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Leadership Lessons from West Point

Major Doug Crandall (Editor), Jim Collins (Foreword by)
ISBN: 978-0-470-76869-3
432 pages
March 2010, Jossey-Bass
Leadership Lessons from West Point (047076869X) cover image


With Leadership Lessons from West Point as a guide, leaders in the business, nonprofit, and government sectors can learn leadership techniques and practices from contributors who are teaching or have taught at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and have served in positions of leadership that span the globe. These military experts cover a broad range of topics that are relevant to any leadership development program in any sector. The articles in this important resource offer insight into what leadership means to these experts—in both war and peacetime—and describe their views on quiet leadership, mission, values, taking care of people, organizational learning, and leading change.
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Table of Contents

A Note from the Leader to Leader Institute (Frances Hesselbein).

Foreword (Jim Collins).


About the Contributors.

Introduction (Doug Crandall).


1 Becoming a Leader Developer (Eric G. Kail).

2 Learning from Failure (Doug Crandall).

3 You Must Lead Yourself First (Greg Hastings).

4 Influencing Your Organization's Moral Philosophy (Brian Tribus).

5 Developing Organizational Values in Others (Chip Daniels).

6 The Authentic High-Impact Leader (Sean T. Hannah).

7 Leader Development and Self-Awareness in the U.S. Army Bench Project (Dennis P. O'Neil, Patrick J. Sweeney, James Ness, Thomas A. Kolditz).


8 Teaming High-Potential Talent (Jack Jefferies).

9 Leading as If Your Life Depended on It (Thomas A. Kolditz).

10 Creating Urgency and Inspiring Your Team (Robert Morris).

11 Quiet Leadership (Eric J. Weis).

12 Leading Without Words (Jeff Bergmann).

13 Developing Charisma with Caution (Dena Braeger).

14 Trust: The Key to Combat Leadership (Patrick J. Sweeney).


15 Socialized Leadership (Todd Henshaw).

16 Leading at the Business End of Policy (James Tuite).

17 Harnessing the Power of Culture and Diversity for Organizational Performance (Remi Hajjar, Morten G. Ender).

18 Developing Organizational Commitment by Putting People First (Todd Woodruff).

19 Managing Expectations When Leading Change (Everett S. P. Spain).


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Author Information

Major Doug Crandall is the executive officer to the Dean of the Academic Board at the United States Military Academy (U.S.M.A.) West Point. He was previously an assistant professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership, where he served as course director for Leading Organizations Through Change and Advanced Military Leadership and received the Excellence in Teaching Award. Crandall has a B.S. from the U.S.M.A. and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

The Leader to Leader Institute's mission is to strengthen leadership in the social sector. Established in 1990 as the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management, the Institute furthers its mission by providing social sector leaders with the essential leadership wisdom, inspiration, and resources needed to lead for innovation and to build vibrant social sector organizations.

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New to This Edition

  • Topics include: what leaders can learn from their failures; how to get mavericks to work together as an effective team; how to manage expectations when leading change; how to gain the trust of your staff; and more.
  • Addresses effective and successful leadership, which is critical in any organization—including the military, corporate America, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations.
  • Stellar author platforms and outreach: Authored by 19 U.S. Army leadership experts who have led successfully in the field and in combat--and who now teach or have taught leadership to the cadets at West Point and train the Army’s future successful leaders.
  • Foreword by author Jim Collins
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"A wonderfully impressive book. It's impressive because of the authors' credentials—all are leaders in their own right—and because of their honesty. Rarely will you find more open, self-disclosing discussions of failure, courage, and honor. It's impressive because it's heartfelt . . . it's about selfless service, honesty, and integrity—things we need to hear more about from our leaders. Leadership Lessons from West Point will renew your hope, restore your faith, educate your mind, and expand your horizons. We highly recommend it."
—Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, coauthors of the best-selling book, The Leadership Challenge

"Attention to detail, going about jobs correctly, and understanding that no job is too large or too small are just a few of the major aspects included in the West Point experience . . . Leadership Lessons from West Point does a great job of capturing those values and many others."
—Mike Krzyzewski, "Coach K," head, Duke Basketball Program

"All those concerned with developing leaders for every walk of life should welcome this compilation of important lessons from inside West Point, producer of the cream of the crop."
—Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School, best-selling author of Confidence: How Winning Streaks and Losing Streaks Begin and End

"The people at West Point have so much to teach all of us about how to lead, and any student of leadership will want to have this book on their shelf for continuous learning and reference."
—Patrick Lencioni, author, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

"The highly personal and compelling essays in this book offer a fascinating portrait of how the U.S. Military Academy approaches leadership education."
—John Alexander, president, Center for Creative Leadership

"Anyone interested in the 'L-word' will find this humble sampling of tacit knowledge refreshing and insightful."
—Scott A. Snook, associate professor of organizational behavior, Harvard Business School

"An outstanding volume of leadership lessons relevant and useful to any institution."
—Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Management at the University of Southern California and author, On Becoming a Leader

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