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Harvard Business Review On Leadership [Paperback]

Harvard Business Review
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Sep 1998 "Harvard Business Review" Paperback
Leading Minds and Landmark Ideas In An Easily Accessible Format

From the preeminent thinkers whose work has defined an entire field to the rising stars who will redefine the way we think about business, The Harvard Business Review Paperback Series delivers the fundamental information today's professionals need to stay competitive in a fast-moving world.

Harvard Business Review on Leadership gathers together eight of the Harvard Business Review's most influential articles on leadership, challenging many long-held assumptions about the true sources of power and authority. A Harvard Business Review Paperback.



Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business School Press (1 Sep 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875848834
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875848839
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 14.4 x 20.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 388,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Since 1984, Harvard Business School Press has been dedicated to publishing the most contemporary management thinking, written by authors and practitioners who are leading the way. Whether readers are seeking big-picture strategic thinking or tactical problem solving, advice in managing global corporations or for developing personal careers, HBS Press helps fuel the fire of innovative thought. HBS Press has earned a reputation as the springboard of thought for both established and emerging business leaders.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enduring insights from multiple perspectives 15 May 2007
By Robert Morris TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Much of the contextual material in this volume is out-of-date, given the fact that the eight articles originally appeared in the Harvard Business Review years ago (1975-1998). However, I think the core concepts remain sound and provide a valuable frame-of-reference for understanding the advances in effective decision making that have occurred during the last five years. For example, if anything, Henry Mintzberg's article ("The Manager's Job") is even more relevant today than it was when it first appeared in the July/August issue in 1975. In it, he examines "four myths about the manager's job that do not bear up under careful scrutiny of the facts," such as "the manager is a reflective, systematic planner." In fact, Mintzberg suggests that managers work "at an unrelenting pace, that their activities are characterized by brevity, variety, and discontinuity, and that they are strongly oriented to action and dislike reflective activities." Mind you, this was an opinion expressed more than 30 years ago.

No brief commentary such as this can do full justice to the rigor and substance of the eight articles. It remains for each reader to examine the list to identify which subjects are of greatest interest to her or him. My own opinion is that all of the articles are first-rate. One of this volume's greatest benefits is derived from the fact that a variety of perspectives are provided by a number of different authorities on the same general subject. In this instance, leadership.

Readers will especially appreciate the provision of an executive summary that precedes each article. They facilitate, indeed expedite frequent review of key points which - presumably - careful readers either underline or highlight.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Looking for some informative, original and clear thinking about leadership? This book is a great choice! The eight articles in this work cover: the role of leadership, differences between managing and leading, and ways chief executives lead. Each article begins with an executive summary which, for the fast-forward crowd, is a big plus.
So many books are merely ONE GOOD ARTICLE embedded in a thicket of verbiage. Chopping away through such a jungle of verbosity for the gist-of-it-all often proves tedious and disappointing. (Blessed are the laconic!) This book, on the other hand, just serves up a bunch of 'gists' -the pure meat and potatoes of ideas. Happily, the HBSP has published several other collections of this sort on such topics as knowledge management, change, and strategies for growth. Each of these is collection of first-rate 'gists'. Reviewed by Gerry Stern, founder, Stern & Associates, author of Stern's Sourcefinder The Master Directory to HR and Business Management Information & Resources, Stern's CyberSpace SourceFinder, and the Compensation and Benefits SourceFinder.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Leadership Guide 5 April 2011
By Richard
Format:Paperback
Because the literature on leadership is so vast (and often contradictory and confusing) it is very helpful to have a Review that doesn't try to do everything, but offers valuable insights by some of the top thinkers in this area. The approach of this book is rooted in research which looks at what managers and leaders actually do.

The Review opens with the classic Mintzberg article (of 1975), which disentangles the folklore from the fact about what managers' do.

The style is refreshingly discursive: a welcome break from diagrams and bullet points, which to me make the subject seem too 'cut and dried'.

But, for the busy, there are very useful 'Executive Summaries' at the beginning of each chapter. You can then decide if you want to spend the time to read further.

