Richard Olivier, the son of the legendary actor and director Laurence Olivier, presents Shakespeare’s Henry V as a case study about leadership. The author, also a theatre director and a leadership development consultant, uses scenes and dialogue from the play to illustrate the difficulties King Henry faced as he assumed the throne of England, learned to command, dealt with his inner conflicts, rallied his men and led them to a historic victory over the French at Agincourt. Olivier, who also offers leadership examples from his consulting practice, sometimes seems to blur his focus. Still, his knowledge of the play is extraordinary and his unusual perspectives on leadership’s processes and perils will remind leaders that nothing serves them as well as hard-won self-knowledge. You needn’t know Henry V to benefit from Olivier’s insights. As he says, “This is a book about leadership, not about Shakespeare.” So, even if Shakespeare is just a vague high-school memory, you can still make use of the author’s insights. And if you love Shakespeare, you’ll have a good time. getAbstract recommends Olivier’s lessons (and Shakespeare’s) to aspiring, emerging and seasoned leaders, as well as to actors and literature teachers.
In this summary, you will learn
- What lessons about “inspirational leadership” you can learn from Shakespeare’s Henry V”;
- Why you should lead according to your vision and core values; and
- How to deal with “naysayers, critics and traitors.”
About the Author
Artistic Director and founder of Olivier Mythodrama, Richard Olivier is an Assistant Fellow of Saïd Business School at Oxford. He speaks and consults on bringing theater to business.