Leadership is essential to collective human endeavor, from setting and accomplishing goals for a neighborhood block association, to running a Fortune 500 company, to mobilizing the energies of a nation. Political philosophers have focused largely on how to prevent leaders from abusing their power, yet little attention has been paid to what it actually feels like to hold power, how leaders go about their work, and how they relate to the people they lead.
In Thinking about Leadership, Nannerl Keohane draws on her experience as the first woman president of Duke University and former president of Wellesley College, as well as her expertise as a leading political theorist, to deepen our understanding of what leaders do, how and why they do it, and the pitfalls and challenges they face. Keohane engages listeners in a series of questions that shed light on every facet of leadership. She considers the traits that make a good leader, including sound judgment, decisiveness, integrity, social skill, and intelligence; the role that gender plays in one's ability to attain and wield power; ethics and morality; the complex relationship between leaders and their followers; and the unique challenges of democratic leadership.
Rich with lessons and insights from leaders and political thinkers down through the ages, including Aristotle, Queen Elizabeth I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Nelson Mandela, Thinking about Leadership is a must-listen for current and future leaders, and for anyone concerned about our prospects for good governance.
©2010 Princteon University Press (P)2010 Audible, Inc
"Nan Keohane breaks down leadership to the fundamentals--a combination of innate ability and acquired skills that helps motivate others to work toward a common goal. This book is about inspired leadership--and inspiring 'followership' - and should be required reading from the classroom to the boardroom." (John Mack, chairman of the board, Morgan Stanley)
"Nan Keohane's book is well-titled. Its focus is on thinking about leadership--exploring its many facets, complexities, and conundrums. It is not a 'how-to-do-it' book, but rather a sophisticated amalgam of the reflections of an author who is both a political philosopher and an experienced leader. Readers will enjoy - as well as learn from - the many references to the experiences of well-known leaders such as Mandela and Lincoln as well as to the voluminous literature on leadership." (William G. Bowen, president emeritus of Princeton University and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation)
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