The Truth About Leadership Book Review (Kouzes, Posner)
Rather than romanticising about a ‘revolutionary and new’ set of leadership principles, Kouzes and Posner have taken the other road in this title. They reaffirm the idea that true leadership truths do not change over time; only the context of leadership differs.
This is a fact that’s hard to swallow against a backdrop of 20+ new leadership releases each season. If true, this neatly explains why ‘How to Win Friends and Influence‘ people and ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People‘ have remained so popular and effective after decades have passed since their release.
This ‘No Fads’ approach to leadership literature was refreshing, and gave a different reading experience to your typical book. The authors have derived these truths from over a million responses to their ‘Leadership Practises Inventory’ survey which has been used over a period of 25 years across 70 countries.
“We thought it was just as important in these changing times to remind people of what endures as it was to talk about what has been disrupted.” – Kouzes & Posner
This approach to authoring has created a book that is extremely sure of itself (these are the ‘truths’, not simply ‘findings’, remember), and delivers a clear if rather simple overview of leadership. The Truth About Leadership positions itself as an excellent first leadership book to read, and I think it succeeds in ticking all the boxes for an excellent starter book. If you want to learn the core, time-tested values of leadership, rather than a quirky spin upon leadership, why start with anything but the fundamental building blocks?
I recommend The Truth About Leadership as an in-road into the world of leadership. However, as an addition to a strong library of leadership titles, you may get the odd feeling that you’ve read this whole book before!