I’m reading General Hillier’s auto-biography, and I tripped across a little gem buried in the middle of the book: if you want to learn about leadership, put down the leadership books. Instead, read biographies of leaders.
Nothing substitutes for a good mentor and first-hand experience of course. Reading books written about leadership as a scholastic topic should be at the botton of your “sharpening the saw” list. Reading books about first-hand accounts of leadership (good and bad) should be at the top.
. . . and if you want to buy General Hillier’s biography from Amazon, just click the link. A Soldier First: Bullets, Bureaucrats and the Politics of War. It’s well worth the read. Especially if you think you work in a complex, international context.