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HBR's 10 Must Reads on Leadership

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  1,691 ratings  ·  82 reviews
Go from being a good manager to an extraordinary leader.

If you read nothing else on leadership, read these 10 articles (featuring “What Makes an Effective Executive,” by Peter F. Drucker). We've combed through hundreds of Harvard Business Review articles on leadership and selected the most important ones to help you maximize your own and your organization's performance.

Paperback, 217 pages
Published January 3rd 2011 by Harvard Business Review Press (first published December 14th 2010)
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Mark Muckerman
Jan 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Read it, but read it with caution, thoughtfulness, emotionally balanced introspection, and with no expectation of "an answer".

The Harvard Business Review deserves its outstanding reputation. With that comes the risk of every word being looked to as gospel (because "it's the HBR"), or read with an overly critical eye and an unconscious need to "find flaw with those pretentious bastards at HBR".

However, this collection of articles is well written (as expected), but also well compiled to provide a
Jul 15, 2016 rated it liked it
As a person not really interested in business school, I mostly read this to remind myself of how feudalism is alive and accepted in modern life. Believe it or not feudalism has evolved since it became a passe form of popular government, in the form of corporate governments. This book is a terrific introduction to a world that most of us ignore, or complain about in an under-educated way. I think its important to read the same articles that the heads of these institution are reading, in the same ...more
Tommy Kiedis
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: leadership
When the editors of Harvard Business Review open their vault of leadership and management gems, scouring its vast depth for the best and brightest of their treasures, and then line them up for you to glimpse and grasp -- get in line! Whether you look at HBR's 10 Must Reads On Leadership as an essential leadership primer or approach it as a graduate course sandwiched between two covers, this book is outstanding.

HBR's 10 Must Reads On Leadership is a gathering of some of the best thought leaders
Kari Metzger
Dec 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Love this book on leadership - it's a collection of articles that are perfect to keep in your flight bag for trips - short essays that give you something to think about and of course, the quintessential Drucker (how can you go wrong?)

I really would have given this 5 stars, but the last couple of articles didn't quite hit as close to home for me - even so, I waffled between 4 and 5 stars (would have been an ideal 4.5 star book!).

Recommended for anyone looking to up their game in leadership. :)
Geir Skårland
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Unscientific, anecdotal and value-based, this collection of articles gives a good overview of leadership thinking. However, most of the articles follow this dubious method:
-look at successful companies or leaders
-formulate a leadership model and apply this to the material
-create compelling images as an illustration
-tell stories that confirm the model

