Legendary Leadership - From Commoner to King

King Arthur and the Knights of the Roundtable: the legend of chivalrous knights warring against tyranny and injustice, rescuing the weak and defenseless, and questing after the Holy Grail. How is it that this legend has remained so popular for over a thousand years? I believe one of the main reasons is that, for the vast majority of readers, these stories resonate with an inner hope that life can be like this.

The fiction of the stories of Arthur and Camelot is filled with truth. There is a vision to seek after, a “Camelot” to establish in our homes and communities, schools and businesses. There are quests worthy of every ounce of our energy. There are noble knights with whom we are to work alongside. There are Arthurs who’s hearts are noble, Mordreds who’s intentions are evil, and Merlins who can help train us to see the difference. There are Codes of Chivalry—what we will and will not do, as we seek to attain our vision—to guide our behaviors. There are battles (metaphorically and literally) for ideals that are worthy of our sweat and blood. There is a Holy Grail to quest after. And your heart has told you this is so.

Your heart has possibly also told you that you have somehow disqualified yourself from the quest, or that you are not capable or worthy of such a life, or that such quests are the figments of a childish imagination. This too is found in Arthurian legends, as well as wisdom for how to find your way back to the Quest for Camelot and Legendary Leadership.

This Quest is neither a sentimental journey nor a romantic lark. Becoming a Legendary Leader is serious business with consequences that reverberate, for good or ill, for generations to come. The choices you make regarding who you intend to become and what you intend to do with the opportunities before you leaves a lasting impression on all those who know you.

This book is about how to live and work in such a way as to create a legacy that, after you have left this world, still inspires others to follow after the ideals, values, and principles that your life embodied.

Legendary Leadership
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Legendary Leadership
From Commoner to King






Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcom Gladwell

In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different?

His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band.

Brilliant and entertaining, Outliers is a landmark work that will simultaneously delight and illuminate.

Buy at Amazon: Outliers: The Story of Success


The Art of Happiness at Work, The Dali Lama and Howard C Cutler, MD

This book explores three levels of focus:

Survival: focus on salary, stability, food and clothing
Career: focus on advancement
Calling: focus on work as a higher purpose

While many people think that happiness in life is determined by outside forces, the Dali Lama emphasizes just the opposite: your happiness is in your hands. Transforming dissatisfaction at work into happiness, therefore, begins in your heart and mind.

This book is profoundly simple without being simplistic. While you can read it in less than a week, you will want to keep it close at hand for a long, long time.

Buy at Amazon: The Art of Happiness, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Handbook for Living


Re-Imagine!: Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age, Tom Peters

Focusing on how the business climate has changed, this inspirational book outlines how the new world of business works, explores radical ways of overcoming outdated, traditional company values, and embraces an aggressive strategy that empowers talent and brand-driven organizations where everyone has a voice.

Buy at Amazon: Re-Imagine!: Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age



Ninety-Three, Victor Hugo

"Aristotle's view of the purpose and value of literature is illuminating...He said that literature is of greater philosophical importance than history, because history represents things only as they are, while fiction represent them 'as they might be and ought to be.'" (From the Introduction)

The heroic life described here in Hugo’s novel is possible. The average and commonplace life, while far easier to live, is not your only option in life. This is a riveting story that fleshes out what Monte Wilson taught regarding creating your own Camelot in his book, Legendary Leadership.

Buy at Amazon: Ninety-Three



Good to Great, Jim Collins

The Challenge: Built to Last, the defining management study of the nineties, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the very beginning.

But what about the company that is not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness?

The Study: For years, this question preyed on the mind of Jim Collins. Are there companies that defy gravity and convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? And if so, what are the universal distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great?

The Standards: Using tough benchmarks, Collins and his research team identified a set of elite companies that made the leap to great results and sustained those results for at least fifteen years. How great? After the leap, the good-to-great companies generated cumulative stock returns that beat the general stock market by an average of seven times in fifteen years, better than twice the results delivered by a composite index of the world's greatest companies, including Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric, and Merck.

