Leadership: Plain and Simple - Steve Radcliffe

Whereas How to Lead really is about how to lead - the details of techniques that can be applied at a fairly specific level, this book really is 'What is leadership about?'. The answer it gives is 'Coming up with an idea of where you want to be, sharing that vision with those who'll make it happen, and then get it to happen'. Or, in the book's scheme 'Future - Engage - Deliver'.

A lot of management books stress the importance of simplicity to keep things tractable. Even How to Lead does this, but it just packs in a heck of a lot of simple stuff into the book! This really practices what it preaches on that front. 170 pages of loosely-packed content, and it still feels padded!

It does have a few other neat ideas, and the section on leadership within teams does fill things out a bit, but fundamentally, once you've got past the basic idea, I think the rest of the content could be better gleaned elsewhere.

If you're struggling to get beyond a management role of keeping things ticking over, perhaps this book will be an inspiration. If you're a completionist, having this book will give you another viewpoint. On the whole, though, I found this book disappointingly underpowered.

Posted 2011-07-31.