Hesselbein on Leadership

Book Review: Hesselbein on Leadership by Frances Hesselbein

Dave Kinnear 1-On Leadership, Book Reviews

It seems that from time to time, I come across a book that is mentioned to me several times, making it impossible NOT to get it and read it. Such is the case with Hesselbein on Leadership. From the dust jacket: “Frances Hesselbein, once a volunteer troop leader, became CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA, mobilizing around a mission to lead the organization through a time of turbulent change and to reach, and be relevant to, all girls. She is chairman and founding president of the Drucker Foundation; a leader hailed by Fortune, Business Week, and the New York Times; and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United ‘States of America’s highest civilian honor.”

This book was first mentioned to me at a Leadership presentation at one of the not-for profit organizations I serve, and then again a short while later at a UCI Graduate School of Management presentation by a local executive. This is a delightful small book filled with some good advice, pithy sayings and leadership insights. Hesselbein lives up to her reputation in this compendium of essays on Leadership. I rather like books of essays because often each chapter, or essay, stands on its own and can be read or re-read as the need arises.

Hesselbein writes in a clear and conversational manner that makes it easy to understand her point. But one should not be lulled into complacency while enjoying her most readable style for the insights to be shared are important and many. She points out with great understatement that “Leadership is a matter of how to be rather than how to do it.” She offers as whole new way of organizing our enterprises as she explains “Managing in a World That Is Round.” This book will find its best use for those managers looking for a metaphor or simple explanation to share with others in the organization such complex topics as organizational change, behavior, and interaction with the environment. It will be on my reference shelf for a long time to come.

Click to see it at Amazon.