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CDLE Resources


The following readings are available from the Command and Leadership Collection of the Vane Green Library, Australian Defence College. Many of these books can be accessed via the Defence Library Service. AMAZON is also a great place to get your own copy to keep.

  • General Leadership
  • Strategic Leadership
  • Command
  • Military Ethics
This list of readings is not meant to be exhaustive as literally thousands of books exist on the topic of leadership, with new 'how to' books appearing on the shelves of Australian bookshops regularly. The books below have been selected simply to whet your appetite and hopefully contribute to your development as a leader. ate.

Recommended Reading

General Leadership

Bass, Bernard M. (1998) Transformational leadership: Industrial, military and educational impact. London, Lawrence Erlbaum.

Bass compares the outcomes under transformational leadership compared to transactional leadership. He looks at areas such as commitment, involvement loyalty and performance and how each style promotes these characteristics in personnel. He discusses stress under each style, contingencies of each style, how they interact with the organisational culture, development and training of the transformational leader.

The book uses examples and references from military, industrial and educational fields, offering appropriate analysis to the needs of the course requirements at ADC.

Bass, Bernard M. (1990) Bass and Stogdill's handbook of leadership: theory, research and managerial applications. 3rd Ed. New York, The Free Press.

Bass gives a thorough investigation into the major concepts and theories of leadership, giving particular focus to personal traits, transactional and situational leaders, charismatic and inspirational leadership. There is also significant discussion of women as leaders and cultural effects on leadership styles.

Bennis, Warren and Nanus, Burt. (1985) Leaders: the strategies for taking charge. New York, Harper Perennial.

Bennis and Nanus outline four strategies for leadership that they see as the essential qualities of great leaders:

  • Attention through vision,
  • Meaning through communication,
  • Trust through positioning, and
  • The deployment of self
Bennis, Warren, Parikh, Jagdish and Lessem, Ronnie. (1994) Beyond leadership: balancing economics, ethics and ecology. Cambridge, Mass: Blackwell Publishers.

This book looks at the 'new paradigm' manager and balancing the new ideas with the conventional wisdom of management strategies. It covers areas of personal development, group dynamics and organisational learning. The perspectives are taken from both Western and Japanese views on leadership and management and considers the 'global' context.

Daft, Richard L. (1999) Leadership: theory and practice. New York: Dryden Press.

Leadership: theory and practice is a textbook for students on leadership concepts. It looks at a number of the leadership theories and models, offering examples of these and other relevant readings on the topics. He looks at research perspectives of individual leadership, leaders as visionaries, as social architect, as a relationship builder and leading change and transformation. He also looks at the personal side of leadership.

Heifetz, Ronald A. (1995) Leadership without easy answers. Cambridge, Mass. : Belknap Press.

A highly sought after book during previous leadership exercises, Heifetz looks at the influences on leadership in the uncertain and changing times we live in. He looks at a strategy for leadership in any situation, whether from a position of power, or a role without authority. He also looks at the expectations we have of our leaders and how our own views of authority need to be realistic in times of crisis. He looks at many examples where leaders have succeeded or failed in leading and outlines his reasons for these assessments. The examples range from presidents to military leaders to students and doctors.

Hesselbein, Frances, Goldsmith, Marshall and Beckhard, Richard (Eds).(1996) The leader of the future: new visions, strategies, and practices for the next era. San Francisco, Jossey-Bass

This is a collection of essays, written specifically for the book, on leadership for the future. It discusses topics such as how leaders emerge, how they motivate, take charge, manage change and the leadership and organisational culture. There are 31 essays by consultants and executives who give their views on leadership.

Hiebert, Murray and Klatt, Bruce. (2001) The encyclopaedia of leadership: practical guide to popular leadership theories and techniques. New York, McGraw-Hill

The encyclopedia of leadership gives short summaries for 130 leaderships theories and techniques. The book in an easy to read style, pointing you in the direction of what leadership skills you require, rather than a list of different models and techniques that the reader may not be familiar with. It is designed more as a workbook rather than an encyclopaedia and includes worksheets for improving your skills in each characteristic.

Kotter, John P. (1996) Leading change. Boston, Mas., Harvard Business School Press

Kotter looks at how businesses are constantly facing change but how management methods fail to take this challenge. He looks at why transformations fail and offers an eight -step process that organisations need to perform to achieve successful change. The book is written with personal insight from the author and what he has observed in of failures and successes in dealing the changing demands of the modern business environment.

