Unleash Your Leader - How to Win in Business

Unleash Your Leader - How to Win in Business

Emmanuel Gobillot & Katherine Thomas
ARRSE Rating
4 Mushroom Heads
It used to be a mantra at Sandhurst that while leaders may or may not be born or made, everyone benefits from thinking about how they lead, and how they might lead better. If this is true of leadership in highly structured armed forces it is even truer in the more chaotic word of commerce. Having led in both, I thought I would give this book a shot.

One of the challenges of any such book is semantics; conveying new ideas (or clarifying and developing old ones) requires words and different words mean different things to different people. There is no agreed vocabulary. In my experience many commercial leadership books get bogged down and end up with little more than groovy new phrases to state the blindingly obvious. This often comes with a lack of structure. To their credit, the authors of this book avid both pitfalls – sometimes by the skins of their teeth, but they do avoid them.

The premise of the book is that you (the reader) are working in a reasonably large firm and wish to advance your career. If you are working in a firm of (I would guess) fewer than 50 employees then it’s probably not applicable – unless the firm is growing at such a rate that it’s likely to cross this threshold soon. That said, it’s a useful read for any ex-serviceman to gain an insight into how non-military leaders think about developing their careers.

The prose is clear. While a pedantic purist would question some of the “equations” and diagrams, they do illustrate the authors’ belief and approach. It is sometimes a bit breathless and a tad simplistic – one gets the impression that examples are being heavily edited to support the authors’ contention. But that also makes the book easier and lighter to read and, let’s face it, you are likely to be reading this during your commute when bite sized chunks are easier to digest and retain.

I’ve been in senior roles in commerce for 25 years now and I found useful stuff in this book. Nothing transformational; a few pointers, challenges, reminders and new approaches to try. I suspect it will achieve the same for other readers. To that extent it is worth buying and reading.

4 mushrooms

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