Answers of so many questions about “leadership” are being searched for years in serious scientific studies, and countless books are written on this subject. Sometimes leaders write about their own leadership insights and tell about the secrets of leadership. In recent years the number of books -that are written or translated from a foreign language- about leadership are growing fast in Turkey. But in a country that has distinctive cultural traditions like Turkey, can the leadership measures which are eligible in foreign countries be carried out exactly the same?
After 20 years of professional experience Dr. Yeşim Toduk Akiş, who is working as a “leader hunter” in The Amrop Hever Group Turkey and gives classes in Bilgi University MBA programme, has prepared a book in which she tracks the leadership subject of Turkey. Dr. Akiş names her book as The Real Leadership Map of Turkey and in the light of both her experiences and academical researches, hunts an in-depth answer for the long asked question of “Who is a leader?” The answer given by Dr. Akiş either displays the leadership form in the globalizing world and also explains it in an angle which is not taken into account until now: “Who is a real leader in Turkey?” Dr. Akiş states her answer after an in-depth study of the relevant literature and characteristics of 250 “model of successful leader” executives – which are chosen from 17.000 middle and high level executives whom she interviewed due to her professional and academic studies since 1996.
The book consists of nine chapters and gets the reader together with leaders of different sectors in each chapter. Before the 20 in-depth interviews with outstanding leaders of each sector, theories of the most famous leadership inquirers take place. By this way, the opinions of the interviewed leaders stand straight with a theoretical framework. In the third chapter, “The Rest of Successful Leadership: The Leaders Who will Make Path”, Dr. Akiş defines “The 21 Leadership Characteristics” which she has established after a global research of leadership studies and 20 years of experience. She also tracks down these 21 characteristics within all her interviews in the book. She marks the leadership characteristics in the interviews by numbers and attracts the reader’s attention to those point of views. With this, the reader not only reads an interview but also finds out the leadership secrets of Turkey’s most influential leaders, and in which leadership characteristics those secrets are hidden. In other words, Dr. Akiş uncovers those secrets by reading between the lines and reports the definition of “leadership” by living examples; gives the reader tangible success stories.
In the last chapter of the book, Yeşim Toduk Akiş gives her own answer to the question of “What Kind of a Leader will Be Permanent in the Turkey of 21st Century?”: A leader must trust and must be trusted. In this direction, Dr. Akiş brings in a brand new leadership model: “Crystal Prism Model” for ideal leadership. This model is believed to be highly effectual especially within Turkey and its surrounding geography, and also exceptionally innovative for introducing the element of trust as the most important foundation stone of leadership. In the prism drawn by Dr. Akiş, the vision of a leader is “light”. “Clear communication” is the main column, the height of the prism, which allows leader’s light to diffuse in different points and makes the followers to follow their leader. In a way, the success of a leader depends upon the multi-directional clear communication between the leader and the followers. Leader’s light, namely vision, passes through the prism by the help of prism’s height which is “clear communication”, blends in one with different opinions and turns into different reflections and practices those inspire the followers. The borders of the prism’s basis are TO TRUST, TO BE TRUSTED, TO BE CONSISTENT, TO BE FAIR-MINDED and thanks to all these “TRUST ATMOSPHERE” is created. According to Dr. Akiş, the balance between the borders and height of the “Ideal Leadership Prism” is extremely important for the success of this model.
The leadership and trust model which is introduced by Dr. Akiş is viable not only for Turkey, but also for the Middle East countries where work conditions are not legally secured. In a work environment, feeling of trust has an exceeding degree of importance for employees to work in a peace of mind and with high performance. “The Ideal Leader Crystal Prism” looks from a different angle at the effect of the leader on the success of the followers. It also seems to be a handy key to explain the leadership fact in Turkey and Middle East countries.
The Real Leadership Map of Turkey is not only an in-depth study of leadership literature, but it also brings the reader Dr. Yeşim Toduk Akiş’s long experience in her professional and academic career blended with the success stories of Turkey’s most successful leaders from every sector. This comprehensive and effective study gives the reader a chance to understand the subject of leadership in Turkey and leadership in the world. It also gives a chance to take advantage of the open-hearted “leadership advices” of tangible examples. In the introduction of her book Dr. Akiş says, “Leadership can not be taught, but it can be learned.” With this motto, The Real Leadership Map of Turkey opens the doors wide for anyone who wants to learn about leadership…