Kuczmarski, Susan and Kuczmarski, Thomas. (1995) Values-based leadership. New Jersey, Prentice Hall

This book looks at ways of increasing motivation, employee satisfaction, combating low morale and provides tools for leaders and personnel to work together in a more satisfying relationship. Kuczmarski and Kuczmarski look at the importance of values in motivating staff and achieving the most both for the organisation and the individual.

Kraines, Gerald. (2001) Accountability leadership: How to strengthen productivity through sound managerial leadership. New Jersey, Career Press

Kraines explains what accountability leadership is and how it can be successfully applied to an organisation. It explores the concept of LEAD:

  • Leverage potential,
  • Engage commitment,
  • Align judgment; and
  • Develop capability.

The book looks at aligning an organisation with its strategy, enhancing capable, motivated and effective employees, ensuring accountable and value-adding managers who effectively engage employee commitment and a more adaptive but high performing team.

Nanus, Burt and Dobbs, Stephen. (1999) Leaders who make a difference: essential strategies for meeting the non-profit challenge

This book focuses on role of non-profit executives and the unique environment that they lead. Six key roles are seen as important to be an effective leader in non-profit organisations: visionary, strategist, change agent, coach, politician and fundraiser. Nanus and Dobbs give examples of how these roles have been used successfully and have been crucial to the success of the organisation.

Northouse, Peter G. (2003) Leadership: Theory and practice. Calif. USA: Sage

This is the latest edition of Northouse's textbook that analyses the major leadership theories. Each theory is applied to real organisations. New to this edition is a chapter that focuses on essential competencies of leaders; new research and case studies and further discussion of transformational leadership, team leadership, psychodynamic approach, women and leadership and leadership ethics.

Models covered include Trait approach, skills approach, style approach, situational approach, contingency theory, path-goal theory, leader-member exchange theory and transformational leadership.

(1998) Harvard Business Review on Leadership. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

This is a collection of articles by leading leadership authors such as Henry Mintzberg, John P. Kotter and Ronald Heifetz to give their views on what is the basis of good leadership. Topics include:

  • Managers and leaders: are they different?
  • The human side of management,
  • What leaders really do; and
  • The ways chief executive officers lead.
Sinclair, Amanda. (1998) Doing leadership differently. Victoria. Melbourne University Press

Sinclair looks at leadership in Australia, analysing the traditional values and why she believes it has failed to produce the best leaders for our country. She looks at gender and its role in shaping leadership style and how widening Australian leadership talent will benefit leaders and organisations.

Sinclair, Amanda and Wilson, Valerie. (2002) New faces of leadership. Vic: Melbourne University Press.

This book looks at the 30 Australian business leaders and their approaches to leadership. It explores the backgrounds of each leader and discusses the effects of personal experience on each leadership style.

Strategic Leadership

Black, J. Stewart and Gregersen, Hal B. (2002) Leading strategic change: breaking through the brain barrier. Sydney: Prentice-Hall.

Black and Gregersen look at changing an organisation by first changing the people within the organisation and their attitude towards their role. They argue that most organisational changes fail due to the individuals failing to change their work practices and processes. They discuss the pivotal role of the mental map and how this will influence how effectively change can occur.

Carter, Ashton B. and White, John P. (2001) Keeping the edge: managing defense for the future. London: MIT Press

Keeping the Edge looks at the support system behind the US military and how it's disrepair is threatening the effectiveness of the military and the national security. Pentagon reorganisation, weapons procurement, readiness, logistics and personnel are all examined. It looks at other government departments, as well as Defense, to improve effectiveness and minimise waste and fraud.

Handscombe, Richard and Norman, Philip. (1993) Strategic leadership: managing the missing links. 2nd Edition. Sydney: McGraw-Hill.

Strategic Leadership looks at the theory and practice of competitive performance and how to achieve this in the modern business world. Topics include crucial issues for top management, establishing strategic relationships, better use of technology and integrating business and management development.

Hubbard, Graham (2002) The First XI: winning organisations in Australia. Milton,QLD: Wrightbooks.

Eleven of Australia's best performing organisations are analysed for their winning strategies. These companies are long term performers and include Brambles, Harvey Norman, Lend Lease and Macquarie Bank. The book looks at why the Australian environment is different and what strategies these companies have used to understanding and succeed in this environment. It looks at the common elements of these strategies and how they can be used to lift the performance of other organisations.

