Understanding leadership is really about understanding life, and this starts with gaining an understanding of the self. Traditional management approaches, based on 'scientific' analysis, cannot contribute much towards understanding leadership. This book shows how leadership can be better understood by reading and interpreting masterpieces of world literature, and relating them to leadership issues.
The book starts with Cervantes' masterpiece Don Quixote, whose main character asserts, 'I know who I am', and believes in himself. This is followed by other works to highlight important issues: ambition and purpose in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart, faith vs. reason in Bertolt Brecht's The Life of Galileo, awakening the human spirit in Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan, authenticity in Girish Karnad's Tughlaq, and the old Sanskrit play Mudra Rakshasa by Visakhadatta, leaders and society in Arthur Miller's All My Sons, the role of illusions in Ibsen's The Wild Duck, taking a stand in A Dolls' House, the epic Mahabharata for development of perspective, and Herman Hesse's Siddhartha for understanding the process of self-development and realisation of one's potential.
Based on the experience of the authors teaching a course on leadership for the last 20 years at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, this is an enlightening and illuminating read for both academicians and corporate leaders.
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About the Author
Prof Manikutty was a faculty member at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, for 22 years in the business policy and strategy area. He is the regional editor (Asia and the Pacific) of the European Journal of International Management (EJIM). He has written three books on strategy, ethics, leadership, and an edited book on global learning. He has also written a number of studies, mostly dealing with issues in strategy, and published 18 papers in national and international journals. He retired from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, in 2012, but continues to teach at the Institute, as well as at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. He was a visiting scholar at the Cornell University, USA, in the year 2000.
Sampat P Singh
An eminent teacher and scholar, late Professor Sampat P Singh was also a well-known writer and consultant. An alumnus of Allahabad, Stanford and Harvard universities, he started his academic career at the University of Allahabad in 1950, and joined the National Institute of Bank Management in 1971. He was renowned as an expert in the areas of finance and banking, and in that capacity, served in many national committees. He started teaching as a visiting faculty at IIMA in 1982, and launched his popular course based on inputs from literature, 'Leadership: Vision, Meaning and Reality', the first of its kind in India, in 1988. He continued teaching at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, till 2006, and was consistently rated as a teacher par excellence. He has published over a dozen books and more than a hundred articles. He passed away in 2011.