5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Leader or Manager?,
This review is from: Nelson's Way: Leadership Lessons from the Great Commander (Paperback)
For at least the last twenty years the debate has raged, should one be a leader or a manager? The MBA generation think they can 'manage' leadership without having to get to know the people, the activity or the functions they are managing. This terrific book is about the need for anyone who aspires to be a leader or a manager, to be both. As the books says, some are born to lead, others have to work hard to master it.
Nelson is often regarded as the epitome of a leader, but how many people realise that he was a star quality manager as well? In fact, his reputation as a leader was built on his ability to manage myriad tasks, functions and people. He was a fantastic builder of teams, he built trust in those who he led and showed a masterly understanding of the principles Maslow would lay down almost a century and a half after his death. He managed a fleet, often spending days in his cabin, writing (No email then!) by hand numerous instructions, orders and letters - often starting at 05.00 and finishing near midnight. He cared for the seamen - one vignette tells you how much - as he departed for Trafalgar the mother of a sailor pushed through the throng and begged him to give a letter to her son. Most Admirals would have sent her packing, Nelson didn't. He told her to kiss the letter so he might deliver both the letter and a kiss ... And he did.
He breakfasted daily with the most junior officers in his ships and dined in the evening with the more senior. Even the sailors and Warrant Officers could expect to find him among them, celebrating or mourning. His leadership was from the front, but more importantly it was his attention to detail, his ability to make clear exactly what he expected - and then to trust his people to achieve it, that sets him apart even today.
This book is an eye-opener, it should be compulsory reading for every MBA student and every manager. It is well written, very readable, and has some truly fascinating examples and commentary from some well known contemporary figures. Superb book, one I am glad to have found.
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