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The Truth about Leadership: The No-fads, Heart-of-the-Matter Facts You Need to Know

ISBN: 978-0-470-63354-0
224 pages
August 2010, Jossey-Bass
The Truth about Leadership: The No-fads, Heart-of-the-Matter Facts You Need to Know (0470633549) cover image

A fresh look at what it means to lead from two of the biggest names in leadership

In these turbulent times, when the very foundations of organizations and societies are shaken, leaders need to move beyond pessimistic predictions, trendy fads, and simplistic solutions. They need to turn to what's real and what's proven. In their engaging, personal, and bold new book, Kouzes and Posner reveal ten time-tested truths that show what every leader must know, the questions they must be prepared to answer, and the real-world issues they will likely face.

  • Based on thirty years of research, more than one million responses to Kouzes and Posner's leadership assessment, and the questions people most want leaders to answer
  • Explores the fundamental, enduring truths of leadership that hold constant regardless of context or circumstance-leaders make a difference, credibility, values, trust, leading by example, heart, and more
  • Shows emerging leaders what they need to know to be effective; fans of The Leadership Challenge will find a dynamic new look at the real challenges leaders face today

Drawing from cases spanning three generations of leaders from around the world, this is a book leaders can use to do their real and necessary work-bringing about the essential changes that will renew organizations and communities.

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Introduction: What Everyone Wants to Know About Leadership.

Truth 1: You Make a Difference.

Truth 2: Credibility Is the Foundation of Leadership.

Truth 3: Values Drive Commitment.

Truth 4: Focusing on the Future Sets Leaders Apart.

Truth 5: You Can't Do It Alone.

Truth 6: Trust Rules.

Truth 7: Challenge Is the Crucible of Greatness.

Truth 8: You Either Lead by Example or You Don't Lead at All.

Truth 9: The Best Leaders Are the Best Learners.

Truth 10: Leadership Is an Affair of the Heart.

Epilogue: Leaders Say Yes.

About the Authors.

Acknowledgements.

Notes.

Index.

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James M. Kouzes is the Dean's Executive Professor of Leadership, Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University, and one of the leading executive educators in the United States.

Barry Z. Posner is Professor of Leadership at Santa Clara University, where he served as Dean of the Leavey School of Business for twelve years (1996–2009).

Together, they are the bestselling authors of The Leadership Challenge, A Leader's Legacy, Credibility, Encouraging the Heart, The Leadership Challenge Workbook, and over a dozen other books and workbooks on leadership. They also developed the highly acclaimed Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI), a 360-degree assessment tool based on The Five Practices. They are among the most sought-after scholars and educators on the subjects of leadership and leadership development.

For more information, please visit www.truthaboutleadership.com

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http://truthaboutleadership.com/
“This book cuts through the clutter and reminds us of what really matters. The introduction alone is worth the price of the book.”
—PATRICK LENCIONI, president, The Table Group, and author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team and Getting Naked

“The leadership truths Kouzes and Posner lay out have not only endured the test of time but are even more relevant now in a world transformed by Twittering Millennials. Buy copies for yourself, your boss, and also for leaders of your organization.”
—CHARLENE LI, author of Open Leadership, and founder, Altimeter Group

The Truth About Leadership provides some of the best practical advice on leadership I’ve read in a long time. If you have not read Kouzes and Posner and you manage people, shame on you. Start here. If you have read their work and your workplace needs a shot in the arm, you’ll find this book a quick, engaging jewel that will help you become a more trusted, credible, and valued leader.”
—ADRIAN GOSTICK, author of The Carrot Principle

“I’ve always been a big proponent of simple truths. That’s why I love the new book from Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, The Truth About Leadership.  Jim and Barry spell out ten fundamental truths about leadership and every one of them is right on. If you want to do a fact check on your leadership expertise, read this book!”
—KEN BLANCHARD, coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and Leading at a Higher Level

“Regardless of your experience, age, generation, or life stage, The Truth About Leadership will remind you of the vital role leaders play in our lives, renew your interest in understanding what makes a leader great, and rekindle your desire to be an inspiring leader yourself.”
—LYNNE LANCASTER, coauthor of When Generations Collide and The M-Factor

“Elegant in its simplicity and powerful in its depth, The Truth About Leadership dazzles the reader with evidence-based knowledge and practical inspiration This is that one in a million book that serves to pull an entire field together for the reader. No matter how many books you’ve read on leadership, you will better understand each of them after reading this remarkable book.”  
—COLONEL TOM KOLDITZ, PhD, professor, U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and author of In Extremis Leadership

“This is a book a leader should put on his or her nightstand and read a chapter a night to refresh on what is important from a leadership perspective.”
—STEPHEN ALMASSY, Global Vice Chair, OCA/Industry, Ernst & Young Global Limited

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August 03, 2010
The Truth About Leadership

Great workplaces aren’t borne of the accidental confluence of motivated workers, generous benefits, or Friday afternoon Happy Hours. They are created, deliberately, by leaders. In their bold and engaging new book, THE TRUTH ABOUT LEADERSHIP: The No-fads, Heart-of-the-Matter Facts You Need to Know (Jossey-Bass/ August  23, 2010 / $24.95 hardcover) best-selling and award-winning authors James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner defy trendy fads and quick-fix approaches by exploring ten fundamental truths about leadership.

In THE TRUTH ABOUT LEADERSHIP, the authors uncover the following realities of leadership that will help both emerging and experienced leaders hone their skills:

  • You Make a Difference: Before you lead, you have to believe you can have a positive impact on others. You have to believe in yourself.
  • Credibility is the Foundation of Leadership: You have to believe in you, but others have to believe in you, too.
  • Values Drive Commitment: People want to know what you stand for and believe in.
  • Focusing on the Future Sets Leaders Apart: The capacity to imagine and articulate exciting future possibilities is the defining competence in leaders.
  • You Can’t Do It Alone: No leader ever got anything extraordinary done without the talent and support of others.
  • Trust Rules: Trust is the social glue that holds individuals and groups together.
  • Challenge Is the Crucible of Greatness: Adversity and change bring you face-to-face with your level of commitment, your grittiness, and your values.
  • You Either Lead by Example, or You Don’t Lead at All: You can’t ask others to do something you aren’t willing to do yourself.
  • The Best Leaders are the Best Learners: You have to believe that you (and others) can learn to lead, and that you can become a better leader tomorrow than they are today.
  • Leadership is an Affair of the Heart: Leaders are in love with their constituents, their customers and clients, and the mission that they are serving.

 As they did in their wildly successful book, The Leadership Challenge, Jim and Barry make their ideas accessible, easy to understand, and actionable. They both know from their own personal experiences that it is much easier to write about leadership than it is to practice leadership. 

THE TRUTH ABOUT LEADERSHIP isn’t a “How-To” or “Made Easy” approach to leadership—it is a book about fundamentals, which are the building blocks to greatness. Leadership is a demanding, exalted discipline not to be entered into frivolously or casually. Jim and Barry are committed to increasing the effectiveness of leaders in the world—both in the workplace and everyday lifespace.

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