This is not your typical leadership fable. The leadership principles and practices have been tested in some of the biggest and best organizations in the world, from giant global companies to Silicon Valley-funded tech start-ups to international non-profits. But that’s not the really different part. (There are other leadership best-sellers who have a deep foundation.) The first real difference is that the action in this fable takes place in a fictional medieval kingdom, because everything is more fun with swords and horses. Second, the action of the story is real action, not an increase in stock price or a drop in employee morale. There are mysteries, ambushes and, of course, sword fights. Third, there isn’t a mentor who makes it easy for our heroes by scribbling on a napkin the three steps to great leadership. These two leaders have to figure out leadership while things go from bad to worse. And they don’t agree on what leading well means. So they learn their lessons the way a lot of us do: the hard way.