Leadership Essentials You Always Wanted to Know

Picardi, Carrie. Leadership Essentials You Always Wanted to Know. Vibrant Publishers, 2021.

I should preface this review by saying I read Leadership Essentials on my phone. I have no idea what the print version will look like. The very first thing I noticed about Leadership Essentials is that it is a very short book. It’s made even shorter by pages of expert reviews, a page of author information, a page for acknowledgements, a page of a table of contents, and a few blank pages thrown in for good measure. The second thing to jump out at me was the discount code for three books for the price of two. That set the tone for me. It’s all about the sale.
As an author fact, Picardi is also a professor which is apparent when she presents learning objectives as deliverables for her book. I thought that was a nice touch – here is what I promise you will get out of this book. Not many “self help” books do that. What I didn’t appreciate were the quizzes – at least on the phone. When I went to find the answers (using the outside link) I was confronted with someone wanting to chat with me. There was no clear way to find just the answers so I gave up. I also gave up reading the book entirely because, at least on the phone, it wasn’t user-friendly. Picardi gives sound advice on how to be a good leader. I just found the delivery method to be lacking.

Book trivia: Leadership Essentials is part of a self learning management series.

Taking the Trouble


I learned a valuable lesson today. You have to take the trouble to be the trouble. Originally, I wanted to think I had all the answers. I came armed with what I considered reasonable solutions, reasonable requests. Instead I was met with words like “not strict enough” and “doormat” and “fantasy land.” It was hard to believe I was being described in this way, especially after the month I’ve had (or thought I’d been having).

I’m not fierce enough. This isn’t a popularity contest. No one should like their boss. Not one that should be respected anyway. I let people make the same mistakes a billion and one times, and if I include today, a billion and two. How do I say You Can’t Communicate in any other way? “There has to be a penalty for the mistakes” I was told. Okay.
I’m not diligent enough. I don’t watch the clock and add up the minutes. I don’t pay close enough attention to the comings and goings, the called out, come in lates. You can be late a dozen times on my lax watch. “There has to be a penalty for tardiness” I was told. Okay. Okay.
I don’t hold my cards “close enough to the vest” as they- no, as she said. I need to learn phrases like “when it concerns you I’ll let you know.” I need to recognize situations; situations that cost money like when people waste time wondering about something that has nothing to do with the responsibility. I need to re-prioritize people. Reorganize people. Re-everything. Okay, okay, okay!

So, I took a crash course in management. I took criticism on the chin. It made me stronger. It made me think clearer. It made going back to the office to work on the dreaded schedule a whole lot easier. I didn’t try to juggle the birthdays as closely; didn’t try to dodge the anniversaries; didn’t cave in whimsical requests. Like it or lump it I changed things up for the better. Finally. Finally, I’m taking the trouble to be the trouble. I like a challenge. I like confrontation and I like change. So, I changed me. When I handed the whole schedule – all 12 months of it- off to a trusted coworker I felt justified in my reasonings. It was a relief to let it go.

then I went home.