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Leadership is a perishable skill. Its essence is based on relationships and trust.

Commentary and Analysis

So Many Leadership Books, so Few Leaders!*

Today if you type the word “leadership” on you get an astonishing 300,000 plus matches, many of which are from authors who claim to have discovered the Holy Grail of successful leadership. This genre of books have been hot commodities since Max Weber and Fredrick Taylor published their 'how to' management theories at the dawn of the 20th Century.

More than 50,000 leadership books are prodigiously pumped out and published every year by management gurus providing theories and formulas guaranteed to improve organizational and leadership effectiveness. However, based on the last twenty years of results, the systems rarely produce the sustainable results they promise.

In my dad's day most of today's leadership books would fall into a category of the word "ackamarackus." This old timey word, with lots of syllables to spare, is a reference to pretentious nonsense.

One might be more generous in judging the leadership wisdom in these tomes if they stemmed the epic tidal wave of leadership missteps and malaise at the highest levels of business, government, and international sporting organizations today, but sadly they haven't made the slightest impact in leadership behavior in decades.

The Point? Generally common sense and simplicity are the best tools for a leader to master.

John Brady

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*Special thanks to Mr. Jeffrey Krames, former Vice President and Publisher of McGraw-Hill’s trade business books division, and presently the Editorial Director of Portfolio/Penguin for the title and inspiration of this commentary.