The one-sentence summary

Successful leaders will take on risk, change and ambiguity.


  • There is no particular philosophical stance taken – it simply guides you through all the important aspects of leadership, such as what it takes to be one, and how to enact it
  • You become a leader by acting like a leader
  • One of the most desirable traits of a potential leader is “stick-to-itiveness” – patience, repetition and learning “Err and err and err again, but less and less and less.”
  • Imagination helps turn randomness into a vision – all leaders need it
  • Leadership is stewardship, which means you are assuming a set of responsibilities, not getting your title carved in stone
  • The final test of a leader is that they leave behind in other people the will and conviction to carry on


  • There is an interesting debate around the axioms of leadership. The German word for management is Fuehrungskunst, which means “the art of leadership”. In most countries management and leadership are viewed as being different
  • “Each one teach one” refers to the ability to spread leadership qualities around teams, although no book has ever completely resolved the issue of whether absolutely anyone can show leadership qualities or not
  • It outlines ten qualities of a true leader: eagerness, cheerfulness, honesty, resourcefulness, persuasiveness, cooperation, altruism, courage, supportiveness, and assertiveness
  • And ten ways to master leadership skills: preparing, volunteering, keeping an open mind, giving speeches, developing discipline, meeting deadlines, staying in touch, listening, cooperating, and doing things for others


  • Towards the end it veers off into a discussion about leadership in life generally. In a business context, how to lead when coaching a kids’ sports team will of course be peripheral to the main point
  • It is very American in orientation, so most of the examples are US-based