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Abundance Leaders: Creating Energy, Joy, and Productivity in an Unsettled World

Abundance Leaders by Laura Freebairn-Smith gives us a research-based introduction to the author’s work on abundant leaders.  The work draws on diverse fields such as optimism, economics, organisation development, and sustainability. The book presents an overview of the concept of leading with abundance and emphasises the importance of adopting a mindset focus on abundance rather than scarcity.

Abundance Leaders by Laura Freebairn-Smith gives us a research-based introduction to the author’s work on abundant leaders.  The work draws on diverse fields such as optimism, economics, organisation development, and sustainability. The book presents an overview of the concept of leading with abundance and emphasises the importance of adopting a mindset focus on abundance rather than scarcity.

One of the positive aspects of this book is the author’s use of examples and quotes from ‘abundant leaders’ in various fields. These anecdotes help bring the concept of abundant leadership to life and demonstrate its practical applications. Additionally, Freebairn-Smith shares her own organisation’s embodiment of the principles of abundance leadership, providing readers with valuable insights and real-world examples.

One particular concept that stood out was the detailed explanation of how the Charrette concept has been implemented and evolved at OPG to create a dedicated week for innovation each year.  Whilst I’ve read of other organisations adopting similar approaches it was useful to get a detailed explanation and understanding of the practical implementation of such an approach – and how it has evolved over time.

The descriptors of the leadership behaviours underpinning the abundant leadership approach could prove useful as a useful basis for determining leadership strengths and areas for development.   The third section of the book is a practical “How To” manual which offers hints, tips, and sometimes reflection questions, for each of the micro-levers and behaviours. This section is a useful resource for leaders looking to make changes and build self-awareness.

In conclusion, Abundance Leaders by Laura Freebairn-Smith offers an interesting perspective on abundance leadership, highlighting the importance of a positive mindset and practical implementation strategies. Some aspects may take some work to fully to understand – I personally found it challenging to fully integrate the layers of meta-competencies, competencies, behaviours, macro levers, and micro levers  but the insights and real-world examples that could inspire leaders to create positive change within their own leadership practice and their organisations.

Published by Wiley

Dani Bacon is an Organisation Development consultant, co-founder of Distinction Consulting and co-host of the Distinction podcast

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