Book Review. Leadership Is Dead: How Influence is Reviving It

May 28, 2011

I received my copy of Jeremie Kubicek’s book “Leadership is dead: How influence is reviving it,” free from his publicist. Let me first say that the book never fully delivers on its catchy title. While I believe that leadership might be unwell, it is certainly not dead. And while I love how Jeremie describes influence, it’s impossible to show that influence is reviving leadership because influence has been and will always be the heart of leadership.

I’m going to recommend this book because I love the message, but I have to tell you honestly that I did not enjoy reading it. I’ve heard this message before, so I found it distracting that the author never credited sources that have previously written similar things. For example, his first two of seven actions to make leadership come alive are 1) give trust to become trustworthy, and 2) be credible. James Kouzes and Barry Posner emphasized the importance of trust and credibility a long time ago.

The core of Jeremie’s message can be summed up in his list of attributes that define a true influence leader (p. 77):

  • leads with vision
  • leads from the head and the heart
  • practices humility and service to others (let’s go of status and self-preservation)
  • influences rather than pushes or demands
  • invests in the success of others first
  • rises above unethical practices, pressure, and petty politics
  • attracts a diverse and dedicated team of future leaders
  • delivers more than expected
  • wields the tools of forgiveness, gratitude, and laughter
  • reaches out to make the last first

Jeremie goes on to say:

Leadership is influence. Influence is power. How that power is used comes from the intent of the leader, from the motives of the heart (p.78).

I love that message, even though it’s very familiar to me and many others. If this message is either new to you or you’re not entirely sold on it, then you will be very well served to get your hands on this book and consider it very carefully.  If you’ve seen it before and are already sold, then you should probably save your money.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Thank you Bret! Enjoyed the direct and to the point review. Look forward to reading more of your posts.

    Bret L. Simmons Reply:

    Welcome, Saul. Thanks for the kind review of my review. Hope to hear more of your comments in the future. Bret