Though small in size, this book steals the secrets of giants.


The Little Book of Leadership Wisdom

Snippets from captains, kings and trailblazers throughout history.

Executive and entrepreneur Harpool (The Little Book of Planning Wisdom, 2013) has compiled bite-sized quotations on leadership from more than 185 sources, ranging from ancient Chinese philosophers to 21st-century business moguls. Harpool promises that contemplating them will yield a “great return on investment” for aspiring leaders. The book has no narrative; instead, the quotations are neatly classified by origin. One chapter, for example, is devoted to U.S. presidents and world leaders. Abraham Lincoln’s gravitas—“Important principles may and must be inflexible”—finds a home in the same chapter as a stirring exhortation from Winston Churchill: “Never…Never…Never…Never Give Up!” Given the subject, most of the sources are predictable. No book on leadership would be complete without the eloquence of John F. Kennedy or a few salty words from George S. Patton; even Yoda’s Jedi wisdom finds a seat: “Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.” The less familiar sources, however, often provide the most practical advice. A Japanese proverb offers a remedy for dysfunction: “Fix the problem, not the blame.” As diverse as the sources are, recurring themes suggest leaders share common traits such as passion, creativity and perseverance. Above all, heroic leaders are people of character who see their powerful positions as a way to serve their fellow man. Regrettably, the book suffers from a weakness common to compilations: lack of context. The index provides only scant biographical data and no clues about what challenges these leaders overcame. When Hannibal says, “I will find a way, or make a way,” readers are expected to know that the Carthaginian warrior crossed the supposedly impassable Alps to invade Italy in 218 B.C. Pairing the quotes with a sentence or two describing a noteworthy accomplishment would have made the text more potent. Despite this flaw, the book offers quick inspiration—perfect for a dose of fortitude before that make-or-break meeting.

Though small in size, this book steals the secrets of giants.

Pub Date: April 10, 2014

ISBN: 978-1492289371

Page Count: 144

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: June 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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