Leadership Rules & Tips





Cover of "The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell"

The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell

By Oren Harari

This book expands on (and follows the organization of) Oren Harari's widely disseminated article, "Quotations from Chairman Powell: A Leadership Primer."  This is an exceptionally useful book, loaded with insights into the leadership style of former Secretary of State Colin Powell. 


Cover of "Rules & Tools for Leaders"

Rules & Tools for Leaders: A Down-to-Earth Guide to Effective Managing

By Major General Perry M. Smith, Ph.D., USAF Ret.)

This is simply one of the most thoughtful and practical leadership guides you will find anywhere.  It is packed with actionable tips on everything from transitions, integrity and strategic planning, to hiring, counseling and rewarding associates.  Also includes several checklists that leaders can use periodically to make sure they are on-track.  Indeed, this is a book you may decide to keep close at hand for many years. Read More...

Cover of "Five-Star Leadership"

Five Star Leadership: The Art and Strategy of Creating Leaders at Every Level

By Patrick L. Townsend and Joan E. Gebhardt

Many people assume that military leadership is all about command and control.  Not so.  This excellent review of the literature on U.S. military leadership doctrine shows that the U.S. armed forces may actually be out in front of many private sector organizations in terms of pushing authority down to the appropriate level and developing leaders throughout the organization.  Includes numerous anecdotes of truly inspirational leadership.  Five Stars. Read More...


Good to Great and the Social Sectors: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great

By Jim Collins

After publishing Good to Great, Jim Collins heard from so many government non-profit managers that he decided to write an extra chapter that shows how the principles from Good to Great relate to the social sector.  He finds that the secret of high performance in government is not to run government like a business, but rather to focus on excellence in a disciplined way.  Includes numerous useful lessons for public managers.  For example, given the difficulty of getting bad employees "off the bus," managers should use use probationary periods as a true test of new employees and keep only those who have proven themselves to be great employees.  Read More...

Cover of "Good to Great"

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...and Others Don't

By Jim Collins

Well written and exhaustively researched book about how fairly successful companies made the transition to becoming great companies.  Serves as a "prequel" to Collins' classic book, Built to Last.  Good to Great can be useful to government managers, but especially so for those who are in a position to decide who is--and is not--on their team.  (One of Collins' key findings is that the transition from good to great starts with getting the right people "on the bus" and getting the wrong people "off the bus.") Read more...

Old School is Good School

By Kevin Slater

During his nearly 30 years in the U.S. Air Force, Chief Master Sergeant Kevin Slater wrote up numerous leadership lessons and anecdotes and circulated them to his peers and subordinates. Old School is Good School organizes his anecdotes around the Air Force's core values: Integrity First, Service-Before-Self, and Excellence In All We Do. Some of the best parts include his passionate description of effective followership, and a story about the importance of high standards ("Remedial Training"). The stories are pithy, memorable and often inspiring. Throughout the book Chief Master Sergeant Slater is either describing great leaders he has worked for, or he is modeling great leadership himself. This is a great read for anyone with a passion for public service.  Read Excerpts...

Cover of "The Extraordinary Leader"

The Extraordinary Leader: Turning Good Managers into Great Leaders

By John H. Zenger and Joseph Folkman

In this extraordinary book, Zenger and Folkman use data from the 360-degree evaluations of over 25,000 leaders to find out what differentiates good leaders from great leaders.  Provides terrific insights about how leveraging certain combinations of strengths can have a profound impact on a leader's effectiveness.One of their key conclusions is that the most effective leaders have a combination of strong interpersonal skills and a sharp focus on results.   Read more...

Cover of "The Leadership Challenge"

The Leadership Challenge

By James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner

In this classic work on leadership, Kouzes and Posner discuss many of the examples of great leadership they have encountered in their nearly 20 years of collaboration and have distilled their findings into a very readable and easy-to-use framework.  Contains many anecdotal examples of great leadership from business, government, and NGOs. Read more...

Cover of "Small Unit Leadership"

Small Unit Leadership: A Commonsense Approach

By Col. Dandrige M. Malone, USA (Ret.)

This terrific little book was written as a leadership primer for U.S. Army company commanders (i.e. front-line leaders).  The leadership concepts here are explained with great clarity and are equally relevant to non-military settings, despite the military jargon used throughout the book.  Includes some gripping war stories that demonstrate the benefits of developing your people and building teamwork.