I enjoyed the Thomas Teal chapter (page 147) in which he says that mediocre management is the norm and good management takes tenacity and courage. I believe that to be true.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harvard Business Review on Leadership 13 Mar 2000
By Jason I. Alexander - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Excellent book with eight fantastically different views on Leadership. Describes fundamental differences between leadership and Management and brings forth thought process which can help professionals in all fields. Contents are 1) The managers Job (folclore and fact), 2) What leaders really do, 3)managers and leaders (are they different), 4) The discipline of building Character, 5) the ways CEO's lead (5 different ways gathered from study of 160 CEO's),6)The human side of management, 7) the work of leadership, 8) whatever happened to the take-charge manager, also contains brief background about the contributors. Each chapter is from a different contributor
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enduring insights from multiple perspectives 15 May 2007
By Robert Morris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Much of the contextual material in this volume is out-of-date, given the fact that the eight articles originally appeared in the Harvard Business Review years ago (1975-1998). However, I think the core concepts remain sound and provide a valuable frame-of-reference for understanding the advances in effective decision making that have occurred during the last five years. For example, if anything, Henry Mintzberg's article ("The Manager's Job") is even more relevant today than it was when it first appeared in the July/August issue in 1975. In it, he examines "four myths about the manager's job that do not bear up under careful scrutiny of the facts," such as "the manager is a reflective, systematic planner." In fact, Mintzberg suggests that managers work "at an unrelenting pace, that their activities are characterized by brevity, variety, and discontinuity, and that they are strongly oriented to action and dislike reflective activities." Mind you, this was an opinion expressed more than 30 years ago.

No brief commentary such as this can do full justice to the rigor and substance of the eight articles. It remains for each reader to examine the list to identify which subjects are of greatest interest to her or him. My own opinion is that all of the articles are first-rate. One of this volume's greatest benefits is derived from the fact that a variety of perspectives are provided by a number of different authorities on the same general subject. In this instance, leadership.

Readers will especially appreciate the provision of an executive summary that precedes each article. They facilitate, indeed expedite frequent review of key points which - presumably - careful readers either underline or highlight. Also of interest is the "About the Contributors" section that includes suggestions of other sources to consult. Here are questions to which the authors of the other seven articles respond:

What do leaders do? (John P. Kotter)
Comment: "Institutionalizing a leadership-centered culture is the ultimate act of leadership."

How do managers and leaders differ? (Abraham Zaleznik)
Comment: "Managers see themselves as conservators and regulators of an existing order of affairs with which they personally identify and from which they gain rewards [whereas] leaders tend to be twice-born personalities, people who feel separate from their environment."

How do "defining moments" help to develop character? (Joseph L. Badaracco, Jr.)
Comment: "Defining moments force us to find a balance between our hearts in all their idealism and our jobs in all their messy reality."

Note: In Leading Quietly (2002) and then Questions of Character: Illuminating the Heart of Leadership Through Literature (2006), Badaracco develops in greater depth many of the core concepts introduced in this article.

What are the ways in which CEOs lead? (Charles M. Farkas and Suzy Wetlaufer)
Comment: "No matter where a company is located or what it makes, its CEO must develop a guiding, overarching philosophy about how he or she can best add value.... A leadership approach is a coherent, explicit style of management, not a reflection of personal style. This is a critical distinction."

Why are there so few great managers? (Thomas Teal)
Comment: "Great management involves courage and tenacity. It closely resembles heroism."

How to lead others during adaptive change? (Ronald A. Heifetz and Donald L. Laurie)
Comment: "Solutions to adaptive challenges reside not in the executive suite but in the collective intelligence of employees at all levels."

"Whatever happened to the take-charge manager?" (Nitin Nohria and James D. Berkley)
Comment: "Pragmatists understand that it is unrealistic to try to avoid uncertainty. Attempts to deny or ignore it can blind managers to the real contexts in which they are working and prevent them from responding effectively."

Those who share my high regard for this volume are urged to check out the recently published Harvard Business Review on Making Smarter Decisions as well as other series title in the Harvard Business Review Paperback Series such as those on Becoming a High-Performance Manager, Change, Corporate Strategy, Decision Making, Effective Communication, the Innovative Enterprise, Leadership, Leadership at the Top, and Measuring Corporate Performance.
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EIGHT ORIGINAL, SIGHTFUL PERSPECTIVES ON LEADERSHIP 5 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Looking for some informative, original and clear thinking about leadership? This book is a great choice! The eight articles in this work cover: the role of leadership, differences between managing and leading, and ways chief executives lead. Each article begins with an executive summary which, for the fast-forward crowd, is a big plus.
So many books are merely ONE GOOD ARTICLE embedded in a thicket of verbiage. Chopping away through such a jungle of verbosity for the gist-of-it-all often proves tedious and disappointing. (Blessed are the laconic!) This book, on the other hand, just serves up a bunch of 'gists' -the pure meat and potatoes of ideas. Happily, the HBSP has published several other collections of this sort on such topics as knowledge management, change, and strategies for growth. Each of these is collection of first-rate 'gists'. Reviewed by Gerry Stern, founder, Stern & Associates, author of Stern's Sourcefinder The Master Directory to HR and Business Management Information & Resources, Stern's CyberSpace SourceFinder, and the Compensation and Benefits SourceFinder.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Resource for Executives 25 Mar 2007
By Nataly Kelly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Another fantastic resource from HBR.

