Book Review: Profiles in Leadership


Reading Profiles in Leadership by Emilio Iodice reminded me that entrepreneurship is all about leadership. Successful entrepreneurs come to know that and take the honing of their leadership skills seriously.

Consider this: almost every successful entrepreneur I’ve encountered admits they don’t fully understand some major areas of their business, but they have become successful in spite of that because they have successfully inspired others to handle those essential responsibilities and duties with dedication.

Likewise, former entrepreneurs who have been unsuccessful in business will usually tell you that they failed because they didn’t understand some major area about their business.  In fact, what they usually don’t realize is that they didn’t fail at business; so much as they failed at leadership.

This book is an exciting read, from cover to cover, and should not be overlooked by anyone who is or wants to be a successful entrepreneur. It is an enabling textbook that will produce incalculable self-improvement results for those that desire sustainable business success.

Emilio Iodice’s premise - that leadership skills are learned, compels us to conclude that entrepreneurial success is possible for everyone who understands and effectively dedicates themselves to leadership education.

This is a revolutionary concept when looked at from the conventional standpoint of entrepreneurial success, and I believe he’s right.

The current myth is that success is the result of someone coming up with a “great idea” or doing something “at the exact right time”, or doing something “extremely well”. The press is full of articles swooning over someone who has “achieved” accidental success.

These myths are accepted, even by entrepreneurs who will tell you that there is no real school that can guarantee success as an entrepreneur. They will tell you that they learned everything they know from encountering challenges on the job and listening to someone’s smart advice. Succeeding in a fiercely competitively environment, they contend, is not a profession that can be taught and learned, it is a calling.

They will point out that some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs are drop-outs from college or high school. Some never even went to school. Education, they assert, is not a factor.

Yet, along comes this carefully researched and meticulously documented folio of 500 pages written by a recognized leader in several fields over a long career, which points out that leadership education is not simply relevant to, but it IS the stuff that makes successful leaders successful.

We are all leaders in one context or another. Now we must admit that our relative success is largely determined by how well we lead, and how well we lead is a matter that can be learned. This book will make you much more aware of your skill level, and will help you become great – if that is your calling.

Profiles in Leadership – from Caesar to Modern Times By: Emilio Iodice, Vice President of Loyola University of Chicago and Director of Loyola’s John Felice Rome Center is available from

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