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Charles Handy’s Top Five Leadership Books for 2009 (strategy+business)

strategy+business logoWe’re at that time of year where lists become very popular and in the current edition of strategy+business magazine Charles Handy offers up his choices for the Best Leadership Books for 2009.

To many Americans Charles Handy may not be a household name and that’s too bad.  A prolific writer and frequent BBC commentator about business, leadership and social issues,  in 2001 Handy finished second only to Peter Drucker on the prestigious The Thinkers 50, a list of the most influential management thinkers/writers alive today. He has appeared on each publication of the list since then and today sits at #43.

Here’s a short video from a presentation he made at The Drucker School at Claremont Graduate University in California.

I totally agree with Handy. Life’s most important and valuable lessons are not taught or learned in the classroom. The things that make us grow and become part of us are most often built upon our successes, failures and collective life experiences.

I’ve had the great fortune to spend some time with Charles and his wife Elizabeth, who is a accomplished photographer. They attended our wedding and have visited us here in the US.  Studying leadership during my Rhode Island Foundation Fellowship, I had the chance to sit down with Charles one afternoon in his study and pick his brain on the topic.  It was definitely one of the highlights of a year full of highlights.

As one would suspect, Charles list for strategy+business contains a couple of interesting surprises. His entire article is available online and here are his choices:

If you want to learn more about Charles Handy, a great place to start would be his interview on The Thinkers 50 website.  I also recommend his latest book, Myself and Other More Important Matters, which is an entertaining autobiography and a great resource for charting your course through work and life.

If you’re looking for something to give this Holiday Season to that aspiring leader in your life, you won’t go wrong with any on Charles Handy’s 2009 list of Best Leadership Books.

About the author

Peter A. Mello, Founder/Editor Founder of Weekly Leader and Sea-Fever Consulting, LLC, a leadership development and strategic communications consultancy. Previously, CEO of an international nonprofit organization and COO of a national insurance/risk management services firm. Peter has been leading people and managing organizations for over 30 years, writes a leadership column for MarineNews magazine and blogs about maritime culture at Sea-Fever. Follow him on Twitter.

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