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On Leadership

Essential Principles for Success (Skyhorse Publishing, $16.95)

In his new business self-help book On Leadership, Donald J. Palmisano presents the reader with actual examples from which a leader-in-training can learn a valuable lesson about being a successful leader.

With a forward by Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, On Leadership is geared toward teaching the reader to become a true leader, which is not just the person who is placed in charge, but the one who takes action when necessary. The book covers both good and bad leadership examples, citing Nelson Mandela's battle with apartheid as positive and the response to the crisis with Hurricane Katrina as negative. The author tells the reader what lessons there are to be learned from the examples of good leadership and also what can be improved from the bad ones.

Each chapter begins with a quote. The first is by General George S. Patton, Jr.; "Be willing to make decisions. That's the most important quality in a good leader. Don't fall victim to what I call the 'ready-aim-aim-aim-aim syndrome.' You must be ready to fire." Chapter one, called "The antithesis of leadership," then gets right into the real-life examples, going into an anecdote about Hurricane Katrina.

To make On Leadership clearer and easier to understand, there are separate headings within every chapter. At the end of each chapter is a list of lessons learned, which sums up the points covered in that particular section making it easy to flip through the key ideas from each part of the book. In addition, the author includes a few pages of color photographs and cartoons relating to some of the issues discussed in the book.

Palmisano is a former president of the American Medical association and a keynote speaker on leadership.

— Kassia Shiskoff

Buy On Leadership: Essential Principles for Success.