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Book Review: True North by Bill George

True NorthTrue North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership (J-B Warren Bennis Series)
Author: Bill George
Hardcover: 288 pages, $18.45
Published: April, 2007

Several months ago I was contacted by a representative of Bill George as they were trying to generate some pre-publishing buzz for his next book, True North. I was privileged to receive a draft manuscript of the book and was able to read it before the rest of the world.

I could not wait to dive into True North after having read and reviewed George’s first book, Authentic Leadership. While North is a great read, I have to say that I enjoyed Authentic far more. North is less of a book about leadership principles as it is a collection of interviews of great business leaders. Don’t get me wrong, the book is about leadership principles but the vast majority of the content is actual examples, stories and quotes of great leaders reflecting on each of those principles.

For those who learn by stories, North will be a valuable read. I found the stories compelling and interesting, and even applicable, but at times it just felt like that’s all there was to North, story after story after story.

George does a great job integrating his narrative into the recounting of each leader’s story, but ultimately I felt that the book lacked the meat that was part of Authentic. Still, North provides a valuable insight into the business leadership community as well as the struggles, trials, and failures they have suffered on their way to success. We are also given a glimpse each leader’s success from the human standpoint, rather than the hero standpoint, which is a very refreshing perspective.

Update: a companion website has been created called True North Leaders.

One Response to Book Review: True North by Bill George

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