In week 2 of my year long journey through new books I found this gem. It’s really 10 small books/articles combined into one, but it’s not light reading, it’s a lengthy 240 pages and it’s packed with info. I’ve read Harvard Business Review for about 10 years now, picking and choosing the topics to read but I really enjoy this packaging. It’s like a Reader Digest format where it’s really the Best of… Series.
52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week #2 “HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Leadership” – Featuring Peter Drucker
In this particular package there is a little bit for everyone. I think I could probably read the book 10 times and get something new out of it every time. I find that’s the case with most of my reading on Leadership in general. Our current situations and personal biases filter out what we deem as relevant and we hone in on that significant piece of info. It’s tough to step back and figure out a book like this. When I read a book about Leadership I’m usually in the mode of “What’s in this for me, NOW.” I want something that I can immediately implement and this book does have those golden nuggets for everyone, but I think the real value is in looking at the long term impact. Leadership is a choice, even for those that are thrust into a particular position, its takes a choice to become a good Leader.
This book takes into account 10 different voices, but there are some threads that tie together good leadership. Leadership happens on purpose. Learn from the past, don’t be afraid to fail, live in the present and plan for the future all while being emotionally available and conscientious. Many of us aren’t headed in any real given direction, we just get by day to day and struggle to look too far in the future, surrendering our fate to those with a higher pay grade. The people that Lead on a regular basis, the front line Managers, the Team Coaches and the Project Leaders are the people that don’t look too far into the future and only plan for the immediate task at hand.
We like to pretend that our lives are like a Sitcom or a single episode of something like “Murder She Wrote”, we solve the problem at hand and wait to see what next week brings. We don’t realize what the yearly arc’s are in our life until it’s too late. Hind site is 20/20 and it’s easier to see what’s happened to us, it’s tougher to look into the future and determine that goal, let alone put together a plan to get there.
When you read this book, try to think of it as a conversation with the various authors. I’d encourage you to write questions in the margins and see if they are answered in a later chapter, or better yet try to answer them yourself. See if you can tie together the various studies and perspectives in your mind, you’ll find more value in between the lines you draw yourself.