4 out of 4 stars
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Imagine checking your inbox, looking forward to a daily email from a trusted mentor––encouraging, inspiring, sometimes course-correcting, always relevant––each day helping you to become a better leader than you were the day before.
Leadership Interrupted, by Kevin DeShazo, is a curated collection of leadership-themed emails that the author sent to his team (as well as to college athletics leaders, coaches, and administrators) over the course of a few years. Out of over 1300 of these emails, the author presents 365 of them in this book as a powerful sort of “daily devotional” for leaders.
In every way, Leadership Interrupted lives up to its subtitle: daily inspiration to become the leader you were meant to be. Each daily entry calls the reader to a higher level of leadership and life. This book contains many themes that are repeatedly presented as the core of authentic leadership: overcoming fear, doing the hard work, creating culture, putting people first, evaluating self, dealing with critics, leading intentionally, living life in balance, and becoming a leader worth following. More than mere tips and tricks, the themes presented in Leadership Interrupted are foundational to what it means to be a leader in the 21st century.
Each of the 365 “chapters” takes only a minute or two to read, ranging from a few sentences to a few paragraphs. Most entries take the form of direct exhortation, telling you what you need to do and be as a leader today. Other entries ask questions or use a short story or illustration to get the point across. There is enough jargon in the stories and illustrations to know they were not written for you but for a different specific audience. However, this specificity doesn’t detract from the message.
I found myself highlighting main points on almost every page, wanting to hold on to them and become a better leader. I have now set up a Kindle reader on my work computer with just this one book open to the next page. Each day’s entry is so focused and pithy that I am able to carry the main thought throughout my day and attempt to live up to its high standard. Some of the main points that have really struck a chord with me are: “inconsistency undermines influence” and “a dream without a plan is just a dream.”
Kevin DeShazo’s writing style is informal but energetic and dynamic. He writes more as an inspirational speaker giving a pep talk. These are pep talks worth listening to!
Leadership Interrupted would be a great addition to your own library or the perfect gift for any leader in your life. I give it an enthusiastic 4 out of 4 stars!
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