Top critical review
4 people found this helpful
on 3 March 2013
I found this book to be boring, repetitious and padded out. Harsh words. Maybe the hangover effect of having only just put down David Bolchover's "The Living Dead" - a story of being paid not to produce anything (see also any Dilbert strip). Rather than all the employees waiting desperately to be led, the world has a lot of people being underused and probably not that upset, as it gives them time to surf the net. So I must try to be fair to "The Leadership Challenge" and give a review on it not coloured by my mood.
This book might work for you if (1) you are a manager in a large US business, and (2) you haven't read much else about leadership. It has plenty of stories of how managers performed certain acts and treated their people in certain ways to drive the business forward. But I would rather recommend two other authors to you, especially if you are in the UK - Michael Williams (Mastering Leadership) and John Adair (Action Centred Leadership). These two books (and they have written others) cut to the chase much better than "The Leadership Challenge" and appear more relevant. I have read so many books on management and leadership over the past 20 years that I have grown blase about them, but Williams and Adair have my respect. Had "The Leadership Challenge" been abridged, I might have enjoyed reading it, but my heart sank as I plodded through it.
In summary - probably better suited to US readership; OK if you haven't read much before on Leadership. If you are in the UK and seeking to be a sharper leader, go for my other recommendations. If you want real life stories of leadership in business, check out (Sir) John Egan and the Jaguar story - it's a cracking story.