Book Review

The Leaders Companion – Insights on Leadership Through the Ages – Book Review Greg L.Thomas | Category: Book Review

Books on leadership now abound in bookstores and in our popular consciousness. Anyone who begins a serious study into this subject will soon come across familiar names such as John Gardner, JamesMacGregor Burns, Robert Greenleaf, Bernard Bass, Kenneth Blanchard, Terrence Deal, Warren Bennis, Max De Pree and others. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if one book contained some of the most insightful writings and thoughts of these individuals? The Leaders Companion – Insights on Leadership Through the Ages is such a book and should be on every leader’s bookshelf!


This massive work is edited by J. Thomas Wren and he undertakes a difficult task. Wren constructs the book with three basic premises. First, that leadership is not just a modern “fad”, but is “central to the human condition”. Leadership as a concept is both current and timeless. The second premise of the book is that leadership is not just the province of a select few, but is available to all. Thirdly, and perhaps the most important premise is that leadership is a valuable area of study, especially the process of leadership. Wren hopes the reader will appreciate the “real end of leadership: the achievement of mutual goals which are intended to enhance one’s group, organization or society.”


To initiate these premises the book approaches leadership from a broad perspective. Wren draws upon a broad range of classical writers, leadership scholars, and the wisdom of modern leaders. The book is divided into thirteen parts that guide the reader through the complex structure we commonly call leadership.  Wren acknowledges that understanding this process lies at the heart of improving our lives, surroundings, and world.


This book is an outstanding collection of various leadership perspectives and models. He has opened up the study of leadership through the ages and from a worldview of different cultures. The Leaders Companion – Insights on Leadership Through the Ages is great reading and should be part of your own leadership library!


The Leaders Companion – Insights on Leadership Through the Ages

The Free Press, New York, 1995 (554 pages in paperback)

Edited by J. Thomas Wren

ISBN 0-02-874005-X


weLEAD rating highly recommended


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