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Taking Advice: How Leaders Get Good Counsel And Use It Wisely Hardcover – 1 Sep 2006


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business School Press; 1 edition (1 Sept. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591396689
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591396680
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 2.5 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,900,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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From the Back Cover

“No leader has all the answers all the time. Dan Ciampa has a unique skill for listening, engaging, and helping executives translate ideas into action. Taking Advice can help anyone who truly wants to find the right kind of help and get the most out of it.”

—Brenda Barnes, Chairman and CEO, Sara Lee Corporation

“In Taking Advice, Dan Ciampa has again broken new ground with a clear, practical guide to a topic that we all too often ignore.” —Travis Engen, former President and CEO, Alcan Inc.

“As an executive, you may spend millions soliciting advice during your career. The compelling stories, engaging logic, and tips in this book will help you understand how much of that money could be wasted and will help ensure great decision making for the future. Take my advice—you really need to read this book!” —Richard E. Boyatzis, Professor of Organizational Development and Psychology at Case Western Reserve University, and coauthor of the bestselling Primal Leadership and Resonant Leadership.

“Learning how to take advice is invaluable not only in business, but also in the context of health and medicine, relationships, personal finance, and life goals. In Taking Advice, Dan Ciampa conveys his experience and expertise in an enjoyable, interesting, and easy-to-read book. It is a ‘must read’ for improving and enhancing business or personal life. Take my advice—learn from the expert!”

—Mark Liponis, Medical Director, Canyon Ranch Health Resorts

About the Author

Dan Ciampa is an adviser to leaders moving into new positions and on creating a culture that sustains new technology and operational improvements.

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Format: Hardcover
Leaders must be accountable for their decisions, but the best leaders do not make the most important decisions alone. The right advice is a key condition for success, however, even the best advice will not be useful if the leader is not adept at using it. In this to-the-point book, author Dan Ciampa provides a unique service: a clear, practical framework for making the most of help from both inside and outside your organization, including selecting the right advisers and shaping a balanced advice network. We highly recommend this groundbreaking book for its usefulness and insights to every leader or aspiring leader...and that's advice you can take.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Not an area you see covered in management books... 10 Sept. 2006
By Thomas Duff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
No one has all the answers when it comes to running a business, so it pays to have "experts" surrounding you to give you insight. There are plenty of books that cover the hows of giving advice, but there are far fewer (any?) titles that deal with how best to *take* that advice. Dan Ciampa covers an oft-neglected area in his book Taking Advice: How Leaders Get Good Counsel And Use It Wisely.

Contents: The Help Paradox; How Good Leaders Fail as Advice Takers; A New Framework for Advice Taking; Types of Advice - Strategic, Operational, Political, and Personal; Kinds of Advisors - Expert, Experienced, Sounding-Board, and Partner; The Art of Balance; Attitudes and Behavior of Great Advice Takers; Listening - the Master Skill - and Other Key Success Factors; Afterword - For Further Thought; Notes; Further Reading; Index; About the Author

It's not unusual to see leaders taking advice from a close friend or circle of insiders. What is more unusual is to see a leader pick a group of advisors that have specific roles and purposes in the advice-giving position. Ciampa breaks out the types of advice and the types of advisors that a leader will need, and then uses examples to show how these roles come into play. For instance, someone may be looking at moving into a new position at a company, and it's one they've wanted for a long time. The spouse might be uneasy about the change, and the person's current boss wonders if the new position is a wise choice. It's all too easy to tune out advice you don't want to hear, or to assign the wrong level of importance to the advice you *are* hearing. Recognizing the current boss has a vested interest to keep you is important, but they also see a side of you that includes things you overlook. Dismissing the spouse's concerns as "emotional" means overlooking insights from someone that sees you as a person rather than a position in a company. Using Ciampa's material in Taking Advice puts you on the right path towards building a solid advice team with specific roles, and will definitely help you learn how to effectively use that advice to be successful (even if it may not be what you want to hear)...

A worthy addition to the bookshelf of management at all levels...
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A GEM OF A BOOK ON A QUINTESSENTIAL TOPIC FOR LEADERSHIP SUCCESS! 22 Sept. 2006
By Yvette Borcia and Gerry Stern - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
As management consultants in organization and compensation, as well as management book reviewers, we are all-too keenly aware that the achilles heal of leaders is very often, their inability to seek, get and properly use good advice.This book addresses this need, by presenting critical, to-the-point insights into this quintessential leadership subject. To do so, it offers a framework for advice taking and an understanding of the attributes of great advice taking.

