The author of Acting Out: Outlining Specific Behaviors and Actions for Effective Leadership, Michell P. Weinzetl has the best mix of academic credentials and real-world leadership experience. The book reflects his strong academic command of the subject matter as well as his practical work-a-day experience. Moreover, the book his well-written, cited and edited.
The thrust of book can be summed up on page 13 were Weinzetl tells the reader that “leadership is what we do. It is action-based.” He follows up with this by providing a strong academic foundation for recommended leadership actions. Unlike some text which may only provide theory or those that center solely on practice, Weinzetl provides the leader with information (such as theory and research) on why certain actions are necessary.
The first part of the book is about leadership communication. He succulently brings us 50 years of research and advice on communication and also brings it into the 21st century with discussions on the use of modern communication tools (such as email). In my opinion, the two pages on “contrastive stress” are worth more to a leader than the price of the book. I am convinced if a leader reads and heeds those two pages, alone, they will be prevent a major headache in the future.
In the second part of the book, Mitchel P. Weinzetl launches into leadership as “action based.” He begins this section with a relevant discussion on vision and direction. What struck me is how extraordinarily relevant the information is to leaders at all stations within organizations. This middle section of the book is the meat for leaders – it includes many specific recommendations for positive action all designed to support the organizational vision.
The last section of the book is about Weinzetl entitles the “Leadership Replication Cycle.” This is an original creation by the author and a stellar way to think about all sorts of organizational activities from grooming new leaders to creating an institutional knowledge base.
Mitchell P. Weinzetl, a long-time law enforcement executive avoids the pitfall of writing to his law enforcement colleagues alone. The information is presented so that a leader in any organization would find the information valuable as well as intelligible – there is no secret jargon!
Lastly, one of the best features of the book the “Weinzetl’s Perspectives.” The book is laced with these personal experiences that help to understand, digest and place in context the information. A well deserved five star recommendation.