The Comparisons: The research team contrasted the good-to-great companies with a carefully selected set of comparison companies that failed to make the leap from good to great. What was different? Why did one set of companies become truly great performers while the other set remained only good?

Over five years, the team analyzed the histories of all twenty-eight companies in the study. After sifting through mountains of data and thousands of pages of interviews, Collins and his crew discovered the key determinants of greatness -- why some companies make the leap and others don't.

The Findings: The findings of the Good to Great study will surprise many readers and shed light on virtually every area of management strategy and practice.

“Some of the key concepts discerned in the study,” comments Jim Collins, "fly in the face of our modern business culture and will, quite frankly, upset some people.”

Perhaps, but who can afford to ignore these findings?

Buy at Amazon: Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't


Living Consciously: The Power of Awareness to Transform Everyday Life, Nathaniel Branden

The Art of Living Consciously Is an Operating Manual for Our Basic Tool of Survival

In The Art of Living Consciously, Dr. Nathaniel Branden, our foremost authority on self-esteem, takes us into new territory, exploring the actions of our minds when they are operating as our life and well-being require -- and also when they are not.

Today we are exposed to an unprecedented amount of information and an unprecedented number of opinions about every conceivable aspect of life. We are thrown on our own resources as never before -- and we have nothing to protect us but the clarity of our thinking. In The Art of Living Consciously, Branden gives us the tools with which to draw out the best within us.

Buy at Amazon: The Art of Living Consciously: The Power of Awareness to Transform Everyday Life


The Gathering Storm, Winston S. Churchill

Winston Churchill was not only a statesman and leader of historic proportions, he also possessed substantial literary talents. These two factors combine to make The Gathering Storm a unique work. The first volume of Churchill's memoirs, this selection is broken into two parts. The first, "From War to War," consists of Churchill's critical observations on the settlement of World War I and its place in the causes of the Second World War. The second volume contains letters and memoranda from the British government--of which Churchill was part--as the country plunged unprepared into war. This stands as the best of history: written as it was made, by the man who made it.

Churchill’s life is proof that Legendary Leaders only exist in Fantasies and Mythology.

Buy at Amazon: The Second World War, Volume 1: The Gathering Storm


CauseWired: Plugging In, Getting Involved, Changing the World, Tom Watson

For today's super-wired, always-on, live-life-in-public young Americans, the causes they support define who they are. Societal aspirations have so permeated the "net native" population that causes have become like musical tastes. CauseWired illustrates wired causes in action, bringing real-world stories to readers.

  • Tracks the massive societal impact on causes of online social networks-from blogs, to video, to the rise of social networks
  • Reveals the extraordinary influence of online social networks-in raising money for charity, in changing the political climate and electing candidates, and in raising consciousness for causes

From Facebook causes and campaigns on MySpace, to a raft of new startups and innovative projects like Kiva, Change.org and DonorsChoose, this immensely relevant book delivers actionable research and recommendations to help readers launch their own successful wired social campaigns.

Buy at Amazon: CauseWired: Plugging In, Getting Involved, Changing the World


The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization, Jon R. Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith

Motorola relied heavily on teams to surpass its competition in building the lightest, smallest, and highest-quality cell phones. At 3M, teams are critical to meeting the company's goal of producing half of each year's revenues from the previous five years' innovations. Kodak's Zebra Team proved the worth of black-and-white film manufacturing in a world where color is king.

But many companies overtook the potential of teams in turning around tagging profits, entering new markets, and making exciting innovations happen -- because they don't know how to utilize teams successfully. The authors talked with hundreds of people in more than thirty companies to find out where and how teams work best and how to enhance their effectiveness.

Comprehensive and proven effective, The Wisdom of Teams is the classic primer on making teams a powerful tool for success in today's global marketplace.

