Book Review: ‘Lead Without Followers’ Dave Ursillo

A few months ago, the very lovely Dave Ursillio sent me a copy of his first book ‘Lead Without Followers’. I just got around to reading it over the weekend and enjoyed it so much that I’ve since paid full price.

Dave’s thesis is that we need a new definition for leadership. He combines his personal story as a former ‘politico’ in Washington DC with a portrait of global leadership and ultimately challenges us all to step up as leaders in our own lives.

It’s (necessarily) a US-centric book – the author’s experience lies in Washington DC – but is globally relevant. The ‘America as the savior of the world’ narrative irked me a little.

It’s not the best book I’ve every read, but Dave’s determination, grit and passion to self-publish a book and his ongoing, undying commitment to his message challenged me to step up and deliver too. It’s a book about leadership & the author is living that ideal. If his goal was to challenge us, as individuals, to step up and lead, he achieves it.

What I most enjoyed was Dave’s personal story. I related to his story of feeling lost after graduating in the middle of an economic crash, albeit with a healthy CV. It was a time of seismic change & with the election, of Barack Obama, ‘Hope had a face’.’My college education was wonderful and irreplaceable, but college tuition never came close to buying me preparedness for this kind of world,’ he writes. He reveals his struggles with mental illness and his challenge to marry his passion & ideals with paid work.

Dave’s leadership reminds me of the John Quincy Adams quote:

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.”

His thesis is that real leadership originates within. The unique combination of gratitude (a personal habit I really advocate for) and giving are the key to real leadership. To lead in your life, without needing followers.

Check out Dave’s wonderful blog for more fabulous free content and you can find out more about the book (as well as a bunch of free interviews) here.

Disclosure: As I mentioned above, Dave generously gave me a copy of his book as a gift. He didn’t ask for a book review (not to mind a positive one!) so that’s all me! I enjoyed the book so much that I’ve since paid full price.

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