You've probably never pictured mob boss Tony Soprano as a role model, but he's a hero to millions who are addicted to the HBO series. And despite his illegal activities and tendencies toward violence, the head of the Soprano family is actually a great model of leadership, says Deborrah Himsel, VP of organizational effectiveness at Avon. The charismatic leader of the hit TV show combines a results-orientation with empathy, and he's a pro at giving direct feedback and standing up for himself and his people, Himsel contends.

Leadership Sopranos Style is a case study of Tony's techniques. Fans will love the plethora of examples from the show, and the quizzes and role-playing exercises will force you to practice being direct (dressing like a thug is optional). Himsel is heavy on application, and she clearly demonstrates how to put the actions of the mob boss into practice in the real world. A perfect gift for Soprano lovers (or spineless friends).

Stephanie Swilley is studying for her M.B.A. at Vanderbilt University's Owen School of Management.


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