Are You a Badger or a Doormat? How to be a Leader Who Gets Results

Reviewed by: 
Rosie Miller
Financial Times/Prentice Hall
Alistair Schofield, Managing Director, Extensor Limited

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There are numerous books available on the subject of leadership, but very few that provide such sound and practical advice as “Are You a Badger or a Doormat?”

Rather than attempting to be all things to all people, the book focuses on five of the most common dilemmas leaders face:

  1. What is the best use of my time?
  2. How can I communicate more effectively?
  3. How do I interact with people to get the best from them?
  4. How do I choose, delegate to and motivate people well?
  5. What changes will make us more successful?

Each dilemma is described in a separate chapter and each chapter contains a description of the dilemma, a means of quickly identifying whether or not it is an issue that might be challenging you, a description of the attributes of leaders who are successful in managing the dilemma, a section that provides practical advice that you may well find helpful, a real-life case study to illustrate the point and finally a list of powerful self-coaching questions to assist you in improving your own effectiveness.

Are You a Badger or a Doormat? Is therefore not so much a ‘book’, more a ‘manual’ for people wanting to improve their effectiveness.

While each of the chapters described above are relatively self-contained and can be referred to individually, the remainder of the book places these chapters within a broader contextual framework by looking at issues such as vision, values, passion and personal enablers.The result is that the book works on more than one level; at it simplest it is an easy to read, easy to remember and easy to apply guide to improving your leadership skills.  At another level it provides a more complete framework that would be of value to even the most experienced and most capable of organisational leaders.  I therefore suspect that it is a book that I will re-read and refer to on many occasions in the future.

The other thing I particularly like about the book is that the language is straight-forward and simple – it says what it has to say and stops.  This is in stark contrast to the vast majority of management books that convey the impression that the author has padded-out an article in order to turn it into a book!

In “Are You a Badger or a Doormat?” Miller has achieved a remarkable feat. She has managed to produce a book on leadership that I would recommend to both a senior executive with many years experience as well as to a person embarking on their first management appointment.

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  Are You a Badger or a Doormat?