ECONOMICS

How To Lead: Wisdom from the World’s Greatest CEOs, Founders, and Game Changers

S. & S. Sept. 2020. 416p. ISBN 9781982132156. $30. BUS
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This book contains 30 interviews and aims “to provide the reader with the leadership perspectives of different kinds of leaders, with the hope that readers might be inspired to develop or enhance their own leadership skills.” The interviewees span a broad range, from former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to Jeff Bezos of Amazon to Indra Nooyi of Pepsico to retired general and former CIA chief David Petraeus. Some of those included are more public opinion influencers than leaders per se (e.g., Oprah Winfrey). In keeping with the inspirational purpose of the book the interviews are generally friendly in tone and often not very probing. Rubenstein (The American Story: Conversations with Master Historians) tries to draw some conclusions in his introduction but it seems a stretch. The most one will find here is informal advice or the occasional insight. For example, former U.S. National Security Adviser Colin Powell speaks of the importance of “inspiring followers.” However, some of the interviews manage to draw out the personalities of the interviewees and these tend to be the most interesting.
VERDICT This is more successful as a set of biographical interviews or personality profiles than as a guide to effective leadership.

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