The Ten Golden Rules of Leadership: A book review by Bob Morris

Ten GoldenThe Ten Golden Rules of Leadership: Classical Wisdom for Modern Leaders
M.A. Soupios and Panos Mourdoukoutas
AMACOM (2015)

“Everything changes, nothing changes.” Heraclitus

Although M.A. Soupios and Panos Mourdoukoutas selected the term “rules,” I think “defining characteristics” or “core principles” are more accurate when explaining the achievements and consequent eminence of those whom they discuss in this book. (Another of their terms, “ancient insights,” is also preferable.) It is noteworthy that Soupios and Mourdoukoutas take a philosophical approach to their selections of (let’s call them) “rules” with an emphasis on character rather than conquest. For example, here are three points of emphasis within what they characterize as “The Golden Leadership Grid”:

o The “fate” of organizations is not based on the stars. The character of an organization’s leadership determines a company’s destiny.
o The character of a real leader is the result of a carefully crafted philosophy of life.
o A leader’s philosophy is constantly informed by moral consideration.

Think of this book as a primer of fundamentals on leadership from a classical, traditional perspective. With regard to Rule #1, Know Thyself,” they credit Thales with introducing the concept, identify four impediments to knowing one’s self, suggest how to follow the dictum, and contribute the first set of key points (admonitions, really) to the aforementioned “Grid.” The narrative serves as a framework: more than an outline but less, much less than a series of insightful analyses.

Who will derive the greatest benefit from this book? First, those such as I who welcome any and all discussions of leadership that are thoughtful and thought-provoking. Also, those who are now in school or college and preparing for a career in business or who have only recently embarked upon one. Finally, I recommend this book to those who aspire to become leaders or who are in a supervisory position and need a values-driven framework or one that will increase their effectiveness.

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