By: Steve Boehlke
Publisher: Lilja Press
Publication Date: December 2009
Reviewed by: Eloise Michael
Review Date: December 11, 2010
50 Lessons on Leading for Those with Little Time for Reading is, true to its claim, 50 ideas that will help build leadership skills. Though the book will certainly be useful to those who are already in leadership positions, author Steve Boehlke's insights will be inspiring to any reader. All of us find ourselves in situations where others look to us for guidance. The skills Boehlke aims to build will help anyone be more successful, and at the same time, to earn respect and admiration.
Each page of 50 Lessons on Leading contains one sentence, so there is little danger that this book will end up in the pile of books you would really like to read but don't have time for. On the contrary you will probably begin flipping through the book as soon as you have it in your hands. Probably most people would agree that these fifty lessons are good advice, though some are a little unconventional, and many call for humility, which might to some seem incongruous with leadership. For example, one of Boehlke's lessons is “Leadership is knowing when to ask for help.” Even if you agree with each statement, and I think most readers will, the challenge for many of us is that we are not good at receiving suggestions and implementing them in our lives.
Boehlke has a new take on offering advice. This is not a boring list of good ideas. Instead each one-line lesson is presented in a unique visual format that combines the words with images and highlights its meaning. While I turned the pages I felt like I was using a different part of my brain from the part that usually reads books. I processed the images faster than the words, which meant that I half understood the meaning before I read the words. The experience was almost like solving a crossword puzzle. I had some of the pieces to begin with, and the meaning jumped out at me all at once.
Essentially reading this book is a right-brain, non-linear experience. Will this help a person actually absorb and apply the lessons? I think yes. I found that having my brain engaged in this unusual way predisposed me to thinking about the deeper meaning behind each statement -- the ways that I was and was not living up to it.
Clearly the book is not designed to be read in a linear way either. There is no particular reason to start at the first page and read to the end. You may want to read it all the way through initially, but will probably find it most useful to flip through the book or open it randomly when you want inspiration. There are additional suggestions for using the book listed at the end, as well.
This is a book to keep on your desk and reach for when you are looking for courage and guidance. Though the book is almost playful, it will inspire serious and productive thought. It is small and attractively put together and would also make a great gift for a leader in your life.
Quill says: This unique book is both fun and inspiring.
For more information on 50 Lessons on Leading for Those with Little Time for Reading, please visit the book's website at: www.50lessonsonleading.com