A great resource for leaders in any field, The Parker Principles: 10 Leadership Force Multipliers by Mel Parker, goes through ten aspects and personality features of any good leader by using the amazing and inspiring career that the author has had. There are a lot of books out there that talk about leadership characteristics in various angles to try to help leaders improve their skill set, however, this book is an asset to the field and different from other books in this non-fiction niche. The book goes into practical details about how the author has utilized this top ten list of skills and assets which will be beneficial to the reader. The story itself is inspirational as well as educational. Any leader would do well to try to utilize the skill set Parker has brought to the table.
There are a lot of strengths to this work. The first one that I enjoyed was the story of the author’s career in the military mostly, but also in the other leadership positions he has had in his career. The unique career Parker had in the military really demonstrates the skill set he discusses. I also found it interesting that in his research he shows that the military is our most trusted institution, and that he is able to show us those leaderships characteristics in his own military career gives great creditability to his work. The examples also make the skill set easier to remember. I also really enjoyed the brief summaries at the end of the chapter. The first several chapters are very dense in material that will be new to the reader, and honestly, it left me a little overwhelmed. I was happy to have a checklist at the end to make sure I hadn’t missed something important as well as making sure I had understood the material. The chapters are outlined well with subheading and are easy to follow. The book is also edited well and has that distinct mark of being a researched and well written non-fiction piece. The way the material is researched and approached is unique to other books in the field and will be a good resource for leaders in any business field to read.
Of course with any work, there are areas that a reader won’t care for and I have a couple. I didn’t enjoy so many quotes within the book. While they were on topic for what was being discussed, I felt that so many of them took me away from the story and points the author was making. I wanted to read more of Parker’s story than having it broken with so many quotes, even if they were on point. I almost felt disappointed at times when I was running into them as I knew I was going to stop and read them and maybe not be able to coherently follow Parker’s exciting stories. The only other complaint I have, and the author is aware of this, is that the first chapter in particular, but the first several chapters collectively, have a lot of information in them and the acronyms, while arguably helpful, will give you a brain freeze. It might be helpful if the author adds a glossary of sorts to the book to help with the acronyms, maybe even at the front of the book as I have seen some psychology books do with terms that are going to be relevant to their theory.
In all, this is a well written and very thoroughly researched work that presents a skill set imperative to any leader, therefore serving as a welcome addition to any resource materials a leader will want to read to improve their lives and performance. The career of the author and its practical application to any other leaders knowledge is incredible and beneficial.