This guide seeks to spark reflection about the qualities of leadership.
In a book that is largely composed of well-curated quotations, leadership coach Morris (co-author: Eight Critical Leadership Skills Created Through Effective Diversity Partnerships, 2005) explores three primary areas: Truth, Courage, and Risk. Each one is allocated its own section, which consists of a brief introduction, numerous quotes, and “Thought Experiments,” some based on specific citations, which aim to involve readers in provocative exercises. For example, one Thought Experiment begins with the compelling question “Are you free to live your life’s purpose?” while another asks, “In what ways have you been the quiet voice of courage today?” Interspersed throughout the sections are occasional blank pages with questions about how select quotes inspire readers to action. Clearly, the intent of such a volume is to engage the audience in an interactive process of primarily reading and responding to inspirational material. Indeed, many of the quotes from such notable and varied figures as Jane Austen, Winston Churchill, Steve Jobs, Rosa Parks, and Eleanor Roosevelt are meaningful and moving; as such, they are legitimate fodder for deep analysis. The quotes are particularly effective because they are smartly organized into the three areas. The design of the book is daring; a die-cut cover suggests the flames from a match and the page layout is airy and contemporary with creative type usage. The work does an excellent job of dramatically highlighting the quotes. All are in a handwritten font, some larger than others, some called out in a vibrant orange color, and others in white against a black background. On the downside, the small size of the book (nearly a 7-inch square) and the thinly ruled pages for writing may make it inconvenient, if not difficult, to fully respond to the questions. In addition, there is only a scant amount of editorial text regarding the serious subjects of truth, courage, and risk. Still, the strength of the quotes and the thought-provoking exercises create an involving workbook that can easily cross over from business to personal leadership.
Despite a few flaws, a tidy, compact self-assessment manual.