Book Review - Lead Like A Pirate by Christopher Novak
On the surface, the book Lead Like a Pirate! Leadership Secrets of the Pirates of St. Croix by Christopher Novak appears to be yet another leadership book where the author takes some character from history and attributes a leadership system to them. But having said that, I have to admit that I really enjoyed this short read on solid leadership and teamwork skills. And if you've never read a book or taken any courses on leadership and teamwork, this will serve as a decent starting point for you.
Leaders, Legends, and Loot; Pirate Team Leadership Model; Secret 1 - The Captain; Secret 2 - The Crew; Secret 3 - The Mission; Secret 4 - The Strategy; Secret 5 - The Treasure; Scorecard; Extended Insights; Lead Like A Pirate! Training Ideas; Notes from the Captain's Log; About the Author; Bring Pirates to your Next Event
Novak approaches the topic of leadership from the perspective of a fictitious pirate captain named Tiger Eye Taylor. Taylor shares his secrets and philosophy on leading a crew, getting them to focus on the mission, bringing them together as a cohesive group for the success of all, and how the crew should be rewarded. At the end of each chapter/secret, the reader is presented with the option of three different choices of people to bring aboard (or reactions to situations). Each one is described in detail in terms of their pros and cons, and you should then make your choice as to which one would work best for the team. Then at the end of the book, the real author explains the proper choices in each case, while also showing how the other two "wrong" choices would affect the crew and the mission.
If you've read more than a couple business leadership books, there shouldn't be any new deep insights for you here. The choices of who you should pick or how you should react *should* be clearly obvious after reading what makes a good leader or follower. However, if you're working with a group that already show signs of major dysfunctional behavior, presenting these common sense ideas in a pirate theme might be what it takes to get people to shift their normal reactions a bit. From there, you can build on the small improvements and see where you can go.
Personally, I saw the book as interesting in terms of how a team of pirates might be compared to a successful business unit. It's not the normal analogy you'd make, and I don't think I'll ever view Captain Jack Sparrow in quite the same way again. :) For the short time investment involved, this is a good book to consider to get your "crew" formed and your leadership established.