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Power Up: Transforming Organizations Through Shared Leadership

ISBN: 978-0-471-12122-0
384 pages
March 1998
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"Cohen and Bradford give both leaders and followers the tangible tools they need to create high performance. Their transformational leadership system is both sophisticated enough to capture the realities of life in today's organizations and simple enough to be immediately useful to managers in any part of the world. This book will be read, re-read, and sent to bosses everywhere."--Rosabeth Moss Kanter, author of Rosabeth Moss Kanter on the Frontiers of Management

"In Power Up, Bradford and Cohen not only convincingly argue the benefits of leading by building a shared responsibility team, they also describe in detail how to do it. Loaded with many powerful examples and detailed cases that bring their concepts to life, this book will inspire any leader."--Jerry Porras, coauthor of Built to Last and Lane Professor of Organizational Behavior and Change, Stanford Business School

"Traditional assumptions about the roles of managers and subordinates are barriers to long-range success . . . Bradford and Cohen provide practical insights into how to transform the leadership systems of modern business organizations, and these insights should be shared among employees and managers at all levels."--Yotaro Kobayashi Chairman and CEO, Fuji-Xerox

"Post-heroic leadership and shared responsibility teams have made a big difference in how we operate at Autodesk. Power Up is critical reading for every manager in high-tech." --Carol Bartz President and CEO, Autodesk

"Power Up's message is clear: in today's business arena, global players must rely on shared leadership, not a single voice. Post-heroic leaders place responsibility where the knowledge is: at every level. Siemens is committed to this new way of working."--Dr. Heinrich von Pierer President and CEO, Siemens

Countless articles and books have called for an end to "heroic," command-and-control management. In principle, at least, business has heeded that call. Acknowledging the need for employee leadership and shared responsibility, companies worldwide have invested heavily in every variety of employee-empowerment program. Yet, such reform efforts seldom have any lasting effect, and managers and subordinates quickly slip back into old follow-the-leader patterns of thinking and behaving.

Does this mean that the skeptics were right all along? Are participative management, self-directed work teams, and other popular empowerment programs just part of a futile effort to change "human nature"? Not at all, say David L. Bradford and Allan R. Cohen in this practical follow-up to their international bestsellers Managing for Excellence and Influence Without Authority. They show conclusively that to believe this grossly underestimates human capabilities and sacrifices any chance for success in today's fiercely competitive global marketplace.

Drawing upon close observation of successful leaders and followers, Bradford and Cohen reconceptualize shared leadership to show how it requires tough and decisive behavior from managers and those who report to them. The authors provide a blueprint for making it work personally and in your organization, whatever your position or formal power.

Exercising their critically acclaimed talent for translating complex concepts into actionable advice and guidance, they show how to create a dynamic, supercharged organizational culture of shared responsibility. Using many real-life examples and vignettes, the authors reveal the mind-traps that keep organizations locked into outmoded concepts of leadership. A pathbreaking contribution to the new leadership from two pioneers in the field, Power Up arms managers with the concepts and tools to release the potential of employees for greater heights of productivity and performance.
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Table of Contents


The Leadership Trap.

Heroic Leadership: Where the Buck Stops Too Often.

Post-Heroic Leadership.

The Making of a Post-Heroic Leader.

Leader-Member Ambivalence.


Building a Shared-Responsibility Team.

Creating Commitment to a Tangible Vision.

Enhancing Power Through Mutual Influence.


Launching Change.

Moving Change Forward.

Addressing Conflict.

Achieving Collaboration.




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Author Information

DAVID L. BRADFORD is Senior Lecturer at Stanford University Graduate School of Business, and a consultant to such leading companies as Levi Strauss and Raychem.

ALLAN R. COHEN is Chief Academic Officer and Edward A. Madden Distinguished Professor of Global Leadership at Babson College. He also consults to leading companies including General Electric and Polaroid.

David L. Bradford and Allan R. Cohen are coauthors of the bestsellers Managing for Excellence and Influence Without Authority, published by Wiley. Cohen is also the editor of The Portable MBA in Management (also from Wiley).
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Power Up: Transforming Organizations Through Shared Leadership (US $41.00)

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