'Building Leaders'

By Frank Radosevich II
January 2, 2013

Transitioning from a doer to a leader is a critical career step, and not one that every employee can handle. A lack of confidence, poor communication or misguided strategy can doom someone new to a leadership role before they even have a chance to prove themselves.

In a new book on leadership, Professor of Management Chuck Stoner seeks to mitigate that failure by offering advice to new leaders on what it takes to be successful one in the business world.

His book, “Building Leaders” Paving the Path for Emerging Leaders,” is intended for younger leaders, those in their 20s or 30s, though Dr. Stoner said the information is just as relevant for older workers who find themselves thrust into a leadership position for the first time. Although new leaders can offer fresh perspectives and innovative ideas, they are often unprepared to handle all the obligations that accompany their new roles.

Dr. Stoner co-wrote the book with his son and Bradley alumnus Jason Stoner ’99 MBA ’02, who is also a management professor at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Dr. Stoner said the idea for the book came about from a leadership workshop he has run at Bradley for the past 10 years.

“We geared the topic of leadership toward the younger 20 and 30 year olds,” Dr. Stoner said. “And that’s the reason I asked Jason, my son, to be part of the project. He’s right there in that target market.”

The book is organized around leadership challenges or issues that a new leader should possess. Chapters cover such topics as character, confidence, conflict and change and draws upon real life examples and academic research on management.

“Research has shown that this is one of the major transitions that people go through in their career, going from being a doer to being the leader,” Dr. Stoner said. “And a lot of people don’t make it. In fact, for many of these young stars put into these positions, it’s a different world. They can’t handle it.”

And rather than learn how to orchestrate a team of workers, some leaders may just take on all the work themselves, something Dr. Stone called a “recipe for disaster.”

He said the book is designed to help leaders anticipate challenges that they may face and figure out strategies to work through them.

“It’s hard to realize that I succeed through other people more than I do just through my efforts,” he said of the transition. “It’s a very different way of being ‘other’ focused rather than being ‘me’ focused.”

The book is Dr. Stoner’s ninth and was published Dec. 13. Hardcover or paperback copies of the book can be ordered through the Bradley Bookstore or online at Amazon.com.