Deemed “the dean of leadership gurus” by Forbes magazine, Warren Bennis has for years persuasively argued that leaders are not born—they are made. Delving into the qualities that define leadership, the people who exemplify it, and the strategies that anyone can apply to achieve it, his classic work On Becoming a Leader has served as a source of essential insight for countless readers. In a world increasingly defined by turbulence and uncertainty, the call to leadership is more urgent than ever.
Featuring a provocative new introduction, this new edition will inspire a fresh generation of potential leaders to excellence.
Bennis profiles leaders from all walks of life and analyzes the leadership process in unusual depth. "Thank God for Warren Bennis."--Tom Peters
"Looking over a lifetime of work, I see that certain themes have always fascinated me. Early on, I felt that bureaucracy was doomed and that something flatter and more collegial would triumph. The need for candor and transparency has been a frequent cry, because I saw how warped organizations become without them. I've long known that organizational decisions inevitably have a moral dimension. The vital role that great followers play in successful leadership has grown ever more obvious. I am increasingly aware how crucial rhetoric and other performing arts are in making a compelling leader—good or bad. That leaders are inevitably shaped by personal crucibles has been confirmed by hundreds of interviews. And it is clear to me now that the process of becoming a leader and the process of becoming a fully integrated human being are one and the same, both grounded in self-discovery." —from the Introduction by Warren Bennis
Praise for Transparency
"After watching so many American presidents derailed by a culture of secrecy—Richard Nixon and George W. Bush are only the most recent—one might imagine that transparency would become the watchword of leaders everywhere. Alas, it has not: witness Enron and subprime mortgages. Here in these pages, with arguments that are enormously compelling, Warren Bennis, Daniel Goleman, and James O'Toole urge leaders of every stripe to create 'a culture of candor' around them.?Please give this book to anyone heading toward the front office, especially if it is oval."
—David Gergen, professor and director of the Center for Public Leadership, Harvard University; former White House advisor; author of Eyewitness to Power
"Transparency vividly describes the powerful imperative for open and honest communication in a boundless world transformed by information technology and its impact on corporations and politics. With many practical examples, the authors underscore the importance of the leadership values of integrity, candor, courage, and responsibility as fundamental to sustainable success in an increasingly complex environment."
—Daniel Vasella, M.D., chairman and CEO, Novartis AG, Basel, Switzerland
"In this vital new book, Warren Bennis, Daniel Goleman, and Jim O'Toole have teamed up to address the vital question of our times, whether organizations have the courage to be open, honest, and most of all, transparent. They give deep insights into why transparency is essential to long-term business success. It is a mustread for anyone who wants to build an authentic organization."
—Bill George, former CEO, Medtronic; professor, Harvard Business School; author of True North and Authentic Leadership
In Reinventing Leadership, Bennis and Townsend discuss their concise leadership plan for the 21st century that reinvented leadership strategies and aims to empower both employees and organization. They focus on:
•moving away from conventional standards of business practice
•finding a mentor to encourage reflective backtalk
In a compelling and, at times, controversial debate about leadership, Bennis, author of On Becoming a Leader, and Townsend, who penned Up the Organization, show readers how to embrace change, turn mistakes into valuable opportunities, transform vision into reality, and lead any organization into the future.
“Why is it that some people challenge us and motivate us to rise to our best abilities, while others seem to drain our energy and spirit? What is that particular quality certain people have that causes those around them to engage fully and feel connected?”
You are a leader. You do not need to be in a boardroom, on a battlefield, or on a ballot to have a profound impact on everyone around you. In this life-changing book, Betsy Myers—senior adviser to two US presidents and former executive director of Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership—demonstrates how each of us has opportunities to take the lead every day and shares seven core principles that will enable us to be more productive, engaged, and successful.
From the Oval Office to the playground, cabinet meetings to kitchen tables, in public life and private, Betsy Myers has seen firsthand the emergence of a new leadership model where having all the answers up front is less important than asking the right questions, where strength is derived less from the power you wield than from how you make the people around you feel.
With personal stories from her time in government, in academia, and on the campaign trail, as well as her experiences as a wife, daughter, and mother, Myers helps all of us learn to set the right priorities for ourselves; to connect on a deeper level with the people around us; to uncover problems early when they are still easy to fix; to collaborate with those whose points of view are different from our own; and to push through our fears and live our most authentic lives. Myers demonstrates that more than simply making people feel good, this kind of leadership can have a profound effect on the results achieved: it is how initiatives are launched, profits are made, and work gets done.
Personal, practical, and profoundly inspiring, Take the Lead is a book for anyone who wonders where all the great leaders have gone. Betsy Myers helps us see that true leadership is all around us—and within us.
Praise for Still Surprised
"Warren's humanity, joie de vivre, and intellect sparkle throughout this must-read memoir. Each chapter in his fascinating life draws him inexorably toward becoming the father of leadership, showing why he is such a beloved and admired friend, mentor, and role model for so many leaders."
—Bill George, professor, Harvard Business School; former chairman and CEO, Medtronic
"Engrossing, enthralling, and enlightening, this is a brilliant book full of remarkable people and events and packed with profound self-revelation. Every episode of Warren's stellar career is itself a leadership lesson that will spread insight and inspiration."
—Rosabeth Moss Kanter, professor, Harvard Business School; author, Confidence and SuperCorp
"This must-read book compiles a lifetime of lessons from the master. The quintessential memoir on leadership, it will satisfy the appetites of both serious students and casual observers. It's so rich that you'll keep coming back for new insights, and it will never disappoint."
—Anne Mulcahy, former chairman and CEO, Xerox Corporation
"I have learned more from Warren Bennis than anyone save my mother. My mentor and friend has given us a magnificent and mesmerizing account of his life. There's enough wisdom here to fill the world's largest library."
—Tom Peters, coauthor, In Search of Excellence
"For years, Warren's wisdom from a life so richly led has inspired leaders. In this beautifully written memoir he generously shares his most precious stories with wit and intellect. Warren says he is an 'unusually lucky man,' but those who know him are the lucky ones."
—Howard Schultz, chairman, president, and chief executive officer, Starbucks Coffee Company
"Master storytelling at its best. Warren's memoir of a life of learning, growth, and development inside the crucibles of leadership is masterful, illuminating, and entertaining."
—General Eric Shinseki, U.S. Army (Retired)