A Passion for Leadership – A Book Review

leadership-book.jpgA Passion for Leadership: Lessons on Change and Reform from Fifty Years of Public Service is a book that takes a pragmatic and powerful look at leadership and is a must-read for people who want to bring about a significant transformation within an organization. It offers leaders discerning techniques and ideas that allow them to successfully reform and upgrade their organization. The book also expounds on the qualities required for leading reform which includes strategic thinking, having a vision, transparency, attention to implementation, political finesse, and a respectful attitude.

Book Details

The book was recently published on January 19th, 2016 by The Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group and has 256 pages. The front cover has been designed with a black and white theme and has a picture of the author. The book is available in the kindle, hardcover, audible and audio CD versions.  ISBN-10: 030795949X; ISBN-13: 978-0307959492.


$18.33 for the hardcover edition, $18.55 for the kindle edition, $29.40 for the audio CD edition and  free for the audible edition


Target Audience

A Passion for Leadership: Lessons on Change and Reform from Fifty Years of Public Service targets leaders at all levels of an organization who want to bring about an effective change within their organization. It can be a helpful resource for committed and smart leaders always on the lookout for improvement of their institutions irrespective of scale.

This book has been basically written for companies, organizations and major bureaus and is full of inspiration and instructive ideas on bringing about a big change.

What Customers Say

Library Journal, the most respected and trusted publication for the library community, says that the advice mentioned in the book should be passed on to leaders and is greatly helpful for people with similar new responsibilities.  The community further recommends the book for public and academic leadership collections.

According to Publishers Weekly, the author has taken a practical and robust look at leadership and should be read by anyone wanting to bring about a reform.

Online publication, Kirkus, states that the book is entertaining, useful and packed with information, highlighting on real life examples.

Content, Approach, Style

A Passion for Leadership: Lessons on Change and Reform from Fifty Years of Public Service gives practical and implicit suggestions on bringing about reforms within the operative culture, how to impact change within committees, how one can engage the power of compromise, and how listening and responding to the entire team within an organization can bring about success within an institution.

The author reflects on his time as a bureaucrat which remains relevant even today because of the fundamental principles it outlines. The book offers action-oriented and research-based elements on why big institutions are seeing a downturn and how a devoted leader can impact an organization by wise and productive thinking.

It provides an essential guide for creative leaders wanting to transform their organization and allow a person’s best self, including their own, to materialize. Furthermore, it gives practical advice based on lessons learned during the author’s career as Secretary of Defense under President George Bush and Barack Obama.

In short, the book is by far the easiest read among the top leadership books at the moment.

Why Buy The Book

The book boldly demystifies the view that it’s difficult to bring about an effective reform mainly in US institutions since they are either too big or excessively onerous. As mentioned before, it offers the ultimate insider’s perspective on how huge organizations can be transformed, and can be a tremendous source of inspiration to a thoughtful leader. This no-nonsense, practical look at leadership not only acts as a useful guide but also serves as an illustration for young people wanting to enter public service.

Books That Compliment

The Power of Project Leadership by Susanne Madsen is a great book for cultivating leadership and motivational skills that is aimed at business managers, department heads and team leaders.

Strategic Leadership, authored by Robert Wysocki, emphasizes on implementing changes so that organizations turn out to be more productive and effective.


Robert Michael Gates, born on the 25th of September, 1943, is an American scholar, statesman and university president who served as the Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011. He was also an officer during the early part of his military career in the United States Air Force.

US News & World Report named Gates as one of America’s Best Leaders while Time Magazine named him as one of the most influential people.

His earlier book, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, was a vividly written account of his experience serving two Presidents during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which turned out to be a bestseller.

$18.33 for the hardcover edition, $18.55 for the kindle edition, $29.40 for the audio CD edition and  free for the audible edition


Pankaj Mondal

Pankaj Mondal is a member of the expert writer team for Project-Management.com. He writes articles on the following subjects: project management software, book reviews, training site reviews, and also general articles related to the project management industry.