Leadership: Texas Hold 'Em Style
Andrew J. Harvey  More Info

What is a Hero?: The American Heroes Press Short Story Anthology
Hi Tech Criminal Justice  More Info

 In case you want to know more about poker, read the Poker Rules at pokerworks.com.

The Best Leadership Book

Table of Contents

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This page provides the book's table of contents and a brief synopsis of the chapter information.  Note that the underlined chapters are hyperlinked to additional information and web-based activities related to that chapter.

The Goal of Leadership
(Two of Spades)

Synopsis: This chapter explains the layout of the book and sets the tone by explaining how poker is an analogy for leadership. The chapter then concentrates on defining leadership.

(Three of Spades)

Synopsis: Whether wining a game or leading an organization, vision is critical to success. The chapter emphasizes the necessity and impact of vision. It provides some guidance on vision formation.

Clear Direction
(Four of Spade)

Synopsis: Direction is synonymous with instruction in this chapter. Providing followers with clear task instruction helps them and the organization be more successful. The chapter provides information on giving direction, managing feedback and broaches the subject of task delegation.

(Five of Spades)

Synopsis: Types, sources and uses of leader power are explained. The relationship between the types of power, the situation and follower are explored.

Pick your Battles
(Six of Spades)

Synopsis: Battling refers to inter and intra organizational struggles. When, how and why a leader might want to engage in the use of resources for battle are explored.

Accomplish More by Doing Less
(Seven of Spades)

Synopsis: Prioritizing tasks to achieve goals and objectives are the focus of this chapter. The chapter demonstrates that an organized and focused leader can accomplish more with less energy and resources.

Determination and Adversity
(Eight of Spades)

Synopsis: A primary lesson in determination and adversity is to realize that any hand can win depending on the skill of the player. The chapter discusses a leaders role in motivating followers through difficult situations and realizing the difference between being determined and stubborn.

 Life-long Learning
(Nine of Spades)

Synopsis: A leaders place in a changing environment is enhanced by life-long learner. Leader competence through education, training and experience are emphasized in this chapter.

(Ten of Spades)

Synopsis: Leader and follower dependability are explored. The chapter demonstrates how the two are intertwined and necessary for solid leadership.

Decision Making
(Jack of Spades)

Synopsis: Decision making techniques and models are placed in context with the consequences and time constraints of decisions.

When you Don't Know
(Queen of Spades)

Synopsis: No one, including leaders, know all the answers. The chapter discusses the value of a leader admitting they dont know. Advice is offered on how to approach situations wherein the leader doesnt know the answer.

 Leadership Approaches
(King of Spades)

Synopsis: Leader personality and style are compared against follower ability and the environment. Advice regarding leadership style and subordinate leader choices are explored.

(Ace of Spades)

Synopsis: Honor as the foundation of reputation is explored against the backdrop of other issues such as integrity, work ethic and task competence.

Action vs. Words
(Two of Hearts

Synopsis: Leaders actions are demonstrated to be far more important than their words. The chapter emphasizes that credibility of action is the single most significant determinant of whether a leader will be followed over time.

(Three of Hearts)

Synopsis: Effective communication as the most challenging issue faced by organizations is explored as a never-ending process. Feedback loops, richness of media and coordinating communication across geography and time are discussed.


(Four of Hearts)

Synopsis: Change as inevitable and stressful for people and organizations in context with resistance to change. Factors both enabling and disabling change are explored.

Dissent vs. Dissension
(Five of Hearts)

Synopsis: Healthy criticism from followers is compared against dissent. Openness to honest criticism, conflict resolutions skills and decision making are explored.

(Six of Hearts)

Synopsis: Integrity and honesty are discussed. Reasons for developing and maintaining a reputation as having honesty are explored in context with speaking out on morale and ethical issues.

(Seven of Hearts)

Synopsis: A leaders reasonability to have an upbeat attitude toward the work place is viewed against the impact on followers. Techniques and advice on maintaining a proper attitude are explored.


(Eight of Hearts)

Synopsis: Fairness is discussed as process. Employee complaints about favoritism are viewed against the backdrop of communication skills, adherence to policy and enforcement of workplace rules.

Praise and Criticism
(Nine of Hearts)

Synopsis: Praise and criticism are explored as the two edges of leader to follower feedback sword. Advice is given on techniques to deliver both.

(Ten of Hearts)

Synopsis: Empathy is viewed as continually developing a sense of how people feel about what is happening. Leader empathy is demonstrated as a tool to improve employee relations and improve leader communication.

Fun on the Job

(Jack of Hearts)

Synopsis: This chapter demonstrates that happy people are more vital, creative, and productive. Leaders are shown that through the use of fun, followers are more engaged with organizational goals and are likely to perform better.

Moral Courage
(Queen of Hearts)

Synopsis: The chapter defines moral courage as recognizing your values and beliefs and not letting them be compromised regardless of the circumstances. The pitfalls of situational ethics are contrasted with strong belief systems.

Twenty- five
(King of Hearts)

Synopsis: Morale is specifically defined and its impact on the workplace is explored. Specific advice is given to leaders on improving overall morale.

