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Why Should Anyone Be Led by You?: What It Takes To Be An Authentic Leader [Hardcover]

Rob Goffee , Gareth Jones
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Mar 2006
Too many companies are managed not by leaders, but by mere role players and faceless bureaucrats. What does it take to be a real leader-one who is confident in who she is and what she stands for, and who truly inspires people to achieve extraordinary results?

Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones argue that leaders don't become great by aspiring to a list of universal character traits. Rather, effective leaders are authentic: they deploy individual strengths to engage followers' hearts, minds, and souls. They are skillful at consistently being themselves, even as they alter their behaviors to respond effectively in changing contexts.

In this lively and practical book, Goffee and Jones draw from extensive research to reveal how to hone and deploy one’s unique leadership assets while managing the inherent tensions at the heart of successful leadership: showing emotion and withholding it, getting close to followers while keeping distance, and maintaining individuality while "conforming enough." Underscoring the social nature of leadership, the book also explores how leaders can remain attuned to the needs and expectations of followers.

Why Should Anyone Be Led By You? will forever change how we view, develop, and practice the art of leadership, wherever we live and work.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 150 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business School Press (1 Mar 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578519713
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578519712
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.3 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 75,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A wise, sensitive and sensible guide ... The authors demystify the magic of great leadership. A must-read.
-- Business Executive, November 2007

"A rewarding read if you want to lead." -- Financial Times

"But Goffee and Jones deserve credit for sticking to their guns and ignoring the sceptics." -- Accounting & Business

"In showing that they really care about something, leaders will inevitably reveal something of their true selves." -- Total Business

"This challenging and even slightly hectoring tone of this book's title is deliberate and well chosen." -- Accounting & Business

'...that is why this book is so good - it is truthful, clear and spot on.' -- People Management, April 20, 2006

'This is a superb book that captures the complex and risky nature of authentic leadership in these challenging times' -- People Management, April 20, 2006

An excellent, thought-provoking book that renders many earlier leadership manuals redundant. -- Director Magazine, July 2006,

Goffee and Jones….reveal the secrets of "authentic chameleons"…...effective leaders who can both challenge and conform. -- Training and Development Methods, June 2006

From the Publisher

Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones' writing has been 'Highly Commended' at the MCA/Management Today Awards 2006

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely not another management 'how to' 1 Jun 2007
By O. Luke
If you want to be told how to lead then this book is not for you, but if you want to read how the best do it then this book is for you. This book distils the key skills that it takes to be a greater leader and then using real leaders explains how those people demonstrated those skills. The leaders selected are multination and include a few British leaders thus allowing the UK reader to contrast the skills discussed with their perception of that person.

I was given this book as part of a leadership training program and to be honest flicking through it during a break thought that it looked dry and uninteresting. But once I started reading the book I found it very engaging and interesting. It has made me question my own leadership style and has highlighted areas that I need to work on. The main strength of the book is that it leaves the reader free to develop the ideas and create their own leadership style.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leaders and Followers 20 April 2009
Very simply, this is a must read for anyone interested in self development or business books. Goffee and Jones have managed to shift the emphasis from the traits and characteristics of the leader as an individual to focus more on the interaction of the leader with the followers. Very easy to read and simple messages throughout. Highly recommended.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A landmark book on the nature of leadership 30 Nov 2006
This is a truly landmark book for anyone who aspires to lead, whether in business or any other walk of life.

Goes much deeper than the usual management tips and techniques books and forces you to consider what kind of person people naturally want to follow. Not instructional as such, but if you want to be a leader, and most importantly, if you aspire to be a "great leader that people will be inspired by and follow", then this book is going to be very important. It doesn't prescribe the specific traits you need, but focuses on the behaviours that cause people to willingly follow great leaders. How you use these insights and weave your own personal leadership style is up to you, and will require a deep appreciation and understanding of both yourself, and especially those that you aspire to lead.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helps answer some questions about leadership 24 Dec 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have recently taken on some leadership responsibilities at work and had come up with a few questions of my own which this book has helped me answer (or at least consider in greater depth). For example, how much of yourself should one reveal to team members? Plenty of food for thought in this book and I'm hoping that by considering the questions in the 'Evaluating Your Leadership Potential' section I will become increasingly effective!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good advanced leadership techniques 27 Jun 2011
This book moves beyond basic leadership (decision making, team work, communications etc) to analyse some more advanced leadership techniques and traits, such as social distance, authenticity and conforming just enough. A very informative read, with lots of US and UK examples.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Philosophical take on authentic leadership 23 Nov 2006
By Rolf Dobelli TOP 500 REVIEWER
Authors Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones provide a welcome balance to the many books advising that leadership is a matter of adopting this or that characteristic or technique. They emphasize the situational nature of leadership, the extent to which it depends on followers in a particular organizational context. They infer some basic principles for authenticity and leadership from what seems to be a solid body of empirical observation and interviews, including generally pointed, well-chosen anecdotes showing good leaders in action. We recommend this thoughtful book, which offers an insight that few books on leadership dare to voice. The authors unabashedly assert that even great leadership may not lead to good business results. They further state that an excessive emphasis on results is one of the great obstacles standing in the way of authentic, moral leadership.
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