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"Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands" is an engaging and insightful look into the qualities, attributes, and practices that turn ordinary leaders into extraordinary ones. Nancy Ortberg's unique twist on vision casting; managing tensions; nurturing healthy conflict; motivating those around you; fostering creativity, passion, and trust is unlike anything you've ever read before! At times challenging, at times candid, but always inspiring, "Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands" will bring out the best in even the most seasoned leaders.

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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Leadership Challenges are not Linear 22 Sep 2008
By Jim Estill - Published on Amazon.com
The thesis of the book is that leading tends not to be linear; it tends to be exponential. The more you pull the rubber band the greater resistance. (I found the analogy particularly interesting since I have recently added using Therabands to my workout schedule. They are very lightweight, portable and can be used almost anywhere. I probably wouldn't need weights in my office if I had learned to use bands when I first starting working out.)

One of the quotes from the book that I liked was, "Great leaders know the value of doing the right things and that includes valuing the contribution of all of the players". I think one area where I have not done as well is telling people I appreciate their contribution. Fortunately I am a life-long learner so I can always change. For me it might even tie in with my own celebration. I tend not to celebrate my own wins as much as I could.

Another quote was, "Much of the frustration that leaders face comes from trying to solve what needs to be managed and trying to manage what needs to be solved. Being able to distinguish which areas need clarity and which areas will be ongoing tensions is a necessary skill." That paragraph was a real truism for me. So many of the things that we are involved in are not solved, they are simply somewhere along a continuum.

I found the book to be interesting, challenging, and thought provoking and would recommend it as a good read.

Only caveat, because Nancy has worked extensively with the church many of her examples have religious overtones that might put some people off.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For All Leaders, Not Just Christians 19 Mar 2012
By James A. Muncy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
This book is amazing. I teach leadership and I have read many, many books on leadership. With the POSSIBLE exception of Maxwell's 21 Irrefutable Laws, I would say that this is the best book I have read on the subject. I found myself drawn into every page of the book, often saying "Wow, that is SO true."

Perhaps I am a bit more eclectic than some others who have posted reviews but I don't see how anyone can minimize the brilliance of this book because some of the lessons learned and stories told occurred in Christian ministry. I am a business professor who teaches leadership in the area of sales management. If I read a great insight on leadership from John Wooden, I don't say, "Well that insight is for the athletic world." If I read insights from Patton or Eisenhower, I don't say, "Well, I guess that was targeted for the military market." If I find insights from Gandhi or Churchill, I don't think, "That doesn't apply to business because they are clearly talking about political leadership." How small does your world have to be if you cannot learn lessons from great leaders regardless of their field? I do like the fact that so much of Ortberg's experience is in business but I also like a lot of the lessons I have learned from her leadership at Willow Creek and other Christian ministries.

She was talking about a Christian ministry when she did an outstanding job discussing the importance of passion. I found that discussion fascinating and I thought of twenty ways it related to sales management. But she also drew from a wealth of business leadership experience to really drive home some points. For example, I think I will always remember the advertising agency that regained its sense of purpose and vision by putting away all of their awards (things they had accomplished in the past) and replacing them with representations of their goals (things they want to accomplish in the future). Then, at another place in the book, she hit me right between the eyes when she said that "Eleven time out of ten, the answer to your most burning leadership issue is to have the conversation." I thought of all the times I have not been the leader I needed to be because I wasn't willing to sit down with someone and have a two-way conversation about some issue or concern. Funny thing is I don't know if the story where this insight came from was in a Christian or a business organization. She never said. She didn't need to because it doesn't matter. Whether you are running a church, a business, a political campaign, a sports team, a hospital, a university, or any other type of organization, if you are too weak to sit down and "have the conversation" with someone you are leading, you are not fit to be a leader.

So I guess if you get the hibbie jibbies at the mere mention of somebody's faith, then indeed, steer clear of this book. After all, it is published by Tyndale Publishing (that should give you a hint that God might be mentioned). On the other hand if you want and absolutely outstanding book of brilliant insights from someone who has been a leader is a wide variety of contexts, then this book is a must read for you.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book! 15 Oct 2008
By Barbara Harrison - Published on Amazon.com
I loved this book! Nancy Ortberg's new book tells truths about leadership that we don't always hear. Truths that are both encouraging and challenging. Such as:
"the core of leadership is hope" - ways to create that culture;
"stop being surprised leadership is hard" - expect it;
"the leader ought to be the most transformed person in the organization";
"great teams need spirited, unfiltered debate" - handling and even encouraging conflict; and
"leaders bear the burden so that hope has free reign".

After reading this book, I want to be a better leader, and I have stories and insights that resonate to help me on that path. Nancy Ortberg's voice is unique - this is not your typical leadership book - and her "non-linear style" so appealing. I was both encouraged by the stories she shared about her own missteps, and challenged by her high view of leadership. After reading Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands, I want to provide a culture of hope for those I lead.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Resource for Leaders 11 Nov 2009
By EK08 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a woman at the forefront of a Christian ministry, I recommend this book wholeheartedly. This is one of the best books on leadership I've read in a long time and offers practical advice and tools to better serve your team through purposed leadership.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Important book for those committed to leadership 28 Aug 2008
By Daniel Hill - Published on Amazon.com
For anyone looking to grow their leadership abilities, "Unleashing the power of rubber bands" is a book that will add tremendous value. With a style that effortlessly fuses winsome storytelling with pragmatic principles, Nancy Ortberg inspired me to become a better leader and gave me clear ideas on how to take next steps. You won't want to miss this one!
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