I am an avid reader, although not really of business books, even though I own two businesses. I would never go seeking a business book in the management section of a book store or Amazon and I don’t have a lot of free time to squander on something I don’t enjoy — my clear preference is novels, which let me escape from the trials of owning a business.However, through my networking circle, a book was recommended to me: “Leadership in Wonderland.” I was surprised at how entertaining it was and how relevant it was for me – it increased my appreciation for my staff and made me curious about whether we could incorporate their hobbies and skills into some of our client projects. I've had my core team for 15, 18, and 22 years, so after a while you forget that they've developed and changed over time just as you have, and that everyone's roles in the business should be re-evaluated in that context. Reading the book opened up new ideas, new ways of servicing clients. We’ll see where this takes us. Meanwhile, the book was really fun.
Delightfully charming. This book provides an entrepreneurial story written as a fictional tale about Alice in Wonderland who struggles with her new business, Leaves-of-Wonderland, Purveyor of Fine Teas. As the owner and CEO of a new company, Alice has many struggles. To begin with, she does not know who to trust. She is uncertain and flat out ignorant about needing to mature, and she falls short in the area of being able to make the necessary changes to make good progress. She also struggles with distractions, quick to blame other animals, and she responds with childish anger as well as being impatient. Alice needs to become more knowledgeable in customer service instead of reacting defensively. Most of the chapters are amusing, but all of the chapters end with a helpful lesson in leadership for the reader to consider. In addition, each chapter ends with discussion questions that book clubs might find worth exploring as a group. Poor Alice faces adversity from all directions including disloyal employees, gossip, jealousy, mismanagement, and internal conflict. Finally, reality sets in when someone who is having a dream wakes up. Problems are best seen as opportunities to be solved. I like the advice on seeking good consultation and remembering to celebrate success. Great ending. I like the way this book provides a place for personal application. Business owners and mature people who have already learned many life lessons will find this book especially amusing because Alice is tossed to and fro in a world of creatures where she must either decide to let the shortcomings of other people and her own shortcomings bring her down or she can step up as a leader to provide solutions and aim for an environment that will bring forth much needed growth. My guess is that this book can also be good for people who genuinely want to learn more about what not to do as an entrepreneur. Alice has made many mistakes, but she finds a way to bounce back from them by learning how to become a better leader. It has been said that those who are the most successful are the ones who have made the most mistakes and learned from them. I like the quote, “Winners never quit, and quitters never win.” It isn’t the person who makes the most mistakes that wins, it’s the person who has the courage to learn from mistakes and not give up that wins. Leadership must have a sense of direction where others will follow. In addition to leadership, entrepreneurials will need business skills such as accounting, marketing, and legal advice. Little Alice has a lot to learn!
A creative and enjoyable way to learn about people dynamics. Although I may not yet be in a leadership position in my career, I could relate personally to the story from my experience in grad school class government: trying to develop conversations between different grad school programs, students and professors. It takes more than charm and passion – you must try to understand and be willing to listen to different points of view to come up with a collaborative solution. Normally, I wouldn’t be reading a management book after recently finishing a demanding graduate school program; I’d rather read something light or that directly relates to my field. However, once I started “Leadership in Wonderland” and it brought back lessons I learned in graduate school government without realizing it at the time – and in such an engaging way, using the characters from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – it was not only fun but supportive. It made me recognize that I still have much to learn, and helped me feel optimistic about my future.
Leadership in Wonderland" is a must read for all regardless of whether they are just beginning their careers or are seasoned veterans. While the classic tale "Alice in Wonderland" serves as the back drop making for a more entertaining read, the lessons learned are invaluable. From improving decision making and communication skills to becoming a better team leader, there are many takeaways that will enhance the reader's business (and life)skills.
I really enjoyed the book as a learning vehicle and as a standalone story. I am working with some young leaders and the lessons are so appropriate for this audience.I've recommended the book to a number of Human Resource leaders who are working with young leaders
Writing and speaking about the changing landscape of organizations to meet future demands, I found this book to be a delightful and fantastic read for any new leader who wants to succeed in this new business environment of inclusivity and collaboration.When storytelling is such an important quality to reach across generations and diverse cultures, the story of Alice, relates to us all. We all understand what it’s like to be a newcomer to a group, have to build trust, make our own individual mark, and lead a group which needs to be led. Along the way, in Alice’s journey, as the workbook develops our own journey, we learn how to problem-solve in continually new territory. It’s the perfect analogy to hone the skills that will be needed for the business future to come.
