Authors: George Manning and Kent Curtis
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  • The Art of Leadership by Manning and Curtis is an applied book that combines behavior theory with business practice. Each unit teaches central concepts and skills in an important area of leadership development.
  • The book is made more valuable and the impact greater by the self-evaluation questionnaires and practical exercises that are used for personal development and class involvement. The Art of Leadership is more than a textbook. It is a "learning" book that actively involves the reader in the learning process. The Art of Leadership teaches concepts, principles and skills of leadership in a way that is appropriate for both new and experienced leaders, as well as for the everyday person who must influence others to get things done. The book's goal is for students to develop their full potential as a leader and to become the kind of leader they always wanted to have.


  • The Art of Leadership emphasizes the interactive, seminar approach to learning. It encourages hands-on development of one's personal leadership skills through real-world examples and interactive learning activities that bridge the gap between theory and practice.
  • The book includes multiple leadership exercises, and the authors encourage students to write in the book and share the activities with friends and coworkers as part of their personal development. The following is a list a leadership activities in the book: Personalizing Leadership; Six Trait Leadership Test; Two Dimension Leadership Test; Ten Leadership Qualities, How do You Rate?; Interpersonal Trust Scale; Indicator of Multiple Intelligence; What is your Leadership Style?; Leadership Assessment; Social Motives in the Work Setting; Organizational Climate Questionnaire; Moral Dilemmas; Workplace Values and Leadership Actions; Personal Values What is Important to You?; Organizational Ethics; What Type of Power Does Your Supervisor Use?; Leadership Report Card; The Dyadic Encounter; Characteristics of an Effective Group; Problem Solving Styles Darwin, Einstein Socrates, and Henry Ford; Team Excellence; Characteristics of the Self Actualized Person; Motivation at Work; What is Your EI at Work?; Styles of Interpersonal Conflict; Delegation Diagnosis; Functions and Levels of Management-In-box Practice; Interpersonal Style Questionnaire; Numbers Never Lie; Up in Smoke, Are You Burned Out?; The Performance Management Lab; How Does Your Supervisor Rate?; The Performance Pyramid; Benchmarking the Best; Personal Analysis of Leadership
  • The writing style is personal and conversational, with minimal professional jargon. True-life examples clarify points under consideration. Concepts are supported by facts and figures, as well as by stories and anecdotes that are meaningful and easy to remember.

Book Reviews

Overall, I found that the primary strength of the text was its content, followed closely by its logical mix of exercises, tables, and questions. The mixing of these elements makes learning much more interactive and fun for the students. The authors have given this book a solid academic core and at the same time made it applicable to everyday life. That is quite and achievement! I was amazed at how well the book was presented an its thoroughness. It is going to be a favorite with students and professors alike.

Charles Drubel
Muskingum College

Leaders in organizations and professors of management will want to use this text:

  • It comprehensively summarizes the body of literature on leadership and organizational behavior.
  • It is ingeniously organized into nine keys, allowing the reader to obtain an overview of leadership at a glance.
  • It is well organized and indexed for quick referencing purposes.
  • It has an abundance of useful charts, graphs, and quotes.
  • It is written in a straightforward and comfortable manner.
  • It demonstrates the profound insights of masters in the field.

Laban D. Miller
University of Kentucky

I truly believe that The Art of Leadership will become THE SOURCE for leadership development and practice among the myriad of books that hit on various aspects of the topic. It is an ideal textbook for college students, and it is equally useful for the continuing education of practicing managers. The Art of Leadership is the one text I have seen that encompasses "it all" in one text. It is a fantastic learning book and a superb desk book for leaders.

Jim Youngquist
University of Georgia

The Art of Leadership hits the mark in providing the information any level of manager needs. I thought about an experience I had with a course years ago. When the semester was over and it was time to take old books back to the bookstore for some end of the semester cash, there was a book I knew I would use after I graduated and became a "real person". Sure enough, I wore that book out, referring to it constantly. This book will find the same acceptance. It will be a book that becomes a reference and ongoing coaching guide once the class is finished. I do not think many will be returned for beer money.

Dan Keefe
Great American Insurance Companies