The Little Things
(Ace of Hearts)

Synopsis: The power of demonstrating concern and care for employees through small actions is explained. Issues such as recognition, praise and reward are placed in context with organizational objectives and goals.


(Two of Diamonds)

Synopsis: Teamwork is viewed as essential in any business environment. The chapter demonstrates how any business model, including work units and individuals separated by time and distance, benefit from teamwork.

People are Watching
(Three of Diamonds)

Synopsis: Leader actions often unknowingly communicate messages to followers. Through their simple, daily actions, leaders send messages to followers on a myriad of issues, from work standards to behavioral expectations.

When the Cat is Away
(Four of Diamonds)

Synopsis: Developing and mentoring staff so that they can accomplish the mission without the leader is explored as a paramount leader task. The concept of developing the next generation of leaders is reinforced, also.

Surround Yourself with Excellence
(Five of Diamonds)

Synopsis: Finding, hiring and retaining the best possible followers is emphasized. The search for complimentary talents, standardized hiring practices and staff development are explored in context of grooming the leaders replacement.


(Six of Diamonds)

Synopsis: Involving followers in the decision making process is viewed as a method to gain consensus on action. Engendering an open work place where expertise and opinions is shared is seen as a means of gaining consensus and avoiding group think.

Recognizing Your Weaknesses
(Seven of Diamonds)

Synopsis: Self-evaluation is demonstrated as a technique to determine leader needs in training, education and experience. It is also viewed as a way in which a leader can hire staff with complimentary talents.

(Eight of Diamonds)

Synopsis: Promotions are explored as a means to retain qualified staff, send messages to followers on which behaviors are rewarded and further organizational goals and objectives.

Motivating Others
(Nine of Diamonds)

Synopsis: How and why people are motivated is explained. The chapter explores the different leader techniques for motivation.

Empowerment and Delegation
(Ten of Diamonds)

Synopsis: Empowerment is defined as pushing decision making authority to the lowest appropriate level within the organization. Delegation skills are reinforcement through the lens of empowerment.

Developing People
(Jack of Diamonds)

Synopsis: Most leaders do not have the luxury of defining their staff. Working to develop the followers at hand is seen as critical. Techniques for follower development are discussed.

Supporting People
(Queen of Diamonds)

Synopsis: The difference between emotional and technical support is used as a means discuss communication skills, problem solving and staff development.

Building Loyalty
(King of Diamonds)

Synopsis: Developing and inspiring loyalty is displayed as a means to reduce turnover, improve productivity and increase follower participation in organizational goals.

Treat People Unequally
(Ace of Diamonds)

Synopsis: The concept of treating people unequally is used as a means to explore how certain behaviors are rewarded while others are sanctioned.

(Two of Clubs)

Synopsis: Leader and follower accountability are discussed as hallmarks of responsibility. Acceptance of responsibility for mistakes is viewed as healthy in an environment where a leader engenders accountability.

Saying No
(Three of Clubs)

Synopsis: Decision making is further explored within the context of having to deny a followers request. Additionally, techniques for denying requests are discussed.

The Importance of Failure
(Four of Clubs)

Synopsis: Failure is explored within the context of individual and organizational growth. Learning from failure as opposed to assigning blame is viewed as healthy for both individuals and organizations.

Competing Concerns
(Five of Clubs)

Synopsis: Managing competing resources is explored against the planning process. A leaders ability to organize, plan and act are reinforced through managing competing concerns.

(Six of Clubs)

Synopsis: Advice and techniques for creating an innovative environment are discussed. The power of innovation is demonstrated through leader follower communication.

(Seven of Clubs)

Synopsis: A lack of leader consistency is ranked as a common follower complaint. Adherence to policies and procedures, as well as organizational goals and objectives is explored as a means to increase leadership consistency.

Proper Equipment
(Eight of Cubs)

Synopsis: Providing followers with fundamental tools, equipment and skills is explained as a primary leader responsibility.

Micromanaging Away Imagination, Innovation, and individuality
(Nine of Clubs)

Synopsis: Delegation, accountability, communication and staff development skills are reinforced by contrasting them with micromanagement.

Active Management
(Ten of Clubs

Synopsis: The times, circumstances and necessity of leaders have eyes on an issue or problem are defined as active management. Techniques for obtaining information through observation are explored.

(Jack of Clubs)

Synopsis: Leaders as human beings are susceptible to emotion. The danger of anger and ways in which a leader can overcome angry are discussed.

(Queen of Clubs)

Synopsis: Healthy stress is viewed as a necessary component of the workplace. The chapter looks at how and why too much stress can create problems for both the leader and the follower.

(King of Clubs)

Synopsis: Not every follower is a fit for every organization. Specifics on how and when to terminate employment are discussed. Furthermore, firing is seen as a way to reinforce organizational beliefs and values.

Putting it Together
(Ace of Clubs)

Synopsis: Final thoughts on leadership are expressed. By cross-referencing multiple issues this chapter is a capstone reading experience.


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