Book Review – The Three Levels of Leadership by James Scouller

Three levels of leadershipThe Three Levels of Leadership by James Scouller is a book that claims to help you develop your leadership presence, knowhow and skill. The book focuses on three leadership levels which it labels as Personal, Private and Public levels. The book’s core content is split across two parts which are Part 1: The Foundational ideas and Part 2: Personal leadership.

Part 1 has four chapters. I have briefly summarised each of these chapters in short paragraphs below.

  1. Leadership and The Leader: This chapter discusses three inner issues which leaders face, defines leadership and touches on what a leader is for.
  2. The Three Levels of Leadership Model: In this chapter, the difficulty of becoming a leader is discussed. The Three Levels of Leadership Model, a core aspect of the book is also introduced.
  3. Public, Private and Personal Leadership: The components of the Three Levels of Leadership Model are discussed in more detail.
  4. Summarising the Foundations: In this chapter, the core foundations of the information in the book are summarised which are a model called Leadership’s Four Dimensions and The Three Levels of Leadership.

Part 2 contains majority of the book with six chapters.

  1. Presence and Personal Leadership: In this chapter you will read about, the experience of presence, the root of presence, presence and charisma, qualities and degrees of presence and everyone’s potential for presence.
  2. Working on Element 1 – Technical Knowledge and Skills: In this chapter some key skills leaders should have are discussed.
  3. Working on Element 2 – Attitude Towards Others: This chapter is all about attitude. Some questions that are answered are, why does this attitude matter? What does this attitude involve? Why don’t all leaders have this attitude towards others?
  4. Working on Element 3 – Self Mastery: A Leader’s Map of Psyche: A model of human psyche is introduced here and a lot of other psychological stuff. For me this chapter looked somewhat abstract.
  5. Working on Element 3 – Self-Mastery: Principles, Obstacles and Techniques: In this chapter, you will learn about some key principles that will move you towards self-mastery. This is by far the largest chapter and it also contains a lot of psychological stuff.
  6. Closing Thoughts: A summary closing off the book.

There is also a lot of information after the chapters which consists of extra notes on each chapter and an appendix describing the ladder of inference. While this is a very informative book, I don’t see it as an easy one to read and understand. It has lots of information, some of which might feel non-practical. Nonetheless there are some very useful aspects in the book and I believe the key to reading this kind of book is selecting what you will find useful.

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