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Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value

ISBN: 978-0-7879-7528-9
240 pages
August 2004, Jossey-Bass
Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value (0787975281) cover image


In the wake of continuing corporate scandals there have been few, if any, CEOs that have stepped forward as models of "doing things right"—except the former chairman and CEO of Medtronic, Bill George. George has become the unofficial spokesperson for responsible leadership—in business, the media, and academia.

In Authentic Leadership Bill George makes the case that we do need new leaders, not just new laws, to bring us out of the current corporate crisis. He persuasively demonstrates that authentic leaders of mission-driven companies will create far greater shareholder value than financially oriented companies. During George's twelve-year leadership at Medtronic, the company's market capitalization soared from $1.1 billion to $460 billion, averaging 35% per year.

George candidly recounts many of the toughest challenges he encountered -- from ethical dilemmas and battles with the FDA to his own development as a leader. He shows how to develop the five essential dimensions of authentic leaders—purpose, values, heart, relationships, and self-discipline. Authentic Leadership offers inspiring lessons to all who want to lead with heart and with compassion for those they serve.

Bill George helps readers answer vital questions such as: What should I do when my personal values conflict with company business values? How do I make trade-offs between the needs of my customers, my employees, and my company's shareholders? Do I really want to devote my talents to business? Authentic Leadership provides a tested guide for character-based leaders and all those who have a stake in the integrity and success of our corporations.

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Table of Contents

Foreword xv
Warren Bennis

Preface: A New Generation of Leaders xvii

Introduction: Where Have All the Leaders Gone? 1

Part One: Becoming an Authentic Leader

1. Leadership Is Authenticity, Not Style 11

2. The Transformation of Leaders 27

3. Leading a Balanced Life 45

Part Two: Building an Authentic Company

4. Missions Motivate, Dollars Don't 61

5. Values Don't Lie 71

6. It's the Customer, Stupid! 81

7. It's Not Just the CEO 91

8. Whose Bottom Line: Customers or Shareholders? 101

Part Three: In the Crucible of the Market

9. Seven Deadly Sins: Pitfalls to Growth 109

10. Overcoming Obstacles: Nothing Can Stand in Your Way 117

11. Ethical Dilemmas: When in Rome, Don’t Follow the Romans 127

12. Innovations from the Heart 133

13. Acquisitions Aren’t Just About Money 143

14. Shareholders Come Third 153

Part Four: Beyond the Bottom Line

15. Governance Is Governance 165

16. Sticking Your Neck Out 177

17. Preparing for Succession . . . and Moving On 187

Epilogue: If Not Me, Then Who? If Not Now, When? 197

Medtronic Financial Results 201

Suggested Reading 203

Acknowledgments 207

The Author 209

Index 211

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Related Websites / Extra

Q & A with the AuthorRead A Conversation with Bill George and get insight behind his best-selling book "Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value."
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