Buy at Amazon: The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization (Collins Business Essentials)


Those of you whom have read "Legendary Leadership" know that the overarching metaphor is Arthurian Legends. Each of these books was used to illustrate the beliefs, values, principles, ideals and vision required for creating your legend.


The Once and Future King

The world's greatest fantasy classic is "richly imagined and unfailingly eloquent and entertaining" (Booklist).

T.H. White's masterful retelling of the saga of King Arthur is a fantasy classic as legendary as Excalibur and Camelot, and a poignant story of adventure, romance, and magic that has enchanted readers for generations.

by: T. H. White

Buy at Amazon: The Once and Future King


T.H. White, The Book of Merlyn: The Unpublished Conclusion to The Once and Future King

This magical account of King Arthur's last night on earth spent weeks on the New York Times best-seller list following its publication in 1977.

Even in addressing the profound issues of war and peace, The Book of Merlyn retains the life and sparkle for which White is known. The tale brings Arthur full circle, an ending, White wrote, that "will turn my completed epic into a perfect fruit, 'rounded off and bright and done.'"

Buy at Amazon: The Book of Merlyn: The Unpublished Conclusion to The Once and Future King


The Pendragon Cycle by Stephen R. Lawhead


Pendragon Cycle Book 1 : Taliesin

It was a time of legend, when the last shadows of the mighty Roman conqueror faded from the captured Isle of Britain. While across a vast sea, bloody war shattered a peace that had flourished for two thousand years in the doomed kingdom of Atlantis.

Taliesin is the remarkable adventure of Charis, the Atlantean princess who escaped the terrible devastation of her homeland, and of the fabled seer and druid prince Taliesin, singer at the dawn of the age. It is the story of an incomparable love that joined two worlds amid the fires of chaos, and spawned the miracles of Merlin...and Arthur the king.

Buy at Amazon: Taliesin (The Pendragon Cycle, Book 1)


Pendragon Cycle Book 2 : Merlin

An enchanting tale of love and loss, glory and grandeur, set in the twilight of Rome's power . . . where the Celtic chieftains of Britain battle to save their land from an onrushing darkness . . . In this modern classic, Stephen Lawhead presents a majestic retelling of Western literature's most compelling epic. Merlin. His golden eyes saw the shape of a world yet to be. His wisdom would light the path of the coming King. Born of a union between druid and faery, he was trained as a bard and schooled in the ways of battle. But his heart and calling were greater than a warrior's. Son of the great Taliesin, the song of his father coursed through his soul. Yet his life and mission were to be his own. And though sovereignty was his, he would lay it aside to serve a king of his own choosing. As his powers transcended those of mortal men, so, too, would his trials, his griefs . . . and the dark might of his most fearsome enemy. In the twilight of Tome's rule over the Island of the Mighty, as smaller men vied for ascendancy, his would be the hand to lay the foundations of a new order -- the Kingdom of Summer . . . and Arthur, Pendragon of Britain. Merlin is book two in the Pendragon Cycle.

Buy at Amazon: Merlin (The Pendragon Cycle, Book 2)


Pendragon Cycle Book 3 : Arthur

An enchanting tale of love and loss, glory and grandeur, set in the twilight of Rome's power . . . Where the Celtic chieftains of Britain battle to save their land from an onrushing darkness. . . . In this modern classic, Stephen Lawhead presents a majestic retelling of Western literature's most compelling epic. The Sword of Britain. While many strove to claim it, one hand alone could remove the blade of Kingship from its stone sheath. He came -- a raw youth among ambitious lords too blind to recognize their king. He came -- to a Britain divided, ripe for conquest by barbarian hordes. The songs of Taliesin the master bard had foretold his rising. The vision of Merlin the prophet would guide him. He was Arthur, Pendragon of the Isle of the Mighty. His courage would be lauded; his enemies, legion; his reign, legendary. Under Arthur, by wisdom as much as might, Britain would unite. Through Arthur would arise a kingdom of peace, prosperity, and righteousness -- the long-awaited Kingdom of Summer. Yet, in the midst of flourishing virtue, an evil would arise to challenge Britain's most brilliant Crown. . . . Arthur is book three in the Pendragon Cycle. Look for Taliesin and Merlin, books one and two in this award-winning Arthurian series by Stephen Lawhead.

