Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
This very short introduction to leadership is part of a series of very short introductions and does what it says on the tin. It is a tiny book that will slip easily into your brief case, handbag or even jacket pocket, making it a useful little text to accompany a dull train journey. Will it enliven that journey? Well, the book is not an entertaining read so is unlikely to present much to distract you from the view outside, but is certainly informative.
A mere eight chapters long, the book covers the essentials; what is leadership, what is not leadership, are leaders born or bred, who are the leaders and how do they lead (addressing theories of leadership)? All these are to be expected, but there are also one or two less expected inclusions; what bout followers? Can we do without leaders? Tucked within its 141 pages (including references, glossary and index), there is plenty to stimulate thought for the student of leadership. There is even a section on the history of leadership – not a topic I would necessarily have thought essential to include in such a brief book.
The book is academic in tone, with appropriate figures and tables and even a few photos where relevant. It seems to cover the essentials, although some areas are dealt with in very broad terms – probably necessary for such a tiny book that has to summarise great tomes of literature.
Is this book essential reading? Probably not for most managers, but a useful addition to the business student or to an aspiring leader wanting to know the basics – but not too much more.