Here you will find several high quality works of fiction or historical fiction that I think meet the test of being an enjoyable and interesting read, as well as doing a great job of illustrating some of the key principles of leadership in action. I particularly enjoy good works of historical fiction that can skillfully paint a mental picture of what it must have been like at the time and under the circumstances. While the work is ultimately only an author’s interpretation of characters and events, still, it’s the next best thing to a personal account, and often more interesting to read than a clinical research paper on the topic. I hope you enjoy these selections!
* note/disclaimer: I am an affiliate of Amazon.com for these books, so I would receive a small compensation for any purchases you made on Amazon when going via the links provided. You certainly don’t have to go via these links, but I appreciate it and thank you if you do. The only way a book will ever appear here is if I have read, understood, used, and found it to be very helpful as a leadership tool. Consequently the selection here will be fairly slim, but I hope eminently satisfying! Let me know what you think…
The first and best historical fiction book I have ever read, and an excellent look into the challenges of leadership. The Killer Angels reads like a novel, but author Michael Shaara combines historical accuracy with a captivating story-telling ability to make this a hard-to-put-down read about the battle of Gettysburg, and for me, a great read about leadership.
The book follows 13 famous and lesser-known leaders of the Civil War from both sides at the battle, exploring their thoughts, motivations, and decision-making processes as they struggle to make life and death choices in the chaos of the battlefield. Shaara combines their inward reflections with plenty of action in a way that makes the book at once both a thoughtful study on leadership and a great story.
[imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”bottomshadow” bordercolor=”#000000″ bordersize=”5px” stylecolor=”” align=”right” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””][/imageframe]Of all the figures portrayed, the most compelling for me is that of Joshua Chamberlain, who took a sabbatical from his professorship of rhetoric at Bowdoin College in Maine to lead a regiment in the Army. At Gettysburg he faces several seemingly impossible challenges, yet somehow finds solutions that accomplish his mission while preserving his men. He is one of my personal heroes, and after reading this, I think you will see why.
The Killer Angels is a must-read for anyone seeking to learn more about decision-making under pressure. A great book for new leaders. Check it out!