Burns illuminates the evolution of leadership structures, from the chieftains of tribal African societies through Europe's absolute monarchies to the blossoming of the Enlightenment's ideals of liberty and democracy. Along the way he looks at key leaders who attempted to transform their worlds: Elizabeth I, Washington, Jefferson, Gandhi, Eleanor Roosevelt, Gorbachev, and others.
The book culminates in a bold and innovative plan to address the greatest global leadership challenge of the 21st century: the problem of global poverty.
©2003 James MacGregor Burns; (P)2004 Blackstone Audiobooks
"An excellent examination of the art of motivating, organizing, and directing people for the common good." (Booklist)
This might have been an interesting book to read in print but it made for a very boring audiobook. If you are looking for anything that will shed insight onto how to be a good leader this is not the book for you. I only made it halfway through book one, so it might have ended differently, but the book was more like a historical accounting than anything else. You might like it if you like to hear stories of battles or military campaigns ...
This is basically just a series of short biographies. I bought it hoping for a study on effective leadership and, although there is some useful information, I would have been better off reading an abridged version of 5 great leaders bio/autobio. This is more heresay and conjecture about why a handful of great leaders were great than a real analysis of what great leadership requires. Would recommend Dale Carnegies "How to win friends and influence people" much more strongly.
Not as good as I'd like. Too much on political-type leadership while I was looking for more combat-oriented leadership. Some points are valid for both, but political leadership has many applications at higher levels (organizational) of the military, not necessarily down in the trenches (tactical~direct).
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