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Chose In Leadership Books

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So, you want to be a leader but don't know where to start? Well, after camping out in the self-help section at my local bookseller, I've got good news and bad news. The good news is that you've got lots of help to choose from. The bad news is that you've got lots of help to choose from.

In my brief reconnaissance, I discovered a legion of writers who are just itching to let you in on their secrets. Don't believe it? Well, I'll save you a trip. I brought back proof. Don't expect a definitive list though. The cottage industry that's grown up around the subject of leadership easily keeps an army of loggers working overtime. So I just jotted down a representative sample -- enough I think to convince even the most skeptical that there's something for almost everyone. So, FOLLOW ME and read on.

As you might have guessed, leadership books are all over the map. If you want your leadership hard-edged and bloody-minded, you can cuddle up with Attila the Hun or Niccolo Machiavelli (Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun, by Wess Roberts; Machiavelli on Modern Leadership by Michael Ledeen). If you worry that Attila might be too old school, don't despair. There are ample contemporary choices. How about a couple of political celebrities like Rudy Giuliani (Leadership) and Colin Powell (Oren Harari, The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell)? Sorry, Colin, but I'm guessing that they're not so secret any more. Finally, for the truly avant garde, there's Leadership for the Twenty-first Century, by Joseph C. Rost.

Not to digress, but Colin got me thinking. I've read The Da Vinci Code and I've heard about conspiracies to keep the rest of us in the dark. I wonder if there's a cabal of leaders trying to hide their secrets from the hoi polloi. Well, maybe. Colin's not the only one who's decided to fess up. GE's former boss, Jack Welch is another insider who's finally talking (Robert Slater, 29 Leadership Secrets From Jack Welch). Even Santa Claus has decided to come clean (Eric Harvey, The Leadership Secrets of Santa Claus). Who knew that the teamsters kept secrets?

There's also a heated debate over whether leadership is art or science. Max Depree says Leadership is an Art. And, he's got lots of company including retired General Barry McCaffrey, (Leadership: The Warrior's Art) and Ken Blanchard (Heart of a Leader: Insights on the Art of Influence). Au contraire contends Margaret Wheatley in her Leadership and the New Science. If you just can't choose, Afsaneh Nahavandi has just the book for you: The Art and Science of Leadership.

If you want your leadership especially inspirational, there's Jesus on Leadership, by C. Gene Wilkes and John C. Maxwell's The Maxwell Leadership Bible: Lessons in Leadership from the Word of God. Then, there's Daniel Goleman's Primal Leadership. Primal ... First, right? Isn't that like God? It's enough to make you scream.

The military seems to produce some of our best leaders so maybe they have some special insights. Let's see: There's No Excuse Leadership: Lessons from the U.S. Army's Elite Rangers, by Brace E. Barber; Semper Fi: Business Leadership the Marine Corps Way, by Dan Carrison



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