Building Competitive Advantage by Thinking Differently

Sharing their wealth of experience as managers, educators and consultants, Phil Higson and Anthony Sturgess have written a book, Uncommon Leadership, which will stimulate leaders to both think and act differently. Uncommon Leadership provides valuable insights and practical advice that all leaders can use to challenge conventional wisdom and deliver uncommon advantage in their organisations.
Leadership expert Warren Bennis provocatively states that good business leadership is a matter of survival, calling for a “new generation of leaders – leaders not managers.” But if leaders are so important, are we doing enough to help them succeed in such demanding and critical roles? Especially if they are going to be the drivers of recovery from severe economic recession.
The book was inspired by leaders and managers on their innovative and challenging leadership development programmes. These provoked “radical thinking”, helping managers to cope, adapt and succeed in challenging situations. Uncommon Leadership has already received glowing praise from senior practitioners and leadership developers. For example, it:
“Provides a fresh perspective and illustrates what the best leaders do well to develop competitive advantage” David Robertson, Vice President and Executive Consultant, The Forum Corporation (EMEA)
“A practical book, grounded in sound scholarship which will help anyone to make sense of leadership.” Professor David Major, consultant in work-based and lifelong learning
“A tour de force of the experiences and lessons learned from seasoned, successful leaders all integrated into a fascinating intellectual package” Professor Dennis J. Garritan, Academic Dean at the Mountbatten Institute and Adjunct Professor, Harvard University
The book takes a “distinctive approach”, combining fascinating insights from some remarkable leaders with the authors’ own personal take on leadership. Using their 5-S Leadership Framework, they take five relatively common leadership themes but explore each with an “uncommon” insight, helping the reader to find the extraordinary in the ordinary by:

Seeing the sense before it becomes common

Shaping the organisation by turning sense into common sense

Showing the way by doing the common things uncommonly well

Serving colleagues and customers through common touch leadership

Sharing leadership by making it more common

But it’s not enough to just think differently. Gaining competitive advantage means taking action.
But not just any advantage. At the heart of uncommon leadership is the idea of realising a very powerful advantage. That of finding the sense before it becomes common sense: an uncommon advantage. So the book also identifies five key leadership roles to help readers take action:

Pathfinders delivering the uncommon advantage

Game-changers delivering the transforming advantage

Rain-makers delivering the value advantage

Bridge-builders delivering the customer advantage

Play-makers delivering the collaborative advantage

Both Anthony Sturgess and Phil Higson are experienced, engaging and thought-provoking speakers, and are available to offer expert opinion and by-lined articles on a number of leadership topics.
Uncommon Leadership – How to Build Competitive Advantage by Thinking Differently by Anthony Sturgess and Phil Higson is published by Kogan Page, priced £19.99. For further information including helpful tools and resources see