About Musings on Leadership

In Musings on Leadership, we share anecdotes from daily life and reflect on what they mean for us as leaders. We have found that if our eyes and ears are open, there are great examples of leadership all around us. We have worked on the topics of leadership and leadership development for decades now. The field is vast, and complete mastery is an ideal rather than something that can be fully achieved. Every day brings something new. Every leader we work with is unique, and grapples with particular challenges and opportunities. How do we make sense of the richness of these diverse experiences? One way is to write. Writing can help us process experiences and it can bring clarity. Over the years, we have regularly written on topics associated with leadership – be it leading yourself, leading your teams or leading others where you have no formal authority. Now felt like the right time to collect some of what we have written into an anthology. We have given this collection the humble title Musings on Leadership. In it, you will find personal experiences and reflections – rather than monumental new theories. The musings invite you to ponder and reflect on your own experiences. We hope that once in a while you will nod in recognition, or even smile. Once in a while, you may balk and want to challenge us. Do. We welcome your reactions!

Amazon #1 Bestseller in 30 categories including Management Science and Organizational Change

Inspiring examples of leadership are ever-present, provided we pay attention. Regardless of the number of people reporting to us at any given time, every one of us is a leader, in our own way. For starters, we have a responsibility to lead ourselves, to make the most of the gifting we have received. We also have a responsibility to provide leadership in our local settings: in our families, in our communities, our in civic organizations and in other organizations we are part of. Our book Musings on Leadership therefore places equal emphasis on leading ourselves, leading others and leading in an organization. We share reflections and insights together with concrete actions each one of us can take to strengthen our leadership, increase our impact and thrive while doing so.

We wrote the chapters of this book based on our experiences in professional life, in family life and on our vacation travels. We hope you have a chance to dip into it, and that you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed writing it!

You can order the book on Amazon, please click the book image or this link.

Early Reviews

Musings on Leadership distills decades of practical, hard won experience into timeless lessons that will resonate with those newly thrust into leadership roles as well as more experienced practitioners. In “bite-size chunks” of content, this book draws from the wisdom of timeless thinkers like Confucius and Viktor Frankel, and combines insightful questions, deeply personal and authentic examples, and useful tools and techniques that will challenge the curious mind with a short attention span. After more than 30 years of leading people and organizations in both the private and nonprofit sector, I can honestly say that this book helped me fundamentally question and confirm my core principles of leadership. For a big return on career for a small investment of time, you should get this book!”

Tim Zak
Teaching professor at Carnegie Mellon University

“What happens when a former partner of McKinsey, who had supported more than 4000 senior leaders worldwide, writes a book? Tor Mesoy, now founder and CEO of Agnus-Consulting, decided to sum up his huge treasure of experiences in leadership consulting in a small volume. His Musings on Leadership are not a hard-to-read complex theory of economics, but a kaleidoscope of deep based and benevolent insights in the nature of human beings, who take on leadership.

Mesoy and his co-authors always start their chapters with a sometimes very private light bulb moment, that leads within five pages to general aspects of leadership. When Mesoy dives with sharks or kayaks along icebergs he ends up in practical models of good leadership. By reading the first glimpses we realize that we first have to learn to lead ourselves, before we lead others or our organizations.

Mesoy’s techniques are mutable. Besides using quotes from Lao Tzu, Rumi or Viktor E. Frankl he offers profound insights in global leadership concepts – and he keeps it simple. But the core expertise in his work and writing follows Socrates’ technique of maieutics. By asking meaningful, emphatic questions, he leads senior leaders and junior readers to new perspectives and deeper insights.

Who benefits from the 126 pages of this short, accessible volume? Leaders should consume and process it to become better leaders. Commuters could browse it to understand why most of their leaders could do better (maybe they haven’t read the book yet). Staff council must read it, to become trustful challengers of leaders.”

Dr. Tom Riens
the vice-chairman of the personnel board of the Agentur für Arbeit Berlin Süd

“In Musings on Leadership, Tor Mesoy and his co-authors encourage their readers to gain deep insight into themselves before leading their teams and their organizations. The foundation of first-class leadership is leading ourselves. In that, a first-class leader is someone who has obtained a “higher dimension of consciousness” as in the quote of LAO TZU. The message is clear: Before running the risk of imposing your unsolved inner conflicts on the ones you lead, take responsibility to set aside time for self-reflection and become a master at leading yourself on a “lifelong journey”. On 126 pages Mesoy presents useful tools and techniques to obtain this higher goal while also sharing deep personal experiences. With its endearing authenticity the book is a pleasure to read and a must for every aspiring leader on their journey.”

Heidi Riens
a teacher of Biology and Chemistry in 7th to 12th grade in Berlin

“I very much enjoyed reading Musings on Leadership. It gave me lots of ideas for how I can exercise more leadership in my daily life and increase my impact. One aspect of the book that I enjoyed was that that there was no grandiose theory. Rather, the book contains a collection of little anecdotes and personal experiences that point to deeper truths. The authors ‘come alive’ in this book. The style is conversational, and that made me feel that I could really connect with the people behind the writing.”

– An entrepreneur in social sector

“This compact book presents keen insights on a wide range of leadership skills – from technical competence to tense personal conflicts, it showcases techniques to deal with the vast array of challenges met in everyday leadership roles. More than just informing, this book has led me to question my leadership style, and given me tools to reconsider how best to lead myself and others. Though it presents some tough challenges, it has inspired and equipped me to look further in achieving my goals, instead of being buffeted by circumstance. Each chapter has a memorable example or story, which really helps cement the lessons learned, and makes it a book that will stick with you for life!”

Susanne M.
PhD student, University of Cambridge, UK