The Four Hats of Leadership: Be Who Your People Need You to Be by Drake E. Taylor


Reviewed by Dianne Woodman

Drake E. Taylor, an officer in the United States Air Force, advocates four types of hats that will help individuals become effective and successful leaders. The Preface is an excellent tool for drawing readers into The Four Hats of Leadership: Be Who Your People Need You to Be. The four types of hats are The Farmer’s Hat, The Drill Instructor’s Hat, The Psychologist’s Hat, and The Self-Care Hat. Taylor does an excellent job of providing an analogy between a farmer’s job and that of leading a team of people, describing the role of when it is appropriate to use the drill instructor’s hat in a civilian environment, the value of the psychologist hat and ways to help people with their emotional well-being, and the importance of the self-care hat for a leader’s mental health.

The book focuses not only on the viability of utilizing the four hats in the military but also in the civilian environment. Black and white photographs and quotes from well-known individuals tie in beautifully with the subject matter in each hat section. Taylor explains how each hat serves a purpose in leadership and the benefits of incorporating them into a work environment. He provides many ideas and goes into detail about key principles needed to become an outstanding leader and the challenges facing anyone in a leadership position. Taylor interweaves his own personal experiences throughout the book, which reflect both his achievements and his missteps in his career path. These examples are invaluable for making the information more compelling and relatable. Unambiguous sentences lead to easy understandability for the reader. Words on a few pages are missing letters. However, readers can still easily decipher the words.

At the end of the book is a beneficial section titled “Leadership Library.” It includes a worksheet questionnaire that will enable organizations to learn pertinent information about individual employees. Also, there are several quotes that are applicable to leadership and self-care that can be used to motivate not only people in management positions but also their workers. This book is a useful tool for individuals either pursuing a leadership position or interested in incorporating these hats into their leadership job.