Snapshots of Great Leadership (Paperback) book cover

Snapshots of Great Leadership

By Jon P. Howell

© 2013 – Routledge

268 pages

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Paperback: 9780415872171
pub: 2012-08-06
Hardback: 9780415624824
pub: 2012-08-07
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203103210
pub: 2012-08-21
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This is a great book describing leaders (both good and bad) who either have accomplished amazing feats or who brought destruction or death to scores of people. Although the goals of these individuals were often quite different, the leadership processes they used were frequently similar. The book also includes an introductory chapter explaining the latest theories of leadership. Each snapshot will add an important “reality check” to the theories and models described in most introductory leadership textbooks, making this an important supplement for students taking leadership courses. Leaders from various disciplines, historical, religious, political, sports, and business, are included, as well as leaders from around the world. Each chapter ends with a discussion of theories of leadership pertaining to that leader, and questions for discussion.


'Jon Howell is a well known researcher in the leadership field who has done a great service to students of leadership with this new book. He has plowed through a huge body of knowledge, and given students learning points and insights that no one before him had noticed. Jon has revealed the human side of leadership. This book reveals the flawed, yet admirable qualities of the leaders he describes, and shows us how deeply we are influenced by our upbringings, and by the people who we grow up with in what truly can be called "the formative years". The leaders presented in this book have made their marks in very different fields. Snapshots of Great Leadership provides a lens with which to view the leaders today with the benefit of our various theories and 21st century insight.' - Steve Kerr, Provost, Chancellor University, Senior Advisor, Goldman Sachs

'What do Steve Jobs, Mother Teresa, Abraham Lincoln, Pat Summit, Geronimo, and Konosuke Matsushita have in common? Maybe several things, but, as the author makes clear, all have been great leaders in widely diverse settings, circumstances, and organizations. They and their life stories, along with 19 other remarkable leaders from all walks of life, are engagingly profiled in this extremely readable book. As an added bonus, as it were, five influential "bad" leaders are covered in the final chapters. All told, this combination, along with an opening chapter that succinctly reviews the major theories of leadership, provides instructors with a highly useful book for any class on leadership. It provides many, many concrete examples of leadership behavior in action, and I predict that students will greet these snapshots of great leaders with great enthusiasm!' - Lyman Porter, University of California, Irvine.

"I teach leadership at the undergraduate and graduate levels. I think Jon Howell has done all faculty teaching leadership a huge favor by compiling this book of outstanding leaders (and a few bad ones) in Snapshots of Great Leadership. My experience confirms his; students derive the most learning from learning about what real leaders do and have done. Learning about the theories follows far more easily with this as the starting point. I would use this book as a stand-alone text. The theories can be expanded upon as needed. This book saves countless hours trying to amass the backgrounds and experiences of extraordinary leaders to use in our leadership classes." - Leanne Atwater, Chairperson and Professor, Department of Management, University of Houston

'Students and faculty are always searching for cogent examples of good and bad leadership. This book makes leadership theory and research come alive with a host of compelling cases, present and past, from a variety of walks of life including business, government, the military, sports, and religion. The rich biographies are excellent stimuli for discussion, analysis, and comparison. Managers and executives will find the cases intriguing. They shed light on leadership that goes beyond what people commonly know, or think they know, about well-known, and some not-so-well-known entrepreneurs, CEOs, and officials.' - Manuel London, Dean, College of Business, State University of New York at Stony Brook

'We’ve needed a resource like this for a long time. The snapshots provide compelling illustrations of different types of leaders and their actions…including "bad" leaders. This is just what we’ve needed to bring these leadership concepts home to our students.' - James Weber, Management Department, GR Herberger Business School, St. Cloud State University

Table of Contents

Preface. 1. Theories of Leadership. 2. Steve Jobs—CEO and Cofounder of Apple Inc. 3. Anita Roddick—Founder and CEO of The Body Shop. 4. Ernest Shackelton—Antarctic Explorer. 5. Mother Theresa—Servant to the Poor. 6. Abraham Lincoln—16th President of the United States. 7. Pat Summit—Women’s Basketball Coach. 8. Leymah Gbowee—Liberian Leader of Women in Peacebuilding Network. 9. Nelson Mandela—Human Rights Leader and Past President of South Africa. 10. Geronimo—Apache Native American War Leader. 11. Winston Churchill—British Prime Minister, Wartime Leader and Statesman. 12. Vince Lombardi—Professional Football Coach. 13. Napoleon Bonaparte—French Military and Political Leader. 14. Mary Kay Ash—Founder and CEO of Mary Kay Cosmetics. 15. Nicolas Hayek—Swiss Watch Executive 16. César Chávez—Labor Union Leader. 17. Konosuke Matsushita—Japanese Industrial Leader. 18. Bill Wilson—Cofounder and Leader of Alcoholics Anonymous. 19. Mark Zuckerberg—Facebook Creator and CEO. 20. Martin Luther King—American Civil Rights Leader 21. George Washington—First President of the United States. 22. Luis Inacio Lula Da Silva—Past President of Brazil. 23. Mohandas Gandhi—Indian Political and Spiritual Leader. 24. Sitting Bull—Sioux War Chief. 25. Indra Nooyi—CEO of PepsiCo. 26. Horatio Nelson—Vice Admiral of the British Royal Navy. 27. Adolph Hitler—Chancellor of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. 28. Al Dunlap—Corporate Executive. 29. Idi Amin—President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979. 30. David Koresh—Religious Cult Leader. 31. Kenneth Lay—CEO of Enron Corporation.

About the Series

Leadership: Research and Practice

The Leadership: Research and Practice Series includes both edited and authored volumes showcasing the latest leadership and behavioral research, as well as practical books based on the latest leadership theory with applications to Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Management, Organizational Behavior, Law, Political Science, and Military Psychology.

Please send all book proposals to Georgia Sorenson (, Ron Riggio (, or Christina Chronister (

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Industrial & Organizational Psychology