Author: Alan E. Shelton
Shelton makes this book on leadership a whole new experience; as he puts such an emphasis on experiencing leadership at the forefront of his book as well. It is not your usual leadership book with traits, how to’s and the usual learning to be a leader stuff you will find in so many other leadership titles. He writes the book with a series of stories, mostly being an auto-biography, as he discovered what leadership truly meant to him in his life and many experiences. His stories are very inviting, intriguing and keep you drawn in to understand more of where the author is coming from in his discovery of leadership and then to see the application side that the book also includes once the concepts are shown from the story perspective.
There are some deep questions and exploration of one ‘self’ in this book to see where leadership is sourced from. Ourselves. Shelton shows many insights on that topic and he delivers some powerful stories and conclusions from his experiencing these. He covers a lot of topics that you’ll find in other books, but I personally found a lot of his language to be overwhelming and completely unconvincing. He references the ego countless times, and for my liking anyway, overuses words like manifest, essence, construct, enlightenment which completely distract me from his point, really not following what he seems to be trying so hard to share. He leaves a lot of inconclusive points about his own understanding of things saying how its experiential and cannot be explained, yet this only created a lot more doubt in my mind as to what I could really take away from his book.
So, it a great storybook and Shelton definitely has some great leadership insights. The whole aspect of knowing yourself and being authentic, becoming more by accepting things as they occur and not being limited by what you think you need to still develop and to control the ego so that you can simply be, make sense to me already, but I’ve discovered them and learned them from other material and experiences without this book helping that much. I certainly can’t say that will be true for you, as Shelton puts it himself very clearly, each person will have their own leadership discovery and journey so this book might be a great way for you to find some of that out yourself and Shelton’s unique style and stories will certainly leave you thinking. As much as they did leave me thinking, I can’t say I learned much more about leadership or myself from readying this book.
To get a better sense of Shelton’s writing, please have a look at his previous guest post here, Learning, Humility and Leadership.
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