I love this book! It takes a boring subject like management and makes it extraordinary!!! The concepts are palpable and fun even! Thank you Susan for creating this book that allows even a child to understand the concept of great management and communication! I highly recommend this book.
A very good read on leadership in business. This book has great examples of leadership at all levels and the struggles that can arise at any company of any size. It makes me want to go back and reread Alice in Wonderland to compare characters too!
How refreshing to read a leadership book in one-sitting. It's filled with take-aways written around a story that many of us grew up reading and didn't make the connection between Alice and leadership. What I appreciate most is the clear layout: Chapter. Summary. What Alice Learns. Discussion Questions. Short Answer Questions. We've all met the real-life characters somewhere in our professional lives. Here's a way to unpack each person's role in a company and guide us to "Discover your inner leader."
This is such a clever book. Loaded with wisdom and good humor - highly recommended for leaders and people managers of all stripes.
Leadership in Wonderland works equally well as a self help guide for the newly divorced or anyone feeling more than a little overwhelmed by life. By carefully disguising all the fears you have as belonging to the main character, you're given incredibly clever advice without having to admit you didn't know enough to ask any of the "right" questions. There are so many excellent suggestions it's hard to choose just a few. My favorites include not expecting yourself to be perfect in everything, owning up to your shortcomings and asking for help. Another is it's okay to be afraid of change, but you have to realize change is necessary for growth. It's not possible to run away from reality, painful though it may be. Courage isn't a lack of fear; it's doing that which scares you in spite of the fear. Sometimes faking confidence will help you feel confident. The first step in solving problems is a belief they can be solved. Dwelling in the past will not solve today's problems. Growth is a journey, not a destination. Self-motivation and sense of self comes from within. They are necessary for growth. If you are always seeking confirmation and acknowledgement from others, you become dependent upon them and miss the opportunity to trust yourself to make decisions. There is so much more to be learned from this book without the tedium and self-flagellation that accompanies so many self-help books. I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I did!
Storytelling is one of the most tried and true methods that makes us reflect on our own character and motivations. This book deftly and cleverly does just that, using the well-known protagonist of Alice and putting her on the journey that transforms her into a leader.While reading this book and answering the thought-provoking questions in the companion workbook, I was either reflecting on my own experiences or actively thinking about what I might do if placed in Alice's situation. This book refreshingly presents leadership concepts in a non-prescriptive manner, inviting the reader to decide what they think of Alice's journey and which leadership philosophies they should personally adopt. An entertaining and thoughtful read from beginning to end.
Leadership in Wonderland is a delightful, relevant book. I'm not a business book reader in general but Susan's approach made this an easy read with lots to chew on.
As someone who tends to be very skeptical of business books, I can tell you that this one will defy your expectations. The analogy to the Lewis Carroll classic at first are amusing, but as you dig deeper into the book, they are downright illuminating. For anyone who's struggled with leading teams with individuals who are demanding, particular, or atypical (read: all groups of individuals, especially of a certain age group : )), this is a book you will appreciate and cherish for its unique lessons and insights.
This book gives a refreshing perspective to most of the major issues leaders face today in the roles both as leaders in their own businesses and in larger companies. The book goes back to basics and gives specific strategies and exercises in the workbook, with a fun twist, to solve problems!The analogy to the Alice in Wonderland story is brilliant. It makes the complicated issues of leadership and business...a little less daunting. Kathy
Creative, engaging, and filled with smart examples of how to handle business dilemmas, office politics, employer/employee nuanced issues within any organization. A testament to what's important for one to become a smart, savvy leader. I only wish this kind of book was available when I was climbing through the ranks after my college days. It really affords one the opportunity to understand what's necessary for leadership.
I love that Leadership in Wonderland is more than a step by step model of successful leadership. Instead, through a delightful way of looking at different personalities this book offers different perspectives of effective leadership. One model does not fit all. This book is great as a solo read or to spark conversations within a small group learning environment.
Susan and Rebecca have infused their experience and wisdom into this well structured, easy-to-follow book and this can be witnessed even while examining just few first pages.