Book Review: Leadership Studies: The Dialogue of Disciplines
This volume of insights from US scholars of leadership provides an interesting and eclectic addition to Edward Elgar’s New Horizons in Leadership Studies Series. Previous volumes in the series have been dedicated to more closely defined topics such as leadership’s relationship with capitalism, moral decision-making, democracy, dissent, the Russian view of leadership, and so on. In contrast, this volume explores leadership through various disciplinary lenses: classics (that is, ancient Greek and Roman culture and politics), philosophy, history, sociology (two chapters), psychology, management, education (two chapters), political science, literature and art. Each of these chapters does an excellent job of explaining how a particular discipline contributes to an understanding of leadership. As a spare-time painter, I was intrigued by the final chapter in this section: Anu M. Mitra’s ‘Learning how to look: The art of observation and leadership development’. This chapter shows how art and the practice of looking at and interpreting art works can teach us ‘to see comprehensively, accurately and contextually’. By learning to look at something as if for the first time, as da Vinci did, we can discover ‘how each of us is able to empower ourselves to express our full potential as leaders in our field of inquiry’.