Summary of Leading Leaders

How to Manage Smart, Talented, Rich, and Powerful People

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Leading Leaders book summary
Earn the trust of leaders by convincing them that their interests are yours.


7 Overall

8 Applicability

7 Innovation

7 Style


This refreshing little book on leadership takes an unusual tack by focusing on how to lead leaders. This kind of leadership, says author Jeswald W. Salacuse, is different from all others. However, he explains, leaders occur at every level of an organization, so managers throughout the hierarchy will find his principles applicable. Salacuse’s core idea is that you must discover the interests of those you wish to lead and then make it clear to them that you are serving their interests. This requires listening, personal attention, framing your objectives in their terms, and respecting their freedom and autonomy. Salacuse illustrates his ideas with examples drawn from history and contemporary politics. recommends adding Salacuse’s book to your leadership library.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why even leaders need someone to guide and organize them;
  • How to listen during a "strategic conversation" with a leader; and
  • What seven daily responsibilities you have as a leader of leaders.


Leading Leaders Is Unique
Leading leaders is not like leading the masses. You cannot rely on your personal charisma, the formal authority of your position, your power to award bonuses or impose financial penalties, or any other form of coercion.

Leading leaders requires ...
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About the Author

Jeswald W. Salacuse is the Henry J. Brinker Professor of Law at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

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