Book Review
By Ellen Florian

(FORTUNE Magazine) – Those who can have a superhero job, like fireman or Army Ranger, do. And those who can't? Well, they read leadership books by those who do.

The best of this new breed of leadership tome is The Marine Corps Way: Using Maneuver Warfare to Lead a Winning Organization (McGraw-Hill, $22.95). The book makes a convincing case that battlefield techniques really do work in the business world. The story of Lowe's capturing market share from Home Depot by catering to women instead of contractors and semiskilled craftsmen is just one illustration of how to target a critical vulnerability--one of the book's seven guiding principles of maneuver warfare.

No Excuse Leadership: Lessons From the U.S. Army's Elite Rangers (Wiley, $24.95) is mostly a vicarious trip through the mud-filled, waterlogged, sleep-and food-deprived 61-day U.S. Army Ranger School. It's a fun read, but the morals to the stories are too basic to be of much use ("Being humble doesn't mean you are weak"). For more tips from the Army, there's Be Know Do: Leadership the Army Way (Jossey-Bass, $24.95). It's a bit of a yawn, but if you're interested in the principles of Army leadership, the book is worthwhile. Finally there's First In, Last Out: Leadership Lessons From the New York Fire Department (Portfolio, $24.95). The best parts are the inspiring tales of firemen behaving admirably, but the reader also has to wade through the torture of endless fire witticisms. Our favorite: "Know their names before you send them into the flames." Good advice? Sure, but you probably don't need a book to get that one right. --Ellen Florian