Inspiring Leadership

Learning from Great Leaders

December 2002
More details
  • Publisher
  • Published
    1st December 2002
  • ISBN 9781854182074
  • Language English
  • Pages 366 pp.
  • Size 6.25" x 9.25"

Who are the great leaders in history and what have they got to teach us today about the nature and practice of leadership? A wide range of inspiring leaders, from Loo Tau and Machiavelli to Thatcher and Mandela. This book is a unique approach to leadership by a writer internationally acknowledged as a major influence on leadership studies. There are key point and Points to Ponder throughout the book, helping to draw out the lessons and concepts for the reader. It features among others: Alexander the Great, Amundsen, Attila, Attlee, Bevan, Boudicca, Mike Brearley, Caesar, Churchill, de Gaulle, Einstein, Eisenhower, Elizabeth I, Gandhi, Sir Edmund Hillary, Ho Chih Min, Hsun-Tzu, Jefferson, Jesus, Jinnah, Kennedy, Lao Tzu, Lincoln, Machiavelli, Mandela, Montgomery, Mosley, Napoleon, Nehru, Nixon, Pericles, Plato, Reagan, F D Roosevelt, St Paul, Scott, Shackleton, Socrates, Washington, Wellington and Xenophon.

"How rare is it to come upon a book about leaders with depth, conceptual bite and historical context"

Warren Bennis

"Any of us who aspire to, and recognize the need for some form of leadership can only improve our performance by studying the past. John Adair's latest book is a valuable addition to the thinking that has gone into the subject ... I believe that it is a 'must read' book ... He is without doubt one of the foremost thinkers on the subject in the world"

Sir John Harvey-Jones, leading industrialist and ex-CEO of ICI



ONE Leadership Through Knowledge
Socrates – A Leader of Ideas
The Case of the Aspiring General
The Case of the Young Cavalry Commander
Knowledge – The Key to Leadership
Are Knowledge and Experience Enough?
A Leader in Action
Chapter Review

TWO Leadership Skills
The Case of Nicomachides
Human Needs and Leadership Functions
A Leader in Estate Management
Are Leaders Born or Made?
Chapter Review

THREE The Servant-Leader
The Teaching of Lao Tzu
The Tao of Leadership
Jesus and His Disciples
Servant Leadership in Perspective
The Japanese Contribution
Chapter Review

FOUR The Ability to Give Direction
What’s in a Word?
The Shepherd and His Flock
Interlude: The Three Circles
Alexander the Great
Creating Unity and Teamwork
Caring for Individuals
Chapter Review

FIVE Making the Right Decisions
Thinking to Some Purpose
From Ideas to Responsible and Decisive Action
Case-study: Chairing the Cabinet
Intuition and Imagination
Calmness Under Pressure
The Value of Humour
Chapter Review

SIX The Art of Inspiring While Informing
The Effective Communicator
The Art of Inspiring Others
The Relevance of the Second World War
Case-Study: The Forgotten Army
Case-study: Montgomery
The Effects of Telecommunications
Chapter Review


SEVEN The Roots of British Tradition
Eagles of Rome
The Tribal Legacy
Alfred the Great
Chapter Review

EIGHT The Gentleman Leader
The Impact of Education
Leadership Qualities
Machiavelli and Leadership
The Great Rebellion
The American Experience
George Washington
Chapter Review

NINE Nelson
Early Life
The Man and the Legend
Achieving the Task
Bringer of Harmony
Meeting Individual Needs
Nelson’s Legacy
Chapter Review

TEN Polar Explorers
Captain Robert Falcon Scott
Sir Ernest Shackleton
Gino Watkins
Chapter Review

ELEVEN Leadership in a Changing World
The New Climate of Change in the Nineteenth Century
How Progress Happens
Captains of Industry
Management Through Leadership
A Factory of Democratic Leaders
Slim on Leadership
Managers or Leaders?
Chapter Review


TWELVE Charisma
The Rediscovery of Charisma
Leadership: A Gift from Above?
Case-study: Alexander the Great
Case-study: Lawrence of Arabia
Chapter Review

THIRTEEN Women as Leaders
The Western Tradition
Leadership in Marriage
Great Social Reformers
Women as Manager-Leaders
Case-study: Margaret Thatcher
Chapter Review

FOURTEEN Styles of Leadership
Abraham Lincoln
Charles de Gaulle
Adolf Hitler
Mahatma Gandhi
Nelson Mandela
Chapter Review

FIFTEEN Leaders for Tomorrow
Not Followers But Companions
An Invitation to Greatness
Chapter Review

Picture Acknowledgements
Select Bibliography

John Adair

John Adair is widely acknowledged as one of the most significant influences on management and leadership development in the world. He studied history at Cambridge University and holds higher degrees from the Universities of Oxford and London. He became the world's first Professor of Leadership Studies at the University of Surrey and is internationally known as a consultant. He is the author of many respected books on management and leadership.