Summary of Consiglieri

Leading From the Shadows

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Consiglieri book summary
The best deputies were once leaders, and the best leaders were once deputies.


7 Overall

7 Applicability

8 Innovation

7 Style


This fast-paced read delivers engaging, often humorous entertainment through a veil of thick vernacular. The subject is more original than that of most leadership books, and so is the tone of voice. Richard Hytner explains that leaders and their second-in-command deputies must connect with each other for the good of their organizations. He shares examples of big bosses who benefit or suffer at the hands of their subordinate, but equally intelligent, advisers. His advice might aid you in thinking about the kind of leader you want to be, and in deciding whom to hire as your deputy or whom to choose as your boss. Hytner uses frequent, obscure sports examples that assume prior knowledge of people and events. That may make his good-humored presentation slow going for some and irritating for others. He presents ideas and cautions with a sense of distraction that is good for a laugh but still offers solid career fodder. getAbstract recommends his series of tales to anyone looking for a second-in-command or to any deputy seeking a good leader to support.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What vital roles “Consiglieri” or subordinate leaders – “C” leaders – play in organizations
  • What benefits C’s bring to the leaders they support
  • How to choose the best leader or second-in-command for you


Leading From the Back
Real leadership exists at all levels of an organization, particularly among the unsung number twos – the “C” leaders. The C’s are the “Consiglieri,” assistants, deputies, advisers and even division heads whose main role is to support the “A” leader – the CEO, president...
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About the Author

Richard Hytner, deputy chairman at Saatchi & Saatchi, teaches at the London Business School.

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