Rewriting Leadership with Narrative Intelligence: How Leaders Can Thrive in Complex, Confusing and Contradictory Times

Greg Morgan
Allora Leadership and Coaching, Australia

Product Details
22 May 2019
Emerald Publishing Limited
308 pages - 152 x 229mm
Leadership is a slippery concept. Researchers disagree on its essence, describing it variously as behaviours, character traits or styles. Effective leaders understand that we make meaning of our experiences by creating stories we believe to be true, but which are largely based on fragmentary evidence filtered through our biases, beliefs and dispositions. 

Rewriting Leadership with Narrative Intelligence draws on a range of disciplines and scholarly traditions to build a compelling case for a new perspective on leadership, seeing it as a deeply embodied, intuitive skill of curating shared narratives, in influence relationships. 

Defining narrative intelligence as 'our ability to evaluate the efficacy of the stories we create to serve our needs, our capacity to rewrite them, and the practical skill to take effective action', this book methodically outlines how leaders cultivate their own narrative intelligence to:
  • Become the person they seek to be by aligning narratives and core values with actions 
  • Navigate through the challenging leadership space of populism and the erosion of traditional values
  • Ethically curate the narrative others hold of them 
  • Strengthen self-efficacy, take more effective actions, and avoid stories which inadvertently undermine goals 
  • Communicate with trust and influence 
  • Build energy and alignment within teams by generating shared narratives 
  • Cultivate a culture of narrative intelligence 
This book will prepare leaders to reshape their own and others' stories to be more aligned with achieving goals and wellbeing. It will prove a useful resource to undergraduates and post-graduates in courses on leadership and management, as well as organizational development consultants and senior executives.
Part One. A Case for Narrative Intelligence
Part Two. The Practical Wisdom of Leading with Narrative Intelligence 
Greg Morgan, PhD, is an Executive Partner at Allora Leadership and Coaching, consulting in personalised, action-oriented leadership development. His concept of leading with narrative intelligence is a culmination of over thirty years' experience of research and experience in leadership positions in the education and corporate sectors.
‘Many people live in a fixed narrative. Few people see themselves as the creators of their own culture. Leaders are rare people who learn to create genuine, shared narratives. In such networks people flourish and expectations are exceeded. This is a landmark book that explains how to do what many people cannot imagine doing.’ - Professor Robert E. Quinn, Center for Positive Organizations, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan; Author of The Economics of Higher Purpose

‘This is a book of sweeping scope. Morgan artfully synthesizes research and practice with a blend of compelling examples and stories. These provide the depth and breadth to provoke leadership self-reflection. For anyone interested in fresh approaches to leadership, this is a powerful resource.' - Dr John Edwards, Researcher and Co-author of Schools That Deliver; International Co-ordinator:

‘Comprehensive, insightful and thought-provoking; Rewriting Leadership with Narrative Intelligence offers both leaders and leadership scholars a truly innovative way of approaching the work of leadership. Enhanced by apt reflective prompts as well as activities to try, this book provides a welcome antidote to tired recipes for leadership which ignore its co-created, contextually sensitive nature.’ - Professor Donna Ladkin, Graduate School of Leadership and Change, Antioch University; Author of Mastering the Ethical Dimension of Organizations: A Self-Reflective Guide to Developing Ethical Astuteness, and Rethinking Leadership: A New Look at Old Leadership Questions

'Dr Morgan’s book is a ray of bright hope that opens the window on the mindset of leaders and the power of narratives to shape leadership, and in turn to shape followership. This book is a must-read for all involved in the study and practice of leadership.’ - Rob Elkington, PhD, Adjunct Professor, University of Ontario Institute of Technology; Co-Author of Visionary Leadership in a Turbulent World: Thriving in the New VUCA Context and Exceptional Leadership by Design: How Design in Great Organizations Produces Great Leadership

'Dr Greg Morgan has written at once a scholarly, practical and profound exploration of the stories we tell ourselves, how they impact us and how we can best manage and leverage them to be more effective leaders in this complex work world which we now live. I recommend it highly.’ - John Campbell, Founding Director, Growth Coaching International, Sydney, Australia; Bend, Oregon, USA

‘Greg Morgan’s new book is a challenge on many levels to the “data orthodoxy” of contemporary leadership practice. The senses of narrative and their appropriateness to leadership are cogently and compellingly laid out and supported. It is an explanation of how meaningful data amidst the richness of narrative can illuminate and lead us onto deeper learning and greater, real effectiveness in leadership. This very readable book has an important place today and for the future.’ - Malcolm Elliott, President, Australian Primary Principals Association

'A lot of books on leadership focus on the organizational “what” and “how” of leadership. Morgan takes a different, and important, stance in highlighting the “who” of leadership. By developing their narrative intelligence, leaders find practical wisdom from which they can co-create a reality of sustainability, well-being and success in their organization. It is a groundbreaking book.’ - Professor Reinhard Stelter, University of Copenhagen; Author of The Art of Dialogue in Coaching: Towards Transformative Exchange and A Guide to Third Generation Coaching

‘Greg Morgan's beautifully written manuscript embodies a resonating personal and collective truth that guides us down a deep and interconnected journey to illuminate the bonds between narrative intelligence, leadership influence and the execution of leadership intentions. It is an inspiring and motivating book that commands your presence and opens up possibilities for leading real change.’ - Madeleine van der Steege, Award-Winning Entrepreneur, Editor & Author of Visionary Leadership in a VUCA World and Exceptional Leadership by Design; Adjunct Professor, Webster University, The Netherlands

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