Michael A. Couch and Richard S. Citrin boast the needed credentials to ensure their book Strategy-Driven Leadership: The Playbook for Developing Your Next Generation of Leaders boasts impressive credibility. Beginning from a grounding in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Couch has pursued paths as a business executive and consultant. He has held diverse positions such as the Managing Director for a Strategic Business Unit, supervising Manufacturing, Customer Service, and Materials Management, among other areas. He has over three decades of professional experience and now heads Michael A. Couch & Associates Inc. since its 2007 founding. They work with more than fifty clients throughout domestic and global industries as well as for-profit and non-profit organizations.
Citrin brings cross-disciplinary talents to bear in his role as co-author. His knowledge of psychology and business has garnered him invaluable experience as a clinician, corporate executive, leadership coach, and health care entrepreneur. He is an experienced and sought after writer with more than two dozen popular and professional articles to his credit as well as two books. He has appeared in publications as diverse as the New York Times and Forbes. The two men write and promote their ideas through their latest book with an authority born of men who have a deep understanding of their subject.
Research forms the bedrock of this book. It is clear from the outset Citrin and Couch devoted considerable energy towards marshaling available data to form their ideas about improved leadership training and, moreover, to illustrate the weakness of current models in this area. Much of this research, however, would be meaningless if they failed to marry it with concise prose explicating the data in a clear way. Strategy-Driven Leadership isn’t a particularly long book and, as such, it behooved both authors to put their best foot forward as writers in order to synthesize their research data and exposition into a coherent whole. They are successful in doing so.
The book includes ten chapters covering each facet of their vision. They build their vision for strategy driven leadership upon scientific rigor rather than promoting the same hoary models yielding little return. They direct readers on how to get the most from this text without ever lecturing or scolding them and incorporate a number of unostentatious and informative illustrations to underline their points. Implementing the methodologies they prescribe can happen immediately as opposed to the unwieldy models requiring substantial revamping of company structure to prove viable. Though the book’s concepts are certainly theoretical, the writing makes it obvious they have practical application.
The systematic nature of their design for developing leadership extends to the book’s construction. Couch and Citrin break down the “why”, “who”, “what”, and “how” in a sensible fashion without ever lapsing into digression and the overall focus they exhibit is one of the keys to the book’s success. The unified nature of this work, covering every conceivable base and leaving nothing unaddressed, marks Strategy-Driven Leadership: The Playbook for Developing Your Next Generation of Leaders as one of the sturdiest academically themed works in recent memory.