The Truth About Leadership (James Kouzes and Barry Posner, Jossey-Bass, 2010)
Reviewed by Steve Gladis, Ph.D., December 2010
If you ever decided to put together a dream team of leadership all stars—say, for the US Olympic Leadership Team—you’d be smart to hire Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner to coach that team. These guys truly “get” leadership as well as anyone I know. Their original best seller The Leadership Challenge, based on their years of research and teaching, helped us all clarify the five best practices of leadership in a way that took leadership research from voodoo to validation. Reading their new book, The Truth About Leadership, is like sitting down with Aristotle and Yoda for a chat about the collective wisdom surrounding leadership. These two modern sages (Kouzes and Posner) tell you the 10 big TRUTHS about leadership, like trust, learning, caring, and a lot more. What’s great about this compact book is that the authors talk about big, important truths in simple terms and then document their assertions with clear-eyed research. Deceptively direct and comprehensible, this book poses a lot of myths and dispels them with reality…or truth. The simple truth is that if you want to read a benchmark book about decades of leadership research, buy this book for every leader in your organization. Then use it, as I will, to teach them the “Truth” about leadership.
This week I’ll be reviewing The Truth About Leadership in more detail.