Alison Vidotto – 22 Leadership Fundamentals – the Door to Success says Push!
As the title suggests, this is a self help book aimed at helping people build on their strengths and identify and work on weaker areas to become a more effective leader. The first thing that struck me about the copy I read was the subheading/slogan on the cover. “The door to success says push” implies, correctly to my mind, that good leadership takes work, no matter how much of a born leader you are, so I went into this book believing I would get useful advice rather than some snake-oil ‘secret formula for success’.
The book is organised into discrete chapters, each dealing with a different skill or personal trait, from more practical things like the importance of communication and how to improve your active listening skills, to less tangible qualities like courage and self control. Because each is dealt with separately, it is the kind of book you can go back to and dip in to the chapters and subjects you want to revisit or where you require more work. That said, it is not a Quick Reference Guide and I think readers would benefit from reading the book right through from start to finish at least once since it flows very well as a whole.
Each chapter contains famous quotes and personal anecdotes, both of which help to keep it interesting and to illustrate points. As the author says herself in one chapter, knowing why you are doing something a particular way is helpful. A lot of the chapters also have useful summaries of the main points at the end as well as ‘questions for reflection’. I was initially a bit put off by finding the questions but they are not like a school test to check you’ve read the chapter, they are questions to prompt you to think about how the points made in the chapter apply to your specific circumstances and how you could use them. I also found I identified very easily with the types of examples used to illustrate the points, if not with the specific circumstances, and could relate them to my own experiences. This is a sign that the author is a good communicator and I got that feeling throughout the whole book. It gives advice rather than orders, doesn’t baffle you with jargon or treat you like an idiot by patronising you. There is no unnecessary waffle either, everything has a relevance. Throughout my working career I have read several self-teaching and self help books but this was the first one in the area of leadership. I do feel that I learned from it and found it a very positive book. The final quote especially, Our Deepest Fear by Marianne Williamson, was very well chosen and inspirational.
If you are in the market for a book on business leadership, or even if you just need a bit of a boost to your self confidence and how to deal with people in everyday life, this book is worth your time.
**** 4 1/2 STARS!