Tag Archives: leaders

October 27

What you could learn from ‘Lincon on Leadership’ by Donald Phillips (1992, 173 pages)

In his book ‘Lincon on Leadership’ Donald Phillips uses examples from President Abraham Lincoln’s life to explore the type of leaders Lincon was, and what lessons are there to learn.  The book is split across four chapters: People, Character, Endeavour and Communication. The main lesson articulated in the book are: Get out of the office.  Lincoln […]

September 27

What could you learn from ‘Followership’ by Barbra Kellerman (2008, 261 pages)

“A leader is someone who has followers” Peter Drucker I am sure that you have done far more leadership training, than training on being a follower.  While teamwork, collaboration and cooperation are often key criteria in job descriptions and company mission statements, there seems to be little evidence that businesses are investing in building followers. In ‘Followership’ Barbra explores what […]

September 27

What you could learn from ‘Leadership BS’ by Jerry Pfeffer (2015, 220 pages)

While leadership is difficult to define (see here), good leadership is hard to miss.  Like beauty, good leadership is subjective, depending as much on the observer and context, as much as it depends on the leader. In the book, Jeffrey takes on the five pillars of current leadership: modesty, authenticity, telling the truth, trust and […]

July 08

Can leadership be defined? Part 6 – The answer

Over the last four posts, we have explored the four common definitions of leadership – person, process, results and position.  By analysing each of these, it is possible to show that each type of definition has both strengths and weakness. Leadership definitions which rely on a leader’s position while evident, are unhelpful.  By defining a leader […]

June 09

Can leadership be defined? Part 2 – What do position based definitions of leadership tell us? by Max Eskell

In my last blog post, I argued that defining leadership was challenging.  The potentially limitless combinations of leader, follower and situation are too numerous to analyse, let alone distill to an extent that a single definition of leadership is universally useful.  For example, leading a platoon in combat is very different to leading a golf club. […]

June 02

Can leadership be defined? Part 1 by Max Eskell

Is it useful, or even possible to define leadership?  If you do define leadership, what assumptions do you make and what are the potential consequences? Keith Grint is sceptical that leadership can be defined.  In his fantastic book (Leadership: A Very Short Introduction), Keith argues that most leadership definitions fit into four general categories: position, person, result, and […]

May 11

What you could learn from ‘Leaders Eat Last’ by Simon Sinek (2014, 216 pages)

Why are so many people miserable in their jobs?  Why does job engagement remain so low in the western world? In Simon’s book, he argues that there are two fundamental rules of corporate culture: Company outcome is dependent on culture Company culture is dependent on the leader Simon argues that leaders are so important as it is their behaviour which […]

May 04

Staying on the leading edge – part 2. My top leadership and philosophy podcasts by Max Eskell

Leaders are required to make difficult decisions involving trade-offs between equally good or equally bad options, always under time pressure and rarely with complete information.  Therefore, leadership is as much about thinking, as it is about doing.  The corollary of this is that thinking is central to what leaders do and how they add value, and […]

April 29

What could you learn from ‘Superbosses’ by Sydney Finkelstein? (2016, 220 pages)

While the definition and even the concept of leadership remain contested, it is clear that some individuals are widely considered to be exceptional leaders. What separates these leaders who leave their mark on the world, with the countless others who vanish with little or no trace? In ‘Superbosses’ Sydney Finkelstein argues that exceptional leaders (superbosses) […]

April 22

What could you learn from ‘Serial Innovators’ by Claudio Fesser (2012, 169 pages)?

Nokia started by selling rubber boots, and then grew to be the largest mobile phone maker in the world, only to spectacularly collapse a few years later.  Apple was three months from bankruptcy.  Lehman Brothers was phenomenally successful, until 2008… Why do companies die and how do you keep them alive? In the book Serial Innovators, […]

April 16

What you could learn from ‘Quick and Nimble’ by Adam Bryant (2014, 251 pages)

  “Innovation distinguishes between leaders and follower.” Steve Jobs Innovation is one of the strongest sources of competitive advantage.  Staying ahead of the competition allows you to explore new products, services, and business models while also making sure you are exploiting your existing offering. Adam Bryant offers 16 well thought and well-crafted pieces of advice […]

April 12

What could you learn from ‘Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World’ by Gen Stanley McChrystal (2015, 304 pages)

General Stanley McChristal has a phenomenal reputation amongst veterans. His new book ‘Team of Teams’ charts his experience commanding the Special Operations Task Force in Iraq. Stanley pointedly highlights the initial problems when arrives. He inherits a slow, top-down, bureaucratic organisation that is failing. The book then charts the evolution of the Task Force into […]