The Collected Wisdom of Great Leadership Gurus

By Harvey Schachter

The Globe and Mail, 12/1/2010

Lao Tzu, Freud, Elizabeth I, and Marx are an unlikely quartet of leadership gurus. But they are a sample of an eclectic group of writers and leaders whose words are captured in Harvard University professor Barbara Kellerman’s compilation Leadership: Essential Selections On Power, Authority and Influence.

The book, which evolved from a course she teaches called “Leadership Literacy,” is a throwback to the past, when leaders-to-be were schooled on great writings and thought, rather than the latest utterances of management consultants. She views her collection as the leadership classics: “Every single selection is about leadership or is, of itself, an act of leadership. Every single selection has literary value – not always aesthetic value, but always, necessarily, value in the use of language on leadership. Every single selection is seminal: It changes forever how and what we thought and/or how and what we did.” 

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