The Leader's Bookshelf

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Published:March 15, 2017

Read an Excerpt!

For the last several years Adm. James Stavridis and his co-author, R. Manning Ancell, have surveyed over two hundred active and retired four-star military officers about their reading habits and favorite books, asking each for a list of titles that strongly influenced their leadership skills and provided them with special insights that helped propel them to success in spite of the many demanding challenges they faced. The Leader’s Bookshelf synthesizes their responses to identify the top fifty books that can help virtually anyone become a better leader.

Each of the works—novels, memoirs, biographies, autobiographies, management publications—are summarized and the key leadership lessons extracted and presented. Whether individuals work their way through the entire list and read each book cover to cover, or read the summaries provided to determine which appeal to them most, The Leader’s Bookshelf will provide a roadmap to better leadership.

Highlighting the value of reading in both a philosophical and a practical sense, The Leader’s Bookshelf provides sound advice on how to build an extensive library, lists other books worth reading to improve leadership skills, and analyzes how leaders use what they read to achieve their goals. An efficient way to sample some of literature’s greatest works and to determine which ones can help individuals climb the ladder of success, The Leader’s Bookshelf is for anyone who wants to improve his or her ability to lead—whether in family life, professional endeavors, or within society and civic organizations.

List Price: $29.95
Member Price: $23.96
Product Details
  • Subject: Leadership
  • Hardback : 272 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (March 15, 2017)
  • ISBN-10: 1682471799
  • ISBN-13: 9781682471791
  • Product Dimensions: 6 X 9 in
  • Shipping Weight: 20.97 oz
  • “I have known Admiral Stavridis since we entered the Naval Academy together and throughout our careers. He reads incessantly, and personifies the warrior–scholar leadership that our nation needs. The Leader's Bookshelf includes many books we've discussed together over the years, and taken together it is a powerful compendium at the heart of leadership.” —GEN. JOHN ALLEN, USMC (RET.), former Commander, U.S. Central Command and U.S. Forces Afghanistan
  • “Admiral Stavridis has shown throughout his career that leaders benefit tremendously from being well-read and thinking critically. The Leader's Bookshelf is a powerful collection of leadership lessons, drawn from outstanding works of literature, history, and biography. It is an important book from someone I deeply admire.” —MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, former Secretary of State
  • “Leadership in the world of business depends on life experiences, strength of personality, and innate qualities—but you can never stop learning. Admiral Stavridis has captured an extraordinary list of leadership books, and provides very real insight into each of them. Taken together, they can help leaders in any enterprise improve their game.” —DAN SCHULMAN, CEO, Paypal; chairman of Symantec
  • “I’ve been trading book recommendations with Admiral Jim Stavridis since we worked together in the Pentagon over a decade ago. He explains better than anyone the power of books to help create leaders, and this is the best possible selection of books to light a path through the most challenging of situations.” —GEN. JAMES MATTIS, USMC (RET.), former Commander of U.S. Central Command; Supreme Allied Commander at NATO for Transformation
  • “Admiral Jim Stavridis knows the world of leadership well, from his service as Supreme Allied Commander at NATO to his job today as Dean of The Fletcher School at Tufts. He is an inveterate reader and believes in the power of books to make us far better leaders—as do I. The Leader's Bookshelf is a terrific resource for any leader.” —GEN. STANLEY McCHRYSTAL, USA (RET.), CEO of the McChrystal Group; former Commander, NATO and U.S. Forces Afghanistan
  • “In The Leader’s Bookshelf, they interviewed 200 four-star generals and flag officers, and from those discussions, they determined the 50 books that ‘stood out most…with top military readers.’ Using no particular scientific method, they rank ordered the books in descending order by the number of mentions. For each title, there is a short essay by a senior officer as to why they choose the book, followed by a quote from the book, a biography of the author, then a summary of the book by either Stavridis or Ancell, concluding with a few sentences about why the book is important for leaders today. The Leader’s Bookshelf will appeal to all types: The newbie looking for a good book to read and the bibliomaniac who may have read all 49 on the list and owns each first edition, but unaware, or didn’t realize there was just one more interesting title out there.” —
  • The Leaders Bookshelf is therefore something of a continuation of Stavridis' (and Ancell's) quest for critical thinkers and new knowledge. But it is more so, for it provides useful signposts and direction - as much for reading the past, as understanding the present, and scoping our futures.” —The NAVY Magazine of the Navy League of Australia
  • “The helpful hints coupled with the insights on the books makes this a useful book for any leader in any career. I recommend this book to all readers.” —Army University Press
  • “…A very comprehensive list of books that should move, inspire, inform and educate both existing and prospective leaders. Inspiring stuff.” —Ausmarine
  • “For any student of leadership, this book provides an excellent starting point for in-depth reading, along with a useful framework for continued study. Highly recommended.” —CHOICE
  • “It is a deeply thoughtful and thought-provoking book, food for all minds at whatever stage of leadership or aspiration wherever the reader has reached.” —Tidskrift I Sjöväsendet
  • "[This book] is unique in its style and structure and outstanding in its personal and confident presentation... The Leader's Bookshelf is a singular and valuable contribution to developing effective leaders." —Naval War College Review
  • The Leader's Bookshelf is easy to read and offers essayistic content.” —Militärgeschichtlichen Zeitschrift

A 1976 distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, ADM. JAMES STAVRIDIS spent over thirty-five years on active service in the U.S. Navy. He commanded destroyers and a carrier strike group in combat, and served for seven years as a four-star admiral, culminating with four years as the sixteenth Supreme Allied Commander at NATO. He holds a PhD in international relations, and is currently Dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Admiral Stavridis has written six books and hundreds of articles on global security issues and leadership.

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The Leader's Bookshelf
Read an Excerpt! For the last several years Adm. James Stavridis and his co-author, R. Manning...Read More

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Meet the Author & Book Signing
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A former lieutenant commander in the Navy Reserve with periods of active duty, R. MANNING ANCELL has worked in media for decades. The author of more than 200 articles in magazines, newspapers and journals, he has authored or co-authored six books, including Four-Star Leadership for Leaders and Who Will Lead? Senior Leadership in the United States Army. He lives in Norfolk, Virginia, with his wife.

More by this Author

The Leader's Bookshelf
Read an Excerpt! For the last several years Adm. James Stavridis and his co-author, R. Manning...Read More

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