The article titled, "The Manager's Job: Folklore and Fact", by Henry Mintzberg, has been requested for reprint more than 22,000 times in the past two years. Mintzberg did a fascinating study of how managers worked to analyze behavior.

"What Leaders Really Do", by John Kotter, provides a wealth of helpful information. Among the passages I've underlined:

"Leadership complements management; it doesn't replace it..."

"Planning is a management process, deductive in nature... Setting a direction is more inductive..."

"One of the most frequent mistakes that overmanaged and underled corporations make is to embrace 'long-term planning' as a panacea for their lack of direction and inability to adapt to an increasingly competitive and dynamic business environment..."

"In a company without direction, even short-term planning can become a black hole capable of an infinite amount of time and energy."

"Leaders also regularly involve people in deciding how to achieve the organization's vision... This gives people a sense of control..."

All of the articles in this volume are helpful, but these two are the ones I found most interesting.
5.0 out of 5 stars Summary of Articles 19 Nov 2011
By R. NORI - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
`The Manager's Job: Folklore and Fact' by Henry Mintzberg
The above article written by Henry Mintzberg in 1975 provides a thoughtful analysis of what managers do as part of their daily routine and exposes the pretensions on myths about managers and how they work. The author also gives us an insight on what roles managers play and what skills are required to be a successful manager.

The main idea behind this article is to provide a clear insight into managerial roles and responsibilities and how they correlate to the challenges and opportunities that manifest in front of a manager. In order to successfully execute the his/her roles and responsibilities a manager is required to acquire skills to foster interpersonal relationships, ability to negotiate, motivate their staff, resolve conflicts, acquire and share information, make decisions.
-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

`What Leaders Really Do' by John P. Kotter
The above article written by John P. Kotter in 1990, proposes that management and leadership are different yet complementary and in a constantly changing organizational climate managers and leaders cannot function one without the other.

The main idea behind this article can be summarized as follows: "While managers focus on efficiency and tactics, leaders focus on effectiveness and strategy. A successful organization is one that emerges as a winner during uncertain times and strives to attain a perfect balance by combining the strengths of its managers and leaders". The following is a brief contract between the roles of a managers and leaders
-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

"The Discipline of Building Character", by Joseph L. Badaracco, Jr.
The above article written by Joseph Badaracco, Jr. draws a contrast between ethical decisions and defining moments faced by individuals, managers and executives. According to the author an ethical decision clearly has two options, right v/s wrong, whereas a defining moment forces one to choose between two ideals, right and - right. While ethical decisions are easy to make, a defining moment challenge us to choose between two or more ideals.

The main idea behind this article can be summarized as follows, "Professional responsibilities conflict with our values and during these defining moments one must choose between right and right." The article explains three types of defining moments, "Who am I?", "Who are we?" and "Who is the company?" and educates readers by helping them learn skills to identify these three types so that they will be able to effectively navigate the right v/s right decisions they face throughout their career. Such skills, although not part of a manager's job description enable them to build an identity in the organization based on their own understand of what is right. Various sections of the author's article, written in 1998, encourage readers to take a step back and evaluate this conflict not as a dilemma but as an expected tension between two or more valid perspectives.
-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

`Managers and Leaders: Are They Different' by Abraham Zaleznik
The above article written by Abraham Zaleznik in 1977 makes a case against modern management by enumerating the similarities and differences between managers and leaders. The author argues that managers and leaders differ in their personalities and viewpoints on how they manage order and chaos within an organization. The article discusses how traditional organizational structures and processes have influenced managers to focus exclusively on traits like control, power and competence in order to be successful. This management school of thought discouraged managers to be creative, develop inter-personal traits and build relationships with their team.

The main idea behind this article can be summarized as follows, "Managers are born out of an organization structure and operate on a pre-defined set of processes and control mechanisms, and therefore they have a very good understanding of the business and their job at hand. Managers play an important role in any organization and always solve problems by giving orders and seek stability by controlling and persuading their subordinates to align with organizational goals, processes and procedures. In contrast, Leaders always relate themselves to people and are often idea centric and sometimes deviate from traditional approaches towards solving organizational problems."
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