Literature creates better leaders

“Literature gives students a much more realistic view of what’s involved in leading” than many business books on leadership… Literature lets you see leaders and others from the inside. You share the sense of what they’re thinking and feeling. In real life, you’re usually at some distance and things are prepared, polished. With literature, you can see the whole messy collection of things that happen inside our heads.”

“Students … react to characters in the book as if they’re real people. There’s a much deeper engagement in the actual material. It’s not about whether the debits and credits add up. They’re making comments about who they are and what they care about, and how they feel about the world that differs from their fellow students. It also reflects the student’s own character and judgment.”

“Reading literature, and discussing complex issues with others, “teaches that people who are intelligent can see things differently … and this happens in organizations, too; you need to be open and listen to these differences.” Leaders have to recognize their biases and blind spots.”


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