Book Review – Geoffrey Lew’s ‘The Ordinary Leader’

Sun Tzu’s military advice represented in ‘The Art of War’ has existed for centuries and has been devoured by millions across the globe, with many lawyers known to use the book to negotiate better and essentially win trials. An ancient Chinese military treatise dating from the 5th century BC, Geoffrey Lew’s ‘The Ordinary Leader’ plays a vital role in translating these teachings into practical life lessons, showing the reader how to overcome fear, rejection and other parts of life which are often associated with negative feelings and experiences. Although times may have changed since ‘The Art of War’ was written, Lew reinforces the importance of Sun Tzu’s lessons, through a simple framework.

‘The Ordinary Leader’ is thoroughly researched and written informatively, focusing on Sun Tzu’s advice and providing a strong motive for the reader to get up and change their lives. Lew writes about the importance of working smart to gain success but also how we can benefit other people along the way, “… if you only took actions that benefited yourself, not only might you not find any support for your cause, people might also turn around and put up a fight”, as well as the importance of ensuring we make efforts to benefit others on our journey.

Geoffrey Lew takes us through a variety lessons we can all apply to our modern lives including leadership, timing, making mistakes, accepting losses and utilizing change amidst challenge. Change can be difficult for many of us and can conjure up uncomfortable feelings, but Lew says “… try to see change as a force that can empower and support you. Don’t fear it, fight it, or try to control it. Don’t let initial setbacks discourage you, because there’ll always be another way to get there, as long as you keep looking forward and ahead”.

The author takes a fresh approach to the self-help genre and provides a great resource for individuals of all ages to keep with them on their journey to a life fully lived. A Chinese history hobbyist, Lew provides readers with deep insights that stretch across China’s 3,000-year history, plucking us as the readers out of our slumps and essentially provides us with the tools to pave our own way to achieve our goals.

A link to the original review posted on Discovery can be found here.

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Wellbeing writer, host for The Inspired Narrative podcast and mental health support worker.

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