The core propositions of the author are:

1) actionable, timely and sustainable advice is essential to achieve organizational change;

2) it is the leader's responsibility to identify needs for advice and choose and use advisors wisely, and;

3) leaders must achieve the appropriate mindset to be good advice takers and master the skills to take maximum advantage of advice given them.

Among the nuggets in this book are rules and fundamental principles of advice taking, the four types of advice, and the attributes and abilities of a skilled advice taker. The book offers important insights into a subject that may seem a blatantly obvious dimension of leadership, but is often neglected, poorly understood, and taken for granted.

This book is a very important contribution to the essential literature on leadership. We highly recommended it all who are, or strive to become, leaders.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Advice 7 Mar. 2007
By Michele T. Woodward - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is written for leaders who can often find themselves insulated and isolated. The bunker mentality is not generally conducive to good decision making, by the way.

Ciampa says that every leader should be an advice taker. And, different situations call for different kinds of advice. But all good advice takers share these characteristics:

* Skilled advice takers are deliberate in choosing the best type of help and in constructing a network of advisers.

* They manage that network actively, putting it high on their list of priorities.

* They work at building good relationships. To derive the most help from their advisers, they understand that they must take feedback without becoming defensive and, above all, listen with understanding.

* They seek advice and counsel quickly when faced with situations that can affect their plans. They also involve their advisers early in anticipating hindrances.

Every good advice taker has to be a good listener. It's important to be brave enough to select folks as advisers who are not "yes-men" -- and then listen, actually listen, to what is being said. Especially if it's not what you want to hear. That's leadership, regardless of your job title. That's also being open to growth and learning.
Good counterpart to Gerald M. Weinberg 31 May 2008
By Erik Gfesser - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
From a consulting perspective, Gerald M. Weinberg's "The Secrets of Consulting" is a classic on how to effectively dispense advice to clients. And as great a work as it is (see my review), its inclusion of "Getting Advice" in its subtitle is a bit misleading since it concentrates on how to provide rather than receive advice from colleagues and other professionals. I think "Taking Advice" helps complete the picture of this two-way relationship. Ciampa's focus on "How Leaders Get Good Counsel and Use it Wisely" is well-maintained throughout the text, and it is a very quick read, focusing mainly on the practice of seeking advice rather than the theory, although chapter 3 on "A New Framework for Advice Taking" might be a bit theoretical for some readers. The flow of thought from chapter to chapter is excellent. Even the preface is worth reading, as it describes, albeit briefly, insights from the author's experience on the supply side of consulting (including some interesting thoughts on early consultancies), as well as the demand side. Starting with this preface, the discussion develops into identifying why even experienced leaders continue to need advice (as well as why this is a natural and expected aspect of business), and why there are inadequacies on both the supply side and demand side of the "help paradox". Ciampa includes a liberal amount of case studies as the book progresses, which help bridge the gap between the points he is trying to make and successful application of his advice. Chapters 4 and 5 elegantly marry the theoretical and the practical, achieved through interesting case studies which explain types of advice (strategic, operational, political, and personal) and kinds of advisers (expert, experienced, sounding-board, and partner). The reader is encouraged to seek a balanced advice network that combines a mix of advisers for the type of advice being sought. The last two chapters focus on the attitudes and behavior of the advice taker that also include a discussion on why listening is still a key success factor. Ciampa effectively provides material for anyone in the business world seeking more insight into the demand side of advice.
Hands-on counsel about getting the most from good advice. 23 Nov. 2006
By Rolf Dobelli - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Leaders must be accountable for their decisions, but the best leaders do not make the most important decisions alone. The right advice is a key condition for success, however, even the best advice will not be useful if the leader is not adept at using it. In this to-the-point book, author Dan Ciampa provides a unique service: a clear, practical framework for making the most of help from both inside and outside your organization, including selecting the right advisers and shaping a balanced advice network. We highly recommend this groundbreaking book for its usefulness and insights to every leader or aspiring leader...and that's advice you can take.
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