Title: Leadership - Lessons from the Ancient World: How Learning from the Past Can Win You the Future
Authors: Arthur Cotterell, Roger Lowe, Ian Shaw
Publication Date: May 2009
Pages: 352 Paperback
Price: Rs375 (This price is valid for India)
The examination of ancient events from a business perspective provides a wealth of useful insights on how the process of leadership works. The first chapter dealing with the courage of Ramesses II displays how a talented leader can rise to the challenge. It highlights the need to regenerate a business hopelessly stuck in a non-competitive mode.
A chapter on integrity of Pericles talks about how a leader, particularly during a major conflict, should be absolutely above suspicion. History also has names like Epaminondas who could teach a lesson or two in decision making. In a globalized economy, another must for every leader would be lessons from Alexander the Great on cultural sensitivity. And it’s not only about ways to get to the top and be there. A chapter on Candragupta’s abdication provides the focus for discussion on a topic – When should a leader step down?
Learning about social networking from history may be a joke in an era of proliferating websites. Chapter 15 deals with the efforts made by Cicero to find political allies and how excessive self-belief let him down. This is followed by chapters dealing with conflict (lessons from Vespasian in the year AD69) and difficulties involved in delegation and empowerment. The last chapter deals with where training in leadership should be headed. And if at the end of it all, you still want to read more, there are suggestions for further reading provided.
Women have been given the miss because they did not become significant leaders in the ancient world. The authors do give a line or two of exceptions like Boudicca and Cleopatra in Roman times and Empress Wu of China who was known more for her cruelty.
Leadership Lessons from the Ancient World combines history with business to show that the universal strategies used by great leaders of the past are still relevant today.
Remember, those who don’t learn from history are destined to repeat it.
About the authors:
Arthur Cotterell, former Principal of Kingston College in London, has spent many years combining senior educational management with historical research. He is the respected author of more than thirty books, and is now writing on the Chinese empire, from the history of which he considers one can learn as much about leadership as from Ashridge or Harvard.
Roger Lowe, Vice Principal for Planning and Resources at Kingston College, is a chartered manager with experience of management training in both the public and private sectors. For Roger, the lessons of ancient leadership in this volume are particularly relevant at a time of globalization and technological advance.
Ian Shaw is a training and development manager with Nestlé Purina Petcare. Having worked in a variety of large and small companies, his current work is strongly focused on leadership development. It is his firm belief that leadership development will play a key role in sustaining commercial success over the next decade.
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