Richard Couto

A leadership scholar talks about the essential qualities of a leader and how complexity keeps humanity moving forward.

Born or Made?

“Well, we have to start with the basics: willing to take initiative, some sense of values, some sense of the common good. Now once you get past those, what makes some initiatives effective, successful, and others not in that they are not all bound to the leader, obviously; it’s the context. Why was Rosa Parks’ effort successful but a woman six months earlier was not successful? It has to do with the characteristics of the people.”

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Leaders Are Readers

  • “One of the primary reasons I write is to give voice to people who I think have a very interesting story that touches on the heart of who we think we are as Americans.”

Books I Recommend

  • The Emperor's New Clothes
    —by Hans Christian Andersen
    (Fiction; Fairy Tale)
  • The Powers to Lead
    —by Joseph Nye
    (Non-Fiction; Leadership)
  • A Very Short Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book About Studying Leadership
    —by Brad Jackson
    (Non-Fiction; Leadership)
  • Leadership and the New Science
    —by Margaret Wheatley
    (Non-Fiction; Leadership)
  • Leadership Without Easy Answers
    —by Ron Heifetz's
    (Non-Fiction; Leadership)
  • Leading Minds
    —by Howard Gardner
    (Non-Fiction; Biography)
  • Leadership for the Twenty-First Century
    —by Joseph C. Rost
    (Non-Fiction; Leadership)
  • The Journey to the East
    —by Hermann Hess
    (Fiction; Classics)
  • The Call of Service
    —by Robert Coles
    (Non-Fiction; Philosophy)

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