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The Australian Career Book Award 2020 Book Review

Fellowship news

Quietly Powerful: How Your Quiet Nature is Your Hidden Leadership StrengthMegumi Miki

Review by Warren Frehse, University of Melbourne

Any organisation is only as good as the quality of its people.  This is particularly so when the leaders can create a culture that potentially allows it to perform at its best.

Unfortunately, there have been many examples lately that have led to questionable practices from leaders who have convinced others of their somewhat shallow ‘authenticity’ through ego-driven charm and self-interest.

It’s sad that these leaders have become role models for aspiring future leaders who are confused about what it really means to become a leader.  They then perhaps decide not to step-up.

Megumi Miki has addressed this issue head-on in her aptly-titled book Quietly Powerful: How Your Quiet Nature is Your Hidden Leadership Strength.

The five-part book firstly tackles the issue of the ‘hidden waste’ of talent whereby ‘quietness is seen as a weakness’.  “How can one be quiet and powerful?” the author asks upfront. 

The book weaves ample evidence to suggest that the two can in fact cohabitate, and builds a convincing argument that it is indeed essential for a productive organisation to harness this combination.

The author weaves her own story and experiences of being able to adapt and even thrive in a large consulting firm, and was an integral team member in ANZ Bank’s ‘Breakout’ cultural transformation program.

So, with insider experience of having to influence sceptical and hard-nosed senior managers, the author has demonstrated that a ‘quietly powerful’ approach can bring real, measurable positive results in challenging, complex environments.

When organisations are hungry for the right combination of unique leadership talents to enhance diversity and harness the potential in their workforces, the author outlines the ideal attributes of the ‘quietly powerful’ leader to both build the necessary trust, and to get results.

Faking it until you make it used to be the leadership mantra in times gone by.  This book challenges that by allowing future and current leaders to shine by bringing forth their quiet nature as a strength, not an impediment to success.   

This book has deservedly been the awarded career book for 2020 as it will resonate with career practitioners who have a major role to play in assisting their clients make decisions about whether leadership is a viable career option. 

The book has a resounding positive message for future leaders who doubt their own abilities to make a difference.  It’s very clear.  The quietly powerful can make an immense difference.  This is so important in an age where human skills are paramount.
 

About the Australian Career Book Award:

The Australian Career Book Award
, hosted by RSA Oceania, is a Fellow-led initiative that seeks to recognise high-quality career books. Building on the traditional RSA award model of citizen recognition in place since 1754, the Award is presented on an annual basis and recognises books published in the calendar year prior. 

This review of the 2020 awarded book is by Warren Frehse, Award Committee member and career author of Manage your career: Reinvent your job; Reinvent yourself.

Reviews of all Awarded Books and Finalist Books can be found at www.careermelbourne.com