Living leadership – a practical guide for ordinary heroes
George Binney, Gerhard Wilke and Colin Williams
FT Prentice Hall
The authors start by saying “To hell with great men”, which won me over immediately. The book’s main message is that many, rather than few, people will have to lead. That’s a valuable point, and the authors are keen to emphasise that good leadership is all about relationships. Perhaps this book needs to be read by those who are already leaders and given to hiding away in the corner office. Very accessible.
Jennings calls his book “a manual for new leaders” – perhaps he should have added “and lovers of cheese”. And I don’t mean Cheshire. It’s very American, with lots of little parables destined to irritate sceptics. Most business manuals include case studies, but in this one there seems to be very little besides. A “nice to read” rather than a “must read”.
Sydney Finkelstein, Jo Whitehead and Andrew Campbell
Harvard Business Press
This book deals with decisions. And rather encouragingly for those of us yet to reach leadership status, the authors kick off by listing the mistakes made by those who have. The first section deals with how the brain makes decisions, using Hurricane Katrina as an example. But read it from the start, or you’ll wonder, as I did, why a Hollywood star was in charge. (There are two Matthew Brodericks – only one of them was then director of the Homeland Security Operations Centre in Washington). A good read but requires concentration.
Reviews by Tara Craig