This is the first book to examine fully the inner dynamics of executives in top leadership positions. This empirical examination of the character of leaders covers areas such as personality, values and spirituality, and has been conducted through surveys and in-depth interviews. The reader is invited to combine the information gleaned from the life stories of the interviewed CEOs with personal reflection as a first step in developing his or her own leadership character.


There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.

— Machiavelli (1513)

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me, and what can be the use of it is more than I can see.

— Childhood rhyme of unknown origin

The dictionary defines a shadow as “the dark figure cast upon a surface by a body intercepting the rays from a source of light” (Merriam-Webster, 1983, p. 1080). Consequently, the brighter and more concentrated the light, the darker the figure projected. Shadows are common but somewhat mysterious phenomena. They vary in their size and in their direction depending on the ...

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