academic community to the business community “…in such a manner that it is understandable, entertaining, thought provoking and immediately useful.” Throughout the book, the goal is often achieved.
“Leading Team Alpha” includes the best of current thinking on leadership, but such information is not exclusive to this book. What actually distinguishes “Leading Team Alpha” is the author’s decision to sow current leadership best practices organically throughout a novel that tells the story of a middle manager’s immediate need to become a leader in the fight for the life of the company for which he works. In essence, Mr. DiGirolamo has abandoned the traditional leadership guide model, including the short, mundane situational vignettes, and infused leadership tenants throughout his entire novel. The result of using this device is, indeed, clearer, impactful communication of the definition of leadership. This device also might attract more experienced middle and upper level managers who might perceive that traditional leadership volumes have nothing new to offer.
As for the story itself, it is a bit lean and the characters are underdeveloped, but the telling is engaging and easy to follow. Given that the genre is primarily a delivery medium, and that the book is really a new format for exploring leadership, this shortcoming is not a significant deterrent to the book’s effectiveness.
Nearly all readers enjoy good stories. Joel DiGirolamo’s decision was mindful of this universal truth when he decided to write his book on leadership in the setting of a novel. “Leading Team Alpha” is an informational, impactful and entertaining story that is truly worth reading by managers and leaders at all levels.