Leadership Excellence: The Seven Sides of Leadership for the 21st Century
Leadership Excellence: The Seven Sides of Leadership for the 21st Century by Pat Williams
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think this is one of those cases where it’s not the book, it’s probably me, but I’ve read so many stronger, concise, cohesive narratives on leadership development and skills acquirement. This wasn’t among the strongest ones I’ve perused when taking it from a business narrative, sport related, or skill development standpoint. For a faith based one, it was also just okay. That doesn’t mean that I don’t give Pat Williams credit for the merits of “Leadership Excellence”, nor for how he expounds on the seven aspects of leadership he delineates within the work. Drawing from his coaching and personal experiences, as well as examples in famous leaders and figures, he breaks down the development of leadership into the following aspects:

1. Vision
2. Communication
3. People Skills
4. Character
5. Competence
6. Boldness
7. A Serving Heart

He takes the time to discuss each of these particular aspects through the narrative in a Chapter-by-Chapter form. I think the problem that I saw with this narrative wasn’t the personal stories or the examples he gives, because those were inspiring to read in spurts. I think the organization of the narrative probably shortchanged the messages Williams put across. It felt a bit weighted in that he started with general examples of leadership and then drew the chapter to a close with specific pointers to summarize the details.

It probably would’ve worked better if the narrative had been in reverse, especially for people who are new to learning about the aspects of leadership and how to apply them – which is what this work encompasses. In narratives of the same type as Williams’s work here – authors usually have a template of guidelines to follow in order to follow with the idea of why that aspect is important and then give examples where it is applied to drive the idea/characterization/aspect home. I find that approach more helpful not only to give weight to the aspect being covered, but also punctuate the personal narratives and general applications that are given in the work. So in retrospect, I think this narrative ran a bit long for me, despite measures where I was able to take from William’s experiences, professional and personal. I’ll admit I do respect learning more about the man behind a plethora of life dimensions, coaching experiences, and reflections on leadership, but it didn’t hit home for me as much as I would’ve liked.

Overall score: 2.5/5 stars

Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher Barbour Publishing.

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