The Three Faces of Leadership

Title: The Three Faces of Leadership
Authors: Hatch, Kostera and Kozminski
Price: £19.99 paperback
Pages: 184
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
ISBN: 1405122609


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This book looks at CEOs who have con-tributed to the Harvard Business Review over the past decade. It examines these inspirational stories and how the leaders have shown characteristics of manager, artist and priest.

It consists of six chapters: The aesthetics of leadership; Telling business stories; Dramatising leadership; Leading mythologically; Forming and reforming the Institution of Management; and The business leader as artist and priest.

The concept of the book is ingenious, but suffers in the telling. Each story is interrupted by the authors’ explanation of how it fits with their concepts. This becomes irritating and leaves you wanting to read the Harvard Business Review stories alone in their entirety.

There are links between the leader as manager, artist and priest but they become overly complicated. This is a common theme, as later on the authors build a table of CEOs and examine the type of stories told.

They compare the stories to epics, tragedies or comedies; and they incorporate ancient Greek gods into the mix. Again that sounds an innovative approach, and from the authors’ discussion points they seem very excited and keen to share their ideas with the reader.

To me the book is summed up by the former editor-in-chief at Harvard Business Review who, in an interview with one of the authors, says: “There’s something pretty about the metaphor you’re describing, but I don’t know how close it is to reality – it’s too neat.”

Useful? 3 stars
Well-written? 2 stars
Practical? 2 stars
Inspirational? 3 stars
Value for money? 2stars
Overall 2 stars

All ratings out of 5 stars

Review by Richard Moss, training consultant for Scottish Life

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