The writer of Ecclesiastes said of the making of books there is no end. In the stream of continual literary output, the challenge for any writer is to make a ripple. If you don’t stand out, your book doesn’t get sought out in the bookstore or online.
That, in part, accounts for the plethora of “adjective” leadership books. If one were to simply write a book on leadership, nobody would notice. Hence we have Liquid Leadership, Open Leadership, Fierce Leadership and many more. And I’m not criticizing those books which bring some new ideas and perspectives to the discussion of leadership.
It does make me wonder, however, if we don’t sometimes try to reinvent leadership for the wrong reasons. Most people like novelty, but it shouldn’t be the supreme value for learning leadership or any other important skill for that matter. More often than not, authors are describing different parts of the same elephant, but tend to focus too exclusively on the tail or leg they are discussing.
If you really want to learn leadership and improve your practice of it, focus on the timeless truths that make for just plain leadership–the ability to positively influence others to get results. I don’t believe we necessarily need to go back to the basics (unless we’ve lost our way) but we always go forward with the basics, and those basics are the fundamentals, not the nuances suggested by adjectives.
Continue searching out new ideas from new books and new sources but don’t forget that in the end, it is always first and foremost about just plain leadership.