Jan's, Nick. (2002) The real c-cubed: culture, careers and climate and how they affect capability. Canberra: Strategic and Defence Studies Centre

This book looks at the relationship between Culture, Careers and Climate, what Jan's argues are the three main elements of personnel capability. It looks specifically at the Army, following on from Project OPERA (Officer Professional Effectiveness Review for the Army) but is equally as relevant for the Navy and Army in tackling leadership challenges.

Marr, David and Wilkinson, Marian. (2003) Dark Victory. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin

Dark Victory looks at the events and behind-the-scenes manoeuvres during the Tampa incident and the following 10 weeks. Marr and Wilkinson are investigative journalists who have looked at the political machinations that were involved in dealing with both the Australian public and the refugees arriving in Australian waters.

Sarros, James C. and Moors, Rosetta J. (2001) Right from the top. Sydney: McGraw-Hill

Right from the top is an examination of Australian executives and how they deal with business domestically and internationally. The book is a series of case studies covering a diverse range of leadership styles. Topics include charismatic, transformational, strategic and shared leadership, leadership and culture, and leadership in non-profit organisations.

Sarros, James C. and Butchatsky, Oleh (1996) Leadership, finding out what makes them the best. Sydney: Harper Business.

Leadership is Sarros' first book examining in-depth Australian chief executives and issues in the Australian business world. The book includes extensive interviews and exercises regarding Breakthrough leadership. It looks at the influences in life that have affected leadership styles.

Sullivan, Gordon. (1996) Hope is not a method. New York: Broadway Books.

Gordon Sullivan was the US Army's Chief of Staff from 1991-1995 and Michael Harper was his strategic planner. During this time they engineered major transformation of the US Army. This book outlines their strategy for achieving this momentous task. It provides lessons that can be used in both military and business environments to tackle significant organisational change and the leadership values required for success.


Axelrod, Alan. (1999) Patton on leadership: strategic lessons for corporate warfare. Paramus, NJ: Prentice Hall Press

Axelrod gives a detailed analysis of General George S. Patton and his style of leadership. He gives an outline of his achievements and analyses the theories behind Patton's leadership, such as his approach to intelligence, coordination, training, planning and execution. The book gives a good insight into how Patton approached problems, lead and motivated his people.

Eisenhower, John S. D.(2003) General Ike: A personal reminiscence. New York: Free Press

John Eisenhower gives his perspective on his father's military career. He gives insight, from the people involved, on how Eisenhower operated as a military commander, his relations with soldiers and politicians and his ability to assess situations and act accordingly. It is a look at a leader from the many people who worked with him and how he commanded in the face of significant opposing views and political maneuvering.

Gordon, Michael R. (1995) The general's war: The inside story of the conflict in the Gulf. Boston: Little, Brown and Company.

Gordon, a defense correspondent for the New York Times, and Trainer, retired three-star Marine Corps general, give an account of the political conflict behind the Persian Gulf War. The book describes the conflict of interests and objectives from the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. Gordon and Trainer provide documentation of how the command failed to bring together a unified force and allowed a less than decisive victory over Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard.

Horner, David. (1996) Inside the war cabinet: Directing Australia's war effort 1939-1945. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin

David Horner looks at the War Cabinet and the Advisory War Council and their key roles in Australia's involvement in the Second World War. The politicians, military leaders and influential international figures that were involved in Australia's political and military commitments during the various phases of the war are discussed. Horner examines key battles where Australia's involvement was at its peak.

Horner, David. (1982) High Command: Australia and allied strategy 1939-1945. Sydney: Allen & Unwin

Another examination by David Horner, High Command looks at how the Australian command operated both militarily and politically during World War II. It is a look at the strategy-makers in both the political arena and on the battlefield. Horner analyses the roles Australia played in intelligence, defence and the political arena. He discusses internal conflicts such as clashes between the military and the government, international conflicts and behind the scenes manipulation.

Woodward, Bob. (1991) The commanders. Sydney: Simon & Schuster.

Woodward looks at the team of President George Bush, Dick Cheney, General Colin Powell, James A. Baker and Brent Scowcroft and how they used the military to forge a new era of US foreign policy. Woodward looks at the perspective of each key player, how he or she interacted with each other and the challenges they faced. It is a personal look at the challenges of leadership during an era where military strategy dominated the arena of US international relations.

