A debut guide for executives explores genuine leadership.
In this business book, Scott shares lessons learned in the course of a successful career running his own consulting firm. The work’s central thesis is executives must understand the difference between being a boss—an authority figure issuing orders and overseeing predetermined outcomes—and a leader (“Exponentially more powerful than authority because it involves choice”), a collaborative process resulting in maximum performance for all involved. The author writes about his own leadership failures as much as his triumphs, and does a good job of using them as teaching moments, providing a detailed portrait of how readers can learn from his mistakes. The manual’s advice includes tips for implementing active listening, creating effective communication, and enhancing leadership skills through journaling. The volume makes a compelling case for those practices to readers who might be inclined to dismiss them as too touchy-feely. (Scott is a high school dropout who served in the Navy before moving into the corporate world, and his personality is evident in an anecdote about his motorcycle and the occasional well-placed profanity.) His enthusiasm for meetings (“Meetings are where we lead!”) shows how frequent, face-to-face communication can be a valuable decision-making tool rather than a waste of time. The chapter on running meetings as a leader is particularly well done. The book’s pithy exhortations (“Define your snooze-button moment”; “Encouraging everyone on the team to be a leader is good for the team”) provide the audience with simple and concrete lessons throughout the text. Scott acknowledges in the opening pages that his view of leadership will not click with all readers (“Here’s what I want you to do: right now, leave this book on a bus or a train for someone that understands business is about people”). But for those who appreciate his tone, the work is a useful and thought-provoking guide to developing leaders at all levels of an organization.
A concise and engaging business manual for readers looking to improve leadership skills.