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Psychology for Leaders: Using Motivation, Conflict, and Power to Manage More Effectively

ISBN: 978-0-471-59755-1
283 pages
January 1995
Psychology for Leaders: Using Motivation, Conflict, and Power to Manage More Effectively (0471597554) cover image


Willy Brandt once said that every good leader is also an amateur psychologist. Nowhere is that more true than in today's new breed of business organization. In the high-involvement, high-commitment organization of the 1990s, every manager is called upon to assume the role of leader, and the most successful leaders are those who possess the psychological insight and skills needed to motivate and empower their staffs, facilitate teamwork and cooperation, and unite all those working under them in a common cause.

Now Psychology for Leaders arms you with the core psychological knowledge and skills you need to be an effective leader of a department, multilevel organization, or small business.

Written by two authors whose considerable expertise spans the worlds of both psychology and business, this book taps into the latest research findings on the psychology of leadership and gives them to you in a highly accessible, action-oriented form. In addition to gaining profound insights into human behavior in the workplace and its underlying motivations, you'll learn how to develop a motivating, uniting bottom line, how to strengthen cooperation, foster teamwork and develop self-managing teams, improve your communication skills, express your feelings more effectively, manage conflict as a means of improving performance and productivity, and much more.

In writing Psychology for Leaders, Dean and Mary Tjosvold also drew on material gleaned from interviews with dozens of managers in a wide range of organizations in the U.S. and Canada, Europe and Pacific Asia, as well as their experiences managing their own multimillion dollar health services corporation. As a consequence, throughout this fascinating and instructive book, the authors bring psychological abstractions to life with many inspiring real-life success stories and vignettes that vividly illustrate psychology in action in the workplace.

Psychology for Leaders was designed to provide managers with the psychological training they need to be effective leaders. Reading it could very well prove to be one of the most important career moves you'll ever make.

In today's "synergistic," team-oriented business organization, every manager is a leader. Now this fascinating and instructive book schools you in the core psychological knowledge and skills that every manager/leader needs to motivate, empower, and unite their people effectively.

"I wish this book was available when we were designing a training program for new program managers. Although most leaders are typically content experts, they have not studied the psychology of leadership and this is what seems to cause them problems in their careers. Psychology for Leaders provides insight into these challenges and recommends sound, practical approaches to achieving their business objectives."--Candice L. Phelan, PhD Human Resource Development Lockheed Missiles and Space Co., Inc. Austin Division

"Dean and Mary Tjosvold have created a new, distinctly different learning approach to the elusive subject of leadership. Written in everyday, understandable language and richly illustrated with practical cases, it is a valuable guide to developing and enhancing leadership skills. I would urge anyone from the newest to the most experienced manager/executive to read and absorb this book. It will be time profitably spent."--Richard J. Haayen Retired Chairman of the Board & CEO Allstate Insurance Company Executive-in-Residence Southern Methodist University

"There are many books about leadership on the market. This one provides insight into the 'whys' behind the actions of successful leaders. It's a practical how-to guide providing value for anyone who wants to accept the leadership challenge."--Sue Elliot Vice President of Human Resources TGI Friday Inc.
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Table of Contents


Your Bottom-Line Goals.

Learning Psychology.


Becoming Committed to Leading.

Building Employee Commitment.

Developing a Shared Vision and Purpose.


Cooperation and Competition.

The Faces of Power.

Effective Communication.

Feelings and Their Expression.


Making Decisions.

Managing Conflict.

Moving to Self-Directing Teams.


Becoming a Learning Organization.

Preparing for the Future.


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Author Information

DEANTJOSVOLD, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Business Administration at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia. Dr. Tjosvold holds a doctorate in the social psychology of organizations from the University of Minnesota. In addition to being a partner in several successful health care businesses, he is a management consultant specializing in team organization, conflict management, and related issues. He has written more than a hundred professional articles on conflict management, cooperation and competition, decision making, power, and other management issues, and is the coauthor of twelve books for managers, including Team Organization: An Enduring Competitive Advantage (Wiley), Teamwork for Customers: Building an Organization That Takes Pride in Serving, and Learning to Manage Conflict: Getting People to Work Together Productively.

MARY M. TJOSVOLD, PhD, is founder and CEO of several successful health services businesses. Dr. Tjosvold earned her doctorate in educational administration and completed the Harvard Business School Owner/President Management Program. She is a nationally known speaker and has published extensively on management, productive conflict, and sex bias, and her books include Leading a Team Organization: How to Create an Enduring Competitive Advantage and The Emerging Leader: Ways to a Stronger Team.
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