Case Studies

F111 Reseal – Deseal

P3 Orion – Cocos Island

Blackhawk Down

Columbia and the Pig

The cultural, risk management, ethical and leadership issues associated with NASA's loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia in 2002 and the RAAF F-111 fuel tank deseal/reseal programme that ran for more than 25 years until 2000. Conducted at CDSS in April 2005.

Black Hawks Down

The leadership, ethical, risk and cultural issues relating to the Australian Army's loss of 18 men in the crash of two Black Hawks in 1996. Conducted at ACSC and CDSS in 2005.

Recommended Articles & Papers

Emotional Intelligence

Bartone, et al (2000). Big Five Personality and Leadership

This paper evaluates the influence of psychological hardiness, social judgment, and “Big Five” personality dimensions on leader performance in US military academy cadets at West Point. After controlling for general intellectual abilities, hierarchical regression results showed leader performance in the summer field training environment is predicted by Big Five extroversion, and hardiness, and a trend for social judgment. During the academic period context, leader performance is predicted by mental abilities, Big Five conscientiousness, and hardiness, with a trend for social judgment. Results confirm the importance of psychological hardiness, extroversion, and conscientiousness as factors influencing leader effectiveness, and suggest that social judgment aspects of emotional intelligence can also be important. These results also show that different Big Five personality factors may influence leadership in different organizational contexts.

Goleman (2000). Leadership that Gets Results

Daniel Goleman has contributed significantly to the research at literature on leadership and emotional intelligence. In this article he asserts that it is a mistake to assume that leadership style is a function of personality rather than strategic choice. Moreover that leaders and managers should select a leadership style which best addresses the demands of the situation rather than one which suits their temperament. He discusses six basic leadership styles; coercive, authoritative, affiliative, democratic, pacesetting and coaching. Each he proposes makes use of different of the key components of emotional intelligence in different combinations. His conclusion is that effective leaders don't use just one style of leadership -they are skilled at several, and have flexibility to switch between styles as the circumstances dictate.

Sewell, G.F (2009). Emotional Intelligence and the Army Leadership Reqts Model

Lieutenant Colonel Gerald Sewell from the U.S Army, (Retired), discusses the role of emotional intelligence in United States Army Leadership and leadership development, concluding that the most valuable element in building and maintaining successful relationships, individual or team, is emotional intelligence.

Military Ethics

Evans, M. (2010). Captains of the Soul

Dr Micheal Evans (2010) 'Captains of the Soul' analyses the importance of teaching Stoic moral philosophy in today's armed forces to provide the mental armour and moral philosophical protection for our own military personnel against the rigours of current contemporary warfare.

Dr Evans is a fellow at the Australian Defence College.

Hannah, Avolio, Walumbwa (2011). Authentic Leadership Moral Courage

This paper explores relationships between Authentic Leadership, Moral Courage, Ethical and Pro-social Behaviours.

Using a sample drawn from a military context, the authors explored the antecedents and consequences of moral courage. Results from the 4-month field study demonstrated that authentic leadership was positively related followers' displays of moral courage. Further, follower's moral courage fully mediated the effects of authentic leadership on followers' ethical and pro-social behaviours. Theoretical and practical implications for further integrating the work on moral courage, authentic leadership and ethics are discussed.

General Leadership

Brigadier Nick Jans, OAM (2012) Leadership in a time of disaster – a short paper on a profound experience>

Brigadier Jans tells a story of how a group of ordinary citizens, with no formal authority whatsoever, and operating within a stunned, fractured and dispersed community, achieved some remarkable things in the months that followed Black Saturday.

But the story also allows us to see a number of important concepts in leadership that apply in any community and in any organisation, ideas that can be applied immediately.

Hannah (2010). Leadership in the Profession of Arms

This paper outlines the unique causations and contingencies influencing leadership in military contexts. After defining what constitutes a Profession of Arms (internal context) and the combat operating environment (external context), the author offers a working definition of leadership in military professions as well as define a professional military leader. The author discusses the unique phenomonen influencing leadership in at the individual level, prior to apply the military context to the dyad and collective levels.

Okros, A (2010). Leadership in the Canadian Military Context

This paper provides perspectives on alternative approaches to understanding leadership in the military, including: exploration of current effective military leadership; the purpose of military leadership; the nature of that military leadership, the development of institutional leaders, and the measurement of leadership. Conclusions are put forward but with emphasis that the author's ideas should be read as exploratory and descriptive, and not as authoritative or proven.