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In brief

The Leadership Manual: your complete guide to effective leadership. By Hilarie Owen, Vicky Hodgson and Nigel Gazzard. Pearson Education. pound;19.99.

We've come a long way since Peter Drucker wrote in 1955 in The Practice of Management: "Leadership is of utmost importance. But leadership cannot be created or promoted. It cannot be taught or learned." Now, though, we have a whole manual on the subject.

To be fair, the authors know they're dealing with something difficult to pin down - a matter of "being" rather than "doing". So "instead of developing a list of skills, the focus in the manual will be on knowing and developing you, who you can become and how to express this in your work and life".

Much of the book concentrates on personal attributes, and there's much useful advice about taking stock of your own behaviour and attitudes - how you behave with people when you arrive at work, for example.

With the subject currently high on the educational agenda, this careful and readable analysis of what leadership means is to be welcomed.

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