Buy at Amazon: Arthur (The Pendragon Cycle, Book 3)


Pendragon Cycle Book 4 : Pendragon

At the dawn of his reign, a young king must prove his greatness . . . or forfeit a realm

Arthur is King—but darkest evil has descended upon Britain's shores in many guises. In this black time of plague and pestilence, Arthur's most trusted counselor Myrddin—the warrior, bard, and kingmaker whom legend will name Merlin—is himself to be tested on a mystical journey through his own extraordinary past. So the noble king must stand alone against a great and terrible adversary. For only thus can he truly win immortality—and the name he will treasure above all others: Pendragon.

Buy at Amazon: Pendragon (The Pendragon Cycle, Book 4)


Pendragon Cycle Book 5 : Grail

Pendragon Cycle. Look for Taliesin and Merlin, books one and two in this award-winning Arthurian series by Stephen Lawhead.

The legend of King Arthur has been told many times—but never with the strength and resonance, passion and richness granted it in Stephen R. Lawhead's masterful

Pendragon Cycle

Drought, plague, and war have left the Isle of the Mighty battered and its heart, the beloved Arthur, grievously injured—until a secret relic is brought before the dying KIng; a Holy Grail that heals his wounds and restores his vigor.

But soon evil enters the royal court in the guise of a beautiful maiden; a soulless, malevolent force capable of seducing the King's loyal champion, confounding the sage whom some call Merlin, and carrying the sacred Grail—and Arthur's adored Queen—off into the dark unknown. And now Arthur faces the greatest challenge of his sovererignty: a quest of recovery that must lead the noble liege through realms of magic and the undead, on a trail that winds inexorably toward a grim confrontation with his most foul nemesis . . . and his destiny.

Drought, plague and war have left the Isle of Mighty battered and its heart, the beloved Arthur, grievously injured. But, astonishingly, the High King lives—his wounds healed and vigor restored by a sacred and secret relic: the Holy Grail.At Ynys Avallach, a dying Arthur was miraculously renewed. And now, in this time of rampant disease and death, the great king wants to share the Grail's curative powers with all who require it. A shrine will be built to house the holy treasure—and Arthur's fabled Kingdom of Summer will at long last come to be.But evil has entered the royal court in the guise of a beautiful maiden. Unbeknownst to Arthur, to his devoted warriors, to his adored Gwenhwyvar. . .even to the bard Myrddrin, the sage Emrys whom some have called "Merlin," malevolent forces, soulless and cunning, seduce the King's most loyal champion. And in an unthinkable unguarded moment, the Grail is carried off, vanishing somewhere into the dark unknown.Now Arthur faces the greatest challenge of his sovereig.

Buy at Amazon: Grail (The Pendragon Cycle, Book 5)


Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte D’Arthur

The legends of King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table have inspired some of the greatest works of literature--from Cervantes's Don Quixote to Tennyson's Idylls of the King. Although many versions exist, Malory's stands as the classic rendition. Malory wrote the book while in Newgate Prison during the last three years of his life; it was published some fourteen years later, in 1485, by William Caxton. The tales, steeped in the magic of Merlin, the powerful cords of the chivalric code, and the age-old dramas of love and death, resound across the centuries.

The stories of King Arthur, Lancelot, Queen Guenever, and Tristram and Isolde seem astonishingly moving and modern. Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur endures and inspires because it embodies mankind's deepest yearnings for brotherhood and community, a love worth dying for, and valor, honor, and chivalry.

Buy at Amazon: Le Morte d'Arthur (Modern Library)