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Consiglieri: Leading From the Shadows Paperback – May 27, 2014

3.9 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Leaders carry a lot of the weight of any organization but good leaders will always have good teams to help carry that load. Richard Hytner has written a fascinating account of the role of the leaders behind the leader and there are lessons in here for every walk of life." --Alastair Campbell

"Films and plays are littered with examples of the nefarious deputy; from Iago to Macbeth to Claudius, to Darth Vader, and Scar in 'The Lion King'. Richard Hytner rescues the deputy from the disgruntled schemer and instead celebrates their creative, supportive, positive impact in life, business, sport and even art." --Rory Kinnear

About the Author

Richard Hytner joined creative powerhouse Saatchi & Saatchi in 2003 as its CEO for Europe, Middle East and Africa. As Deputy Chairman, he works with leaders and their teams from many of the world’s blue-chip companies. Richard is a law graduate from the University of Cambridge, and is Adjunct Associate Professor of Marketing at London Business School.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books (May 27, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781254273
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781254271
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,329 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Hytner challenges a core assumption of the corporate world: if you're not at the top of the corporate ladder, you're just not good enough. This book takes a realistic look at the dynamics of leadership in large organizations, and illuminates the value of the "C's" who do the behind-the-scenes work that makes charismatic "A's" so powerful.

This book is certainly for the C's - who will find a convincing argument that talent is not one-dimensional, and that they are not simply the not-quite-as-good leader, but in fact bring powerful capabilities of their own to the table. But it is also a valuable resource for the A's, who often fail to understand the feelings, needs and proclivities of their C's, whose talents and motivation they depend on.

To use a very American metaphor, every good quarterback knows how absolutely crucial his Offensive Line is - this book will prove that whether you're the lineman or the QB, it's ultimately the perfection of the relationship that counts. Hytner's perspective will help you strengthen that relationship, no matter what position you play.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Beyond chapter 1, the book becomes highly redundant and convoluted, using a cumbersome model its creates to analyze the relationship between managers and advisors. After a while, I couldn't refrain but skimming through unnecessary copy.
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Format: Paperback
I picked up this book as part of my continuing exploration of followership. While Hytner's depiction of the second-chair leader-counselor ("consiglieri") raises some helpful points of awareness in boss-subordinate relations, I found his scheme of consiglieri archetypes to be too convoluted to be useful: four main categories, with a variety of subcategories for each, and no clear connection between them in order to help establish this paradigm as a clear framework for personal awareness within my own mind.

His encouragement of leader-follower relationship evaluation and communication is valuable, and his long list of sample questions may appeal to those who are looking for a stepping stone in how to engage with their leader (or follower) in this manner.

Overall, this book is not a bad read, but not terribly insightful either. Most of the author's case studies and examples are British sports figures and politicians, and his literary citations require a pretty astounding breadth of familiarity (beef up on your Shakespeare!) in order to fully appreciate his points. This book can be safely skimmed without risk of missing crucial points or wisdom.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author presents a new point of view on leadership, but abuses on details and theory, making the book too dense to get throught. For exemple: each category of A Leader is divided into many sub-categories, and than you go to the categories of C Leader, and so on....it seens endless.

Also, it was kind of difficult to translate theory to real life.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Heard about this book on The Accidental Creative podcast in discussion with Richard Hytner. This illustrates the value of the 2nd in command, the trusted advisor. This is the first of it's kind that I've seen to discuss the true value in those second positions, be it Vice President, Deputy, or other secondary position title. It shows how important these roles are and the difference in the leadership skills needed for the A (i.e. President) vs. the C (i.e. Vice President). I wish more in leadership would read this so they'd understand that being in those roles doesn't mean you couldn't do the role of the first. The 2nd is just as important and should be a conscious choice. I'm certain my review is not doing this justice. I highly recommend the podcast to hear more from Todd Henry interviewing Richard Hytner about this book. A book of this nature, I think, is long over due.
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Format: Paperback
After reading Richard Hytner's book I have come to a new realization: Influence is not centered around a singularity, but rather dispersed among those brave enough to revel in anonymity.

I have been a fan of leadership books since I graduated college and entered the working world, and I find it useful to observe and learn from the way other leader's have taken the initiative, re-framed their perspective, and beaten the "other guy" in order to get to where they are today. Still, at times one can't help but feel that this age old narrative of "dominance" projects a vision of our world that resembles one big ladder with a lonely, yet powerful top rung. A position that is almost certainly unreachable for the majority of the population.

In a modern world where leaders can be found on farms - in sports arenas, classrooms, boardrooms, space shuttles and anywhere in between, Consiglieri is the only leadership book that I have come across which addresses the reality we live in today. If you need advice on how to navigate all the diverse personalities and environments you might encounter in your day to day life and year to year career, Consiglieri is the best place to start.
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Format: Paperback
If you're flying the plane, read Hytner's book.

If you're the co-pilot, read the book.

If you haven't boarded yet, then absolutely read Consiglieri.

This book has a surprise beginning.
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