Top critical review
disappointing and rambling, with interesting tid bits
February 8, 2003
It never ceases to astonish me how little substance there is to most business books: they tend to take a few ideas, puff them up with facts and stories, and then paste them together into a book when a single article - or indeed the flap of the book - would more than suffice. Alas, though Bennis is a brilliant man and great expert on leadership, his book fails on many counts.
First, throughtout the text, the ideas are not that well delineated. So you get lots of stories that are often intersting and fun, but you wonder why all the details are included. Second, I didn't see what the book really adds: sure leaders can be both remarkable and difficult; sure, some teams are extraordinary; sure, we could use more great teams. But how do you do it? THe book doesn't provide much on that as a practical guide (its third failing).
Nonetheless, I thought this book was very well written, which is almost certainly Bierderman's contribution. ALso, it is fun to read the stories on their own. Finally, the sumup chapter has useful ideas (and frankly, it - just 15 pages - is all that you would need to read if you don't find the stories inherently interesting).