Reading Lists: The Greats on Leadership

It’s nice to toss around impressive names—Shakespeare, Plato, Jung, Machiavelli or Lao Tzu—but could these dusty old paragons really be of use to a manager today? For anyone willing to put in the time and effort, the answer is a definite yes. Jocelyn Davis cleverly fuses the thoughts of classic writers and philosophers into the foundation of what is essentially a brainy how-to book.

Related: 9 Things Great Leaders Do Differently

Davis examines 24 leadership topics, each given its own chapter. She plumbs Shakespeare’s Henry V for insight on crisis management, Melville’s Billy Budd for accountability and Machiavelli’s The Prince on change. Davis provides a book of substance that is a joy to read. In doing so, she demonstrates the relevance of the humanities even in a fast-changing 21st-century world.

The Greats on Leadership
By Jocelyn Davis
May; Nicholas Brealey; $30


This article originally appeared in the June 2016 issue of SUCCESS magazine.

Chauncey Mabe
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