Real Leadership: Helping People and Organizations Face Their Toughest Challenges
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Real Leadership: Helping People and Organizations Face Their Toughest Challenges

3.75 (41 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Too many organizations today play follow the leader: the commander articulates a "vision" and people uncritically go along with it. But this type of leadership--what Dean Williams calls "counterfeit leadership"--generates an unhealthy dependence on an authority figure and relies on dominance, control, and group seduction to get things done. By hampering people's ability to anticipate and react to changing circumstances, it creates a self-limiting cycle. And if the leader's vision is flawed, the entire organization suffers. The true task of a leader, Williams argues, is to get people to face the reality of any situation themselves and develop strategies to deal with problems or take advantage of opportunities. Real leaders don't dictate; they help people face their challenges and make adjustments in their values, habits, practices, and priorities to ensure the enterprise is given its best chance to succeed.

Williams details how to apply this new approach to the challenges every organization or community faces. Throughout, he demonstrates the practical application of real leadership in the real world through examples from his own experiences working with organizations as diverse as the government of Singapore, Aetna Life and Casualty, and the nomadic Penan tribe in Borneo, as well as historical examples and the insights gleaned from his many interviews with presidents, prime ministers, and business leaders. At a time when so many "visionary" leaders have led their organizations to disaster, Real Leadership offers a needed, proven alternative.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 312 pages
  • 65 x 96 x 10mm | 589.67g
  • San Francisco, United States
  • English
  • Annotated
  • annotated ed
  • 1576753433
  • 9781576753439
  • 361,260

Table of contents

Introduction

PART 1 Real Leadership: The Engine of Progress
1. Odin, Enron, and the Apes: Distinguishing Real Leadership from Counterfeit Leadership
2. Diagnostic Work: Determining the Principal Challenge

PART 2 The Six Challenges of Real Leadership
3. The Activist Challenge: Calling Attention to a Contradiction in Values
4. The Development Challenge: Cultivating the Latent Capabilities Needed to Progress
5. The Transition Challenge: Moving from One System of Values to Another
6. The Maintenance Challenge: Protecting and Sustaining What Is Essential during Hard Times
7. The Creative Challenge: Doing What Has Never Been Done Before
8. The Crisis Challenge: Leading in a Period of Extreme Danger

PART 3 Real Leadership in Action
9. Leading in Multiple Challenges: The Case of T. E. Lawrence
10. Odin, the Samurai, and You: Taking Responsibility for Yourself as an Instrument of Power
Notes
Index
About the Author
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Review Text

"Williams has thoroughly encapsulated the art and practice of real leadership. This is not just another leadership book-but a well-developed set of theories and best practices, reinforced through excellent historical examples and cases, that strengthens leaders at all levels."
-Marshall Carter, Chairman, New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)

"A wise and capacious book on the real challenges of leadership. Williams writes with a rare and unique global perspective. I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned a lot."
-Warren Bennis, University Professor, University of Southern California, and author of On Becoming a Leader

"Individuals can make a difference, particularly if they are willing to exercise real leadership. I welcome the broad and refreshing approach Williams adopts, which should help to foster new leadership."
-Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

"In this fresh, provocative book, Dean Williams sets forth a sweeping and different view of 'real leadership' .... He brings to these pages a rich accumulation of insights. Whether or not you agree with him, this book deserves your close attention."
-David Gergen, Former adviser to five U.S. presidents, and Director, Center for Public Leadership at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
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Review quote

"Williams has thoroughly encapsulated the art and practice of real leadership. This is not just another leadership book--but a well-developed set of theories and best practices, reinforced through excellent historical examples and cases, that strengthens leaders at all levels."
--Marshall Carter, Chairman, New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) "A wise and capacious book on the real challenges of leadership. Williams writes with a rare and unique global perspective. I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned a lot."
--Warren Bennis, University Professor, University of Southern California, and author of On Becoming a Leader

"Individuals can make a difference, particularly if they are willing to exercise real leadership. I welcome the broad and refreshing approach Williams adopts, which should help to foster new leadership."
--Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

"In this fresh, provocative book, Dean Williams sets forth a sweeping and different view of 'real leadership' .... He brings to these pages a rich accumulation of insights. Whether or not you agree with him, this book deserves your close attention."
--David Gergen, Former adviser to five U.S. presidents, and Director, Center for Public Leadership at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
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About Dean Williams

Dean Williams is on the faculty of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. He is a member if the univeristy's Center for Public Leadership. Originally from Geelong, Australia, he has become an internationally recognized consultant, speaker, and educator on leadership and change. He has worked around the world with governments, educational systems, corporations, tribal groups, and community organizations. He is currently special adviser to the president of Madagascar.
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Rating details

41 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
5 12% (5)
4 51% (21)
3 37% (15)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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