Every Leader is an Artist – Provocative new book by O’Malley and Baker from McGraw-Hill provides insights for project managers


12 November 2012 – McGraw-Hill Professional in the USA has announced the publication of a provocative new book by Dr. Michael O’Malley and Dr. William F. Baker in the United States.  Entitled EVERY Leader IS AN ARTIST, this book could be useful to those in the project management field, where leadership and teamwork are so critical.

How can Monet and Mondrian inform your leadership abilities?  Can reading Jane Austen and Charles Dickens contribute to your becoming a more effective manager, department head, CEO or project manager?  If your leadership style was a painting, could it be sold on the market?

According to this new book, the same traits that distinguish great art from mediocrity distinguish exceptional leaders from the ordinary.  Likewise, those individuals who regard themselves as works in progress – like masterpieces in the making – bring more passion, skill, and ultimately return to their organizations and teams than those who think their work is complete.

An innovative study of leadership that marries business and art, EVERY LEADER IS AN ARTIST: How the World’s Greatest Artists Can Make You a More Creative Leader makes the compelling case that many of the attributes that make a person a great leader – and are in an entirely different category from personality – are those that make someone a superior artist, as well.

Like artists, leaders put their work on display every day, in front of judgmental, and discriminating, audiences. Like artists, leaders strive to be better and perfect over time. It isn’t something you wholly acquire with the receipt of a graduate degree or corporate title. Nor is leadership a skill that can be honed through osmosis: passive observation and tenure. Excellence in any craft requires greater dedication than that.  Authors Michael O’Malley and William F. Baker combine their varied management and leadership backgrounds and perspectives to provide unique 12-point criteria for the study of leadership, among them Intention, Focus, Authenticity, Skill, and Imagination.

The book doesn’t have a universal rating scale that measures leadership from 1 to 100 – for the same reasons there isn’t a scale for quantifying art: it can’t be done. However, the authors have drawn up a list of twelve criteria that can be used to measure the essentials of great art and great leadership. Using a dozen accessible and hand-picked art-related vignettes that reflect each of principles in the authors’ criteria, the illustrations are insightful and educational, and should inspire you, leader, to apply the principle to your business practice.

EVERY LEADER IS AN ARTIST aims to inspire leadership that enriches, informs, inspires, and educates, like great artists across time.  It’s an interesting read with a great message for aspiring leaders.

Dr. Michael O’Malley is Vice President in the Human Capital practice at Sibson Consulting.  He previously taught as an adjunct and professor at Columbia Business School and the University of Colorado.  During the course of his career, he has advised over 200 companies and written extensively in the areas of organizational change and leadership. Formerly, he was the Executive Editor for Business, Economics, and Law at Yale University Press.

Dr. William F. Baker directs the Bernard L. Schwartz Center for Media, Education, and Public Policy at Fordham University, where he is also Journalist-in-Residence and a professor in the Graduate School of Education. For his work in broadcasting he has won 7 Emmys. In 2007, he was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) Management Hall of Fame and received the Mark Schubart Award from the Lincoln Center Institute, given to individuals who most exemplify the Institute’s ideal of integrating the arts with education.

McGraw-Hill Professional is a leading global provider of print and electronic content and services for the business, technical, and medical communities. Its offerings include reference and certification books for all professional and educational disciplines and online solutions on business and financial, medical and health, engineering, and scientific topics. McGraw-Hill offers a full line of project management books and have established a website to offer discounts to PMForum readers at project management books for PMWT subscribers.

EVERY LEADER IS AN ARTIST: How the World’s Greatest Artists Can Make You a More Creative Leader, by Dr. Michael O’Malley & Dr. William F. Baker; McGraw-Hill Professional; June, 2012; Hardcover, $22.00; ISBN: 978-0-07-178929-5. More about the book at https://www.mhprofessional.com/product.php?cat=106&isbn=0071778578.