Many a book that supposedly teaches the art of leadership simply sticks to just reheating purely theoretical research and social surveys and adding a dab of advice here and there. There’s really not a whole lot about how to lead that can be learned from those sorts of documents.
The best teacher when it comes to leadership is experience. But in today’s world, which only seems to be moving faster and faster every day (and in which, let’s face it, bosses are getting more impatient for results and less patient with those who can’t deliver or improve fast enough), you really can’t blame would-be leaders and leaders alike for wanting to be better, faster, in ways that circumvent the old experiential process of learning.
It goes without saying that the most experienced leaders- those who’ve really ‘been it’ and ‘done it’ – have quite a bit of vital experience to share about the art of leadership. And it would be good for both newbies and veterans alike to learn from these battle-scarred colleagues of theirs.
Books like Never Steal a Paper Clip are thus invaluable even for those whose interest in learning to become a leader is merely casual. They showcase lessons gleaned from real-life experiences and impart these to their readers so they can get a taste of what ‘real’ leadership is like.
Never Steal a Paper Clip adopts a novel approach in teaching how to deal with common leadership problems. It distills time-tested insights into twelve maxims or lessons, each one beginning with “Never”, to teach us what not to do in order to become great leaders. In many of them, specific examples of actual people whose experiences exemplify each maxim, those who learned the maxims ‘the hard way’, are mentioned to bring life to the point and provide specific examples.