About the Book
Author: Bob Vanourek
Discover the timeless, inspiring wisdom of leadership from the sage masters of literature and other outstanding leaders written over the centuries right up to the present day. Bob has selected over 70 poems, prose or speech passages, and curious verse, each with an insightful leadership message. He combines these pearls with bite-sized chunks of engaging commentary from his own vast leadership experience. Then he closes each entry with practical applications that each reader can use immediately. You’ll hear from an amazing array of poets, presidents, prime ministers, political leaders, social activists, soldiers, educators, journalists, business leaders, the Bible, religious leaders from many faiths, Native Americans, a lyricist, and relatively unknown authors. This treasure of wisdom will activate your creative right-brain and then challenge your logical left-brain. The Foreword written by noted leadership authorities, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, captures it well: “This is an inspiring book … an informative and practical book … a book full of the author’s personal reflections, which stimulates you to think deeply … an antidote to the hubris of know-it-all executives and authors … a fast-read book; however, read it slowly, and savor it to the last drop. This book will surprise you with its insights and simple truths. This book is a treasure…” You’ll want to give copies to people you care about.
This book was fun to write. There are too many books out there now with some new leadership model, some fable about fictitious characters, or some pithy leadership quotes without much in the way of how to apply them to your life. I wanted to write a different book about leadership.
I have been a student of leadership and poetry my whole life. I love good literature and have found keen insights into the human condition from the master writers of history.
So, why not look to the poets, prose writers, and famous speeches of history to see what the masters have already said about leadership? The answers we need today are all there. It’s been said before, and said very well. But how many people today are reading great literature or poetry? Not many, I fear.
So, I’ve made it easy for you the reader. I’ve selected over 70 poems, prose passages, excerpts from great speeches, song lyrics, or what I call “curious verse,” each with a leadership message that resonates with me. I place those passages on the left page of the open book. Then on the right page I tell you a bit about the author and context. Then I offer my commentary on the passage, drawing on my experiences, good and bad, in leading many companies, as well as the wisdom of the true leadership gurus of our time. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I close with some practical applications that you, the reader, can use immediately to take this pearl of wisdom and apply to your own life. The result is a powerful combination of left and right-brain thinking.
I sent a draft of the manuscript to some tough, seasoned leaders and experts whom I respect and asked them to give me their candid feedback. I was humbled by their words: “inspiring” “informative” “practical” “a treasure” “engaging” “thought provoking” “superb” “enlightening” “brilliant” “simply genius” “a delight to read” “a must read” “a treasury of leadership wisdom” “a breakthrough” “timeless wisdom” “heartfelt” “I loved it”
I hope and trust that you will enjoy the compendium of leadership wisdom I have gathered here. Good luck and Godspeed on your leadership quest.
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