Books – three of a kind

Crucibles of Leadership

Author: Robert Thomas

ISBN: 1591391377

Thomas’s book opens with a quote from JF Kennedy, and its first paragraph mentions Tony Soprano. It’s a very American book, and some of the language may grate on the more straight-talking Europeans among us. There are too many case studies – and too many of them military-themed – but there are some good tips. This book requires the reader’s time and application, but should provide a good return on that investment.

The Big Five for Life

Author: John Strelecky

ISBN: 0749928417

Sub-headed ‘A story of one man and leadership’s greatest secret’, this is just that. It reads like a novel, and as soon as you start, you won’t want to finish without knowing what happens. Right from the outset, the author engages the reader in such a way that it’s impossible not to want to know why the man of the title is, as the author describes him, “the world’s greatest leader”. The business book as a novel concept works well here.

Total Leadership

Author: Stewart Friedman

ISBN: 1422103285

I liked this book as it’s about behaviour, rather than ‘management speak’ – chapter sub-headings include ‘Act with authenticity’ and ‘Act with integrity’. The reader is expected to fill out forms and scorecards, but I wonder whether someone who wants to be a leader would consider this homework-like activity beneath them. A book to dip in and out of, rather than one to read from start to finish.

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