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Time to Lead

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Time to Lead

Lessons for Today’s Leaders from Bold Decisions That Changed History

Fast Company Press,

15 min read
8 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Entertaining tales of great historical leaders can help you become a more effective boss. 

Editorial Rating



  • Well Structured
  • Engaging
  • Inspiring


History’s most effective leaders leveraged one or more of seven important leadership styles, according to marketing professor Jan-Benedict Steenkamp. In this entertaining and engaging book, he cites exceptional leaders, from Alexander the Great to Martin Luther King Jr., to explore these different corporate leadership styles. He discusses George Washington’s rare decency in building a nation, Franklin Roosevelt’s deceptiveness in getting Americans to do the right thing and Margaret Thatcher’s toughness. These sketches, along with Steenkamp’s quizzes and exercises, can help you discover your most legendary leadership style.


Good leaders adapt to changing circumstances.

Great leaders align their behavior to fulfill their beliefs and values. They continually learn and grow, as they inspire others to achieve a shared vision, goal or mission. They satisfy followers who demand capable, caring leaders and they demonstrate trust in order to earn it.

History’s most effective leaders tend, like hedgehogs, to focus single-mindedly on a vision, demonstrating tremendous resilience and perseverance. Like foxes, they understand their limits and can muster the necessary tactics and strategies to achieve their goals. The greatest leaders are eagles who combine the traits of hedgehogs and foxes. 

Eagles adapt as needed. They don’t always tell the truth or stand firm on deeply-held values and beliefs if those facts or ideals become obstacles to achieving their goals. While history proves that hedgehogs, foxes and, especially, eagles can accomplish almost anything, unfortunately, many leaders are ostriches: They don’t know where they want to go or how, and they often fail.

Though history’s most accomplished ...

About the Author

Dutch-American Professor Jan-Benedict Steenkamp teaches marketing at the University of North Carolina and runs AiMark, a global market strategy research and consulting firm.

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    L. B. 1 year ago
    Excelentes ejemplos de estilos diferentes de liderar y objetivos claros, el cambio es un punto clave.

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