Article of LA Times taken from Financial Times about a recently published book : "Paths to Power, How Insiders and Outsiders Shaped American Business Leadership"
Where do leaders come from? How are they formed and trained? How do they rise to positions of power?
These are significant questions as business leadership becomes an increasingly scarce resource. With some observers suggesting that business is facing a deficit of leadership, any book that sheds light on the processes of leadership development is welcome.
In "Paths to Power," three Harvard Business School academics describe how American business leaders have risen to prominence.
They studied a thousand leaders, ranging from figures such as James Stillman, president of National City Bank (now Citigroup Inc.) in the 19th century, to contemporaries such as Michael Dell, chairman and founder of personal computer maker Dell Inc.
This book describes the backgrounds of such leaders — refreshingly, many are less well-known figures — and how factors such as birthplace, gender, race, class, religion and education helped them to positions of power.
The various factors are treated in separate chapters, which show how the comparative importance of each factor has changed...