An engaging parable that highlights uncommon aspects of business leadership.
In the best tradition of business tales, a story naturally unfolds and makes a compelling point regarding management or leadership. Price (co-author: The Innovator's Advantage, 2017, etc.) and Ennis (The Editor’s Eye, 2013) have crafted just such a story; it cleverly combines the mentoring of a budding business leader with a novel revelation about “three types of influence” that leaders can exert. At the story’s beginning is Emily, a middle manager who, despite exceptional performance, has been passed over for promotion. At a coffee shop, she unexpectedly meets David, a retired CEO who becomes her mentor. The charming if a bit contrived narrative of Emily and David’s mentoring relationship includes most elements of a good story—suspense, occasional humor, insight, personal growth, and even poignancy. David helps Emily understand the various kinds of influence and types of leadership that exist in a business environment. As a result of exploring her own management goals, Emily discovers an area in which she wants to lead: “Advancing women in technology.” Many of David’s expressions, such as characterizing collaboration as a “virtuous conspiracy” and the exhortation to “lead with logic, follow with emotion,” reduce complex ideas to memorable, actionable phrases. Both mentor and mentee learn from each other, which represents yet another subtle, unstated attribute of an effective leader. In addition to advocating for enlightened leadership, the guide tackles some issues women may experience in the workplace; e.g., Emily faces discrimination for being a married mother while working in the technology sector, and she eventually gains the confidence to confront her boss about it. While the book mentions sexual harassment, it doesn’t cover how to address it—a surprising omission.
Fresh and inspiring; leadership lessons ingeniously conveyed.