We cannot underestimate how critical strong leadership is in all aspects of our lives. It enables us to run our lives, homes, communities, workplaces and nations. Given its importance, it is pertinent to ask: What is the source of good leadership?
Albert Einstein once said, ‘The only source of knowledge is experience.’ Many philosophers have observed this and, if we accept experience as the only source of knowledge, can we extend this conclusion to leadership? Or is the basis of good leadership intuition or instinct? Or is it perhaps a combination of these?
In Leadership Lessons from Books I Have Read, Tshilidzi Marwala adopts the theory that the source of good leadership is knowledge, and the source of knowledge is experience, and these can be in the form of reading, listening and engaging in discussion. If leadership is derived from knowledge and knowledge is derived from the experience, the ‘experience’ in this book is from 50 books that Tshilidzi has read, and the source of knowledge informing leadership is the collective experiences of more than 50 authors who wrote these books.
Broken into four sections, Tshilidzi shares his leadership lessons on the topics of Africa and the diaspora; the search for ideal polity; science, technology and society; and the leadership of nations.