The mere fact that the collection ends up with very different models of leadership shows that the results are more subjective and random than they p
Aug 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Only a few of the articles were interesting but not "must reads" for a business person. Perhaps the articles were novel at the time they were published. Since then, many of the insightful topics have been expanded into books. A business person would recognize some of the authors like Peter F. Drucker ("The Effective Executive"), Jim Collins ("Good to Great"), and Daniel Goleman ("Emotional Intelligence").
Oct 31, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I get that the conventions and quality of academic writing vary across disciplines. But the breathless tone of business/management academia gussies up the meager insights of this discipline as significant, penetrating scholarship. It isn't. And this book isn't worth your time.
Sep 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
There were a couple interesting essays ("Crucibles of Leadership", can't remember the other one I liked) but in general I'm annoyed I had to read it for class.
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I think this edition is one of the better HBR "10 Must Reads". This volume, on the subject of leadership, I found to be particularly intriguing. All of the articles remain timely, even though some were written long ago. These articles, which range from the difference between management and leadership, to being a truly authentic leader, and many points in between, are very helpful. Leadership is such an amorphous subject, and leadership comes in all different varieties, yet still the researchers ...more
Barry Davis
Dec 18, 2019 rated it liked it
An excellent collection of HBR articles by business leaders.
Goleman, Daniel - What Makes a Leader?
Drucker, Peter - What Makes an Effective Executive?
Kottner, John P. - What Leaders Really Do
Heifetx, Ronald A/. and Laurie, Donald L. - The Work of Leadership
Goffee, Robert and Jones, Gareth - Why Should Anyone Be Led by You?
Bennis, Warren G. and Thomas, Robert J. - Crucibles of Leadership
Collins, Him - Level 5 Leadership: The Triumph of Humility and Fierce Resolve
Rooke, David, and Torbert, William
Nick Jamil
Oct 08, 2017 rated it liked it
It was very hard to rate this book. Many of the articles are actually quite insightful, despite my rating, and well worth the read. One could even call some of them "game changing". With regards to others, I just don't think I'm at a place in my career and in my organization where I can appreciate the articles. I skimmed those. Finally, there is an article or two in there, or some articles with a few parts within them, that I vehemently disagree with and can't understand how they made it into a ...more
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A collection of abstracts from all the bestselling books on Leadership. It's an excellent resource if you don't want to go through the pain of reading all the books completely and just want to grab the idea of all in a couple of days. The chapters give you multiple but related perspectives on leadership. Liked the chapters 'Discovering your Authentic Leadership' and In praise of the incomplete leader' the most. A handy reference to keep on your study table.
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
There are some essays like the first one on emotional intelligence that are excellent. I use this book for leadership training / development with people on my team, etc. If one cannot read the whole book, a select 3 essays can provide as much insight when combined with discussion as a course at a top business school like Stanford. Other essays meander and have redundant themes, or poor examples.
I had a problem with this book: some of the articles focused on the same main argument although the authors structured it differently. I would have enjoying reading articles that focus on different aspects of leadership and not so much about the difference between a manager and a leader or the different kinds of leaders. The articles seemed kind of repetitive and redundant to me.
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
While working for 7 years as a director of 20+ company, I didn't know that there's so much to find out about leadership. I always thought that leadership is how much charismatic you can be. But the book opens such depths of science of leadership, that it complete changes the way you look at the topic. Highly recommended.
Yates Buckley
Jan 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: technical
The content is a series of essays in recent leadership perspectives. It is not bad information but it is also vague and generic. I found it is possible to often imagine the exact opposite of the stated “key factor for leadership” when referring to actual historical leaders. Worth reading but with grains of salt...
Mike Ncube
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: leadership
Great resource for anyone leading a team or company or any aspiring leaders. I particularly enjoyed Jim Collins Level 5 leadership insights. I’ve read his book Good to Great too and this was an excellent summary of it
Yemi Awoyemi
Dec 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Helpful to essays about leadership providing some clarity on management vs leadership.

My top recommendations from the essays are:
What makes a leader?
What makes an effective executive?
Why should anyone be led by you?
Discovering your authentic leadership
In praise of the incomplete leader
Chad Schultz
Jun 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Standard business advice. One chapter is essentially a summary of "Good to Great". Not much of it is really memorable. I'd suggest reading highly-rated individual leadership books instead of this anthology of essays.
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Read this while launching the Exchanges in 2013. I have shared some of these articles with new/young managers.
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very good collection, i actually highlighted a few lessons.
Filipe Lemos
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, 2017, audio
2017 November
2 stars
Sarah Moeschter
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was great on learning the various types of leadership and how you can become a great leader in any given situation.
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: work-better
Anthology of HBR leadership articles that you may have already read if you've had any courses on the topic.
Manojkumar Parmar
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Its a must read for everyone because everyone can and is leader. It helps you understand leadership from multiple angles at multiple levels.
Andrew York
Jan 04, 2019 rated it liked it
(Audiobook)- Definitely a few gems in gear, but I’d recommend the books that evolved from the articles rather than just going with these articles. Otherwise, good overview.
Ellen Chang
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It’s like your own leadership coach. Highly recommend. Would gift this to others.
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
The format of hand-picked HBR articles is really good. Enjoyed reading the articles, a balanced overview of what leadership is and is not.
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great book about leadership. Very detailed and full of pieces of information in a very well crafted topics layout.
Terry Hoskins
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book on leadership, written by a series of various authors.
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Bangladesh: Need "HBR's 10 Must Reads" 1 35 Jun 23, 2017 01:25PM  

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