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Discovering the Leader in You: A Guide to Realizing Your Personal Leadership Potential

ISBN: 978-1-118-00880-5
192 pages
October 2010, Jossey-Bass
Discovering the Leader in You: A Guide to Realizing Your Personal Leadership Potential (1118008804) cover image


This book is based on a simple, obvious point: leadership roles should be filled by people who deliberately decide they want to be in them. Yet many executives and managers find that they have become leaders by default rather than as a result of a personal choice. In fact, a great many people drift into or away from being leaders simply because they have not done the work of matching their own honestly described self with the realities of the leadership role. Not until they are well into their careers do many individuals seriously explore their personal fit for leadership. But by then, it is often too late to prepare for more gratifying roles or to get out of situations that don't make sense for them as individuals.

Discovering the Leader in You offers a planful approach to understanding how aspects of personality, character, vision, home life, values, and skills match with essential leadership activities. This unique system of self-discovery clearly shows what it looks like to fit or not to fit in leadership roles in organizations.

Robert J. Lee and Sara N. King, who developed this approach from their experience at the widely renowned Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, North Carolina, help leaders and potential leaders examine leadership commitments and development paths in the context of who they are as individuals. They show how to connect the inner self to the demands of leadership by using a set of questions that help (1) clarify the relevant realities and expectations in a leadership role, (2) bring out a personal vision and a leadership vision, (3) base leadership behaviors on personal values, (4) become more authentic in leadership situations, and (5) productively integrate work and personal lives.

Discovering the Leader in You will help all executives--seasoned veterans and those considering leading as a new direction in their careers--to gain more personal insight into what leadership really means to them, to retain more control over their career choices, and consequently to achieve more personal success as leaders.

"In the considerable literature on leadership, this book focuses on something new-how individuals can identify the key attributes of great leadership and link them to their own unique vision, values, and personal strengths. The authors provide a roadmap to self-knowledge that becomes a guide to maximizing effectiveness in the organization and in life."
Evelyn Rodstein, managing director, Leadership Organizational Development, J.P. Morgan

"As we have known since biblical days, no one wants to follow an uncertain trumpet. If you want to be the most persuasive, self-confident, visionary leader that you can be, the tools and techniques in this book will help get you there"
Douglas T. (Tim) Hall, director, Executive Development Roundtable, and professor of organizational behavior, Boston University School of Management

"The perfect book at the perfect time! As leadership has become the critical element in the age of intellectual capital, the pressure to assume a leadership role without reflection or regard for the trade-offs it represents is greater than ever. Thanks to Bob and Sara, mentors and professionals at all ages have a tool to make a conscious choice to accept the challenge and rewards of leadership."
Anita Jensen, vice president, organizationl development, Bristol-Myers Squibb

"You wouldn't think there was anything more that could be said about leadership-but there is, the most important part in fact: how do you figure out who you are as a leader? Lee and King are wonderful counselors in answering this question. This book is going to be required reading in our executive MBA program."
Peter B. Vaill, author, Learning as a Way of Being and Spirited Leading and Learning

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Table of Contents

Do I Have a Personal Leadership Vision?

Will My Values Enhance My Leadership?

How Important Is Life Balance to My Leadership?

What Do I Need to Know About Myself as a Leader?

What Do I Need to Know About the Realities of Leadership?

Steps to Knowing Yourself as a Leader.



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Author Information

ROBERT J. LEE a management consultant in New York City, is also a senior fellow at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he was president from 1994 to 1997.The Center for Creative Leadership is an international, nonprofit educational institution whose mission is to advance the understanding, practice, and development of leadership for the benefit of society worldwide. Based in Greensboro, North Carolina, it conducts research, produces publications and instruments, and offers a variety of educational programs.

SARA N. KING is director of open enrollment programs at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, North Carolina.

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