Snapshots of Great Leadership: Stories of Historical Leaders, by Jon Howell

April 27, 2012, by COB Staff

Snapshots of Great Leadership by Jon Howell (Publication Date: July 20, 2012) Psychology Press

Snapshots of Great Leadership by Jon Howell (Publication Date: July 20, 2012) Psychology Press

Snapshots of Great Leadership

New book by Jon Howell: Publication date July 20, 2012, published by Psychology Press.

International Leadership Association

Excerpts from ILAs Leadership Perspectives webinar description, April 27, 2012:

While Snapshots contains stories of great historical leaders (e.g., Churchill, Gandhi, Lincoln), there are more contemporary leaders included such as Mary Kay Ash and Mark Zuckerberg, and some who are relatively unknown. In addition to the great leaders who championed positive social change and led nations to greatness, there are snapshots of bad leaders and leadership (e.g., Hitler, Idi Amin).

Jon Howell, Professor Emeritus of management in the College of Business at New Mexico State University (NMSU)

Jon Howell, Professor Emeritus of management in the College of Business at New Mexico State University (NMSU)

Most of the stories describe great leaders who accomplished amazing feats such as creating, preserving or changing a nation or industry, or saving a group of people from exploitation or annihilation. A few of these stories describe bad leaders who brought death, destruction or ruin to scores or thousands of people. In retrospect, the disastrous effects of these bad leaders are no less astounding than the incredible accomplishments of the great leaders.

Howell describes who these leaders were, how they developed, what they accomplished, and how they did it. For each leader, he refers to existing leadership theories to help explain their leadership attributes, tactics and behavior as well as their effects on others and their environment.

Editorial Review Excerpts

“Jon Howell is a well known researcher in the leadership field who has done a great service to students of leadership with this new book. He has plowed through a huge body of knowledge, and given students learning points and insights that no one before him had noticed. Jon has revealed the human side of leadership….’ – Steve Kerr, Provost, Chancellor University, Senior Advisor, Goldman Sachs.

‘What do Steve Jobs, Mother Teresa, Abraham Lincoln, Pat Summit, Geronimo, and Konosuke Matsushita have in common? Maybe several things, but, as the author makes clear, all have been great leaders in widely diverse settings, circumstances, and organizations. They and their life stories, along with 19 other remarkable leaders from all walks of life, are engagingly profiled in this extremely readable book….” – Lyman Porter, University of California, Irvine.

“I teach leadership at the undergraduate and graduate levels. I think Jon Howell has done all faculty teaching leadership a huge favor by compiling this book of outstanding leaders (and a few bad ones) in Snapshots of Great Leadership… This book saves countless hours trying to amass the backgrounds and experiences of extraordinary leaders to use in our leadership classes.” – Leanne Atwater, Chairperson and Professor, Department of Management, University of Houston.

“…This book makes leadership theory and research come alive with a host of compelling cases, present and past, from a variety of walks of life including business, government, the military, sports, and religion… Managers and executives will find the cases intriguing. They shed light on leadership that goes beyond what people commonly know, or think they know, about well-known, and some not-so-well-known entrepreneurs, CEOs, and officials.” – Manuel London, Dean, College of Business, State University of New York at Stony Brook.

“We’ve needed a resource like this for a long time. The snapshots provide compelling illustrations of different types of leaders and their actions…including ‘bad’ leaders….” – James Weber, Management Department, GR Herberger Business School, St. Cloud State University.


Jon Howell is Professor Emeritus of management in the College of Business at New Mexico State University (NMSU). He received his MBA from the University of Chicago and his Ph.D. from the University of California at Irvine. He taught and conducted research on leadership for 31 years and was previously the Bank of America Distinguished Professor of Management. He received awards for excellence in teaching and research at NMSU. Professor Howell has published a leadership textbook titled Understanding Behaviors for Effective Leadership (2nd edition, 2006, Pearson Prentice Hall) as well as numerous book chapters and articles in the Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Leadership Quarterly, Organizational Dynamics, Journal of Management, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of World Business and other journals. He has received awards for his research from the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Academy of Management, the Center for Creative Leadership, and the Global Leadership Advancement Center. He served on the editorial board for Leadership Quarterly and Journal of World Business. He is a country co-investigator on the Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness (GLOBE) Project which was led by the late Robert House of the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. His primary research interests are leadership and followership, substitutes for leadership, and leadership across cultures.

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