By Liz Mellon
FT Press, $19.99, 202 pages
Given the fact that there are millions of books on developing leadership abilities, is there anything truly innovative to add to the discussion? Generally, these books posit a theory and then dig up examples to prove the premise. This tends to build a procrustean bed of examples to fit theories that tend not to hold up longitudinally. Unfortunately, in this new book, some examples, particularly those on “I Am the Enterprise,” tend to affirm the opposite when her exemplar CEO’s adamantly deny that they are “the enterprise; “its bigger than me.” The paradoxes inside the author’s leadership model make the book – and her thesis – incoherent and unreadable. ||The author says that this book differs from other leadership books in putting the emphasis on how leaders think – not what they do. Unfortunately, in this book, we do not get many trips Inside the Leader’s Mind.
“If the leaders of our giant corporations lack character; if they see only short-term profit as their goals; if they cannot distinguish straightforwardly between right and wrong, then we are lost. Where regulation struggles to cross national or regional boundaries, there is a moral imperative for self regulation. The power of the too-powerful global company is an uneasy burden. Like any leader, the corporation can choose to use its power for good or for evil – and it is the leader who decides.”
There are good and valuable self-assessment questions at the end of every chapter that could have been used to frame her argument in a more organized and understandable fashion. This book is all over the map in terms of building a credible case for a leadership model. However, one can benefit by the thoughtful end of chapter exercises.
Reviewed by Julia McMichael