The Leadership Quotient: Practice Meets Theory
by Tony Marolt
Westwood Books Publishing

"Great leaders, like great photographers, know when to apply the right lens to bring clarity and drive organizations in specific directions."

A person’s leadership quotient is comprised of four elements. Those elements are the person’s intelligence, emotional ability to engage others, decision-making capacity, and ability to take and follow up on action. The premise of this book is that these four elements work together and can be applied in the format of an equation to help measure the leadership quotient and identify areas for improvement.

Each chapter includes one or more quotes from the author and then a discussion of the quote and the leadership principle from which it is derived. These discussions often use analogies or business scenarios to illustrate their point. Typically, a chapter closes with a brief summary and call to action or commitment of some sort for the reader. These often take the form of a graph or worksheet with blanks the reader can fill in as they set goals concerning the leadership principle discussed.

With many years of experience both in the Navy and in top businesses, Marolt brings a wealth of information to share. His discussions are in-depth in their scope and thoughtfully crafted from one end of an idea to the other, utilizing precise language. Although leadership is often broadly defined and applicable, the contents of this work focus most specifically on leadership’s value and execution in business management. The context of the examples will resonate most effectively with others in middle to upper-level management in larger corporations.

There are countless leadership books and courses made available each year, but often readers and presenters return to the classics. Authors like John Maxwell, Napoleon Hill, and Dale Carnegie spring to mind. It is hard to imagine a leadership offering not influenced by Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Covey gives a simple presentation of his seven habits but then becomes more philosophical once the reader gets into the heart of each principle. Marolt is similar in that he takes a relatively simple concept and expounds on it at length. His text is full of theory, observation, and analogy and will greatly interest like-minded readers.

This latter element, analogy, is one that the author employs extensively. It can be an effective tool, and those familiar with the book Shackleton’s Way will likely remember how the technique was successfully used in that account to give a continuous base on which the leadership lessons could be grounded as well as showing the leadership elements used in areas outside the boardroom or factory floor. Leaders already in positions of power and familiar with the typical leadership fare available to them may find Marolt’s detailed analysis of leadership principles and theory a welcome addition to their library and a chance to have a deeper conversation with themselves about their fundamental beliefs on the subject.

Many excellent insights can be pulled from this book. For example, process-solving rather than problem-solving is one interesting and possibly transformative concept with which the reader will engage. Marolt has written a solid and thought-provoking work on the subject of leadership, and it will likely be thoroughly appreciated in the hands of the appropriate reader.

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