Customer Review

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most practical book on effective leadership you'll ever read, December 21, 2011
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This review is from: One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership (Hardcover)
I love this book.

Most books on leadership have two main flaws: first, they're full of pablum (or "BS," as Mike Figliuolo describes it - and get used to that; he calls a spade a spade). Second, they usually represent one person's view of leadership, with the underlying assumption that what worked for them will work for you.

One Piece of Paper is a very good book because of its content. But what gets it from 4 stars to 5 is that it is the only book on leadership I've ever read that avoids both of these flaws. The author is refreshingly down-to-earth. Simple language; real examples; tangible guidance. The book is exceedingly practical.

More importantly, Mike understands that leadership is an intensely personal characteristic. Trying to emulate General Patton, or Jack Welch, or Carly Fiorina is a recipe for disaster for the obvious reason that you are not them. You have different motivations, different strengths, different communication styles, and you probably face different challenges. One Piece of Paper is a guide to understanding and developing your own personal leadership style.

As other reviewers have noted, reading this book requires you to roll up your sleeves and work. You don't become a leader by osmosis. Mike challenges you to think hard about what really matters to you, what you believe in, and what kind of leader you aspire to be. Then he asks you to commit pen to paper and codify those maxims in plain language that can be easily understood and described. No flowerly terms like "synergy" and "mission-driven." And then he asks you to share the results of that process with others, especially those on your team, so they can hold you accountable for it.

I've used this approach myself, and have seen firsthand the impact it has when others use it. If your goals for 2012 include personal development, career advancement, delivering better results for your organization, or just being a better leader for your team, this is the first book you should be reading.
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