Several days while passing through the Denver airport (with at least two books in my bag), I stopped in a bookstore to browse.
I left with two books, including, How the States Got Their Shapes by Mark Stein.
Because I like American history (thanks to my Grandma) and geography (thanks to my Dad), I was sure I would enjoy this book.
I was right, it was fabulous. As I indulged myself in the stories and history that lead to all of the boundaries of our states, I realized something beyond my personal interest.
There are leadership lessons in those boundaries! The book shares insights on leadership communication, foresight, strategic planning, negotiation and leadership influence.
As just one example, when you look at the map, once you know the stories, you see a evidence of principled, value-based organizational leadership sustained over decades, trying to create states as equal as possible, (consider the similar heights of many western states, the virtually equal sizes of Mississippi/Alabama and Arizona/New Mexico).
Is this a book that can form the basis of your supervisor leadership or executive leadership coaching program?
Not at all.
But if you like history and geography, and like to have some interesting trivia for your next cocktail party, you will find enjoyment and value in this book.
But if you look through the eyes of leadership, you will find a bit more.
I’ll never look at a map of the U.S.A. the same way again, and I’ll be a better leader because of it.