Writing a book is always an exciting endeavor, and one that gives me great creative and intellectual satisfaction. The greatest ideas for books often come from personal experience, and over the years, I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by many great leaders. I’ve gleaned some of their secrets for my own benefit, and am always eager to share their tips with others; exploring the concept of leadership in a book only seemed like a natural fit.
For my latest release, The Leader’s Bookshelf, I investigated the most valuable attributes of leadership as seen in some of the finest literature. Along with my stalwart co-author Bob Ancell, I interviewed dozens of four-star admirals and generals to get a sense of what types of books they read. At its core, the thesis of my book is that we’re all born with certain innate attributes and gifts that can predispose us towards leadership, but we can also become good leaders by reading influential pieces. After my initial outreach, I narrowed my findings down to the top 50 picks in terms of insights on leadership, and have included those in my book.
I recently sat down with Fletcher’s Professor of Management Alnoor Ebrahim to discuss The Leader’s Bookshelf and some books that certainly influenced how we view solid leadership. Among my favorites are Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea and Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. You can watch the video here.
Fox News Radio also hosted me for a lively discussion about the new book as it ties to current events, which you can listen to here.
This week, I also sat down with Bloomberg to discuss foreign policy, The Leader’s Bookshelf and some books that would serve today’s leaders well in their efforts to govern effectively and boldly. You can watch that interview here.
I’m excited to share these inspirational pieces of literature with all of you, and hope you find them equally moving.
As always, thanks for reading, and wishing you all the best in your own leadership endeavors.
Dean Stavridis with his basset hound, Lilly.
Dean James Stavridis is the 12th leader of The Fletcher School since its founding in 1933. A retired Admiral in the U.S. Navy, he led the NATO Alliance in global operations from 2009 to 2013 as Supreme Allied Commander.
- A Conversation with Maria Kristensen (F02), 2017 Fletcher Women’s Leadership Award Winner April 28, 2017
- What Can You Do With a Fletcher Education? April 21, 2017
- A U.S. Foreign Policy Reset April 14, 2017
- Dealing with Dictatorships April 7, 2017
- Why Fletcher? March 31, 2017
- On Reading and Leading March 24, 2017
- Don’t Make Diplomacy the “Missing Man” in Our Foreign Policy Formation March 20, 2017
- Adapting to Today, Turning Towards Tomorrow March 10, 2017
- Don’t Increase Defense Spending on the Backs of Diplomacy and Development March 6, 2017
- A Guide to Getting U.S. Foreign Policy Back on Track February 24, 2017