The Powers to Lead by Joseph Nye

A book by one of the best respected American political scientists.  He is best known for his notion of soft power.

The book lacks a core theme.  There are many theories of leadership reproduced uncritically, like the traditional/charismatic/rational distinctions or the reference to transformational leadership.

A number of interesting insights like that leadership for the French consist of the “capacity to explain the world”.   Or how leaders exploit subordinates through cultivating loyalty.  Indeed how “without the soft power that produces attraction and loyalty to the leader’s goals, [political] entrepreneurs run off in all directions”.

I recommend for those interested in a well written overview of the field but there are no great new insights here.

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