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On Becoming a Leader Paperback – 19 Mar 1998

4.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Paperback, 19 Mar 1998
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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow Books Ltd; 2nd Revised edition edition (19 Mar. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099269392
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099269397
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.7 x 20.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 129,019 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Only Warren Bennis could write a book on leadership that is so inspiring and insightful, captivating and wise, eloquent and revealing. His beautifully crafted stories of outstanding leaders and their fascinating paths to power are sure to launch an exciting journey of self-exploration for future leaders." Rosabeth Moss Kanter" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Warren Bennis is Distinguished Professor of Business Administration at the University of Southern California and a consultant to multinational companies and governments around the world. He also chairs the Advisory Board of the Kennedy School's Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University. He is author of more than thirty books and dozens of other articles on leadership, including Managing the Dream, Organizing Genius, and Learning to Lead. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I regulary dip into this book, on an almost daily basis, for it's continual inspiration. Full of pratical points and inspiring quotes that leave you wanting to be yourself, and fullfill your potential.
Unlike many other leadership books this focuses on character, and the timeless principles that cause true leaders to rise to the top of an organisation. There is no quick fix easy route to succcess here. Prepare to be challenged to the very core of your being!
Bennis holds up a mirror to anyone who would aspire to lead anything, beginning with their own lives.
Finally a qoute from Bennis;
"First and foremost, find out what it is you're about, and be that. Be what you are and don't lose it...It's very hard to be who we are because it doesn't seem to be what anyone wants"
Jason Clark - 25TH November 1998
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Format: Paperback
Charles Smith Submitted 2/18/99
Bennis, W. (1989). On Becoming A Leader. Reading, Massachusetts: Perseus Books
This book deals with leadership, how one becomes a leader, and the many people the author knows with leadership qualities. It is written in an easy to understand format that uses many formulas which people have used to obtain strong leadership qualities. Bennis points out three reasons for the importance of effective leadership. Leaders are responsible for organizational effectiveness, leaders must also provide stability to an organization and the need for integrity within an organization. Norman Lear, writer and director, is often referenced by Bennis. He believes that society is suffering from what he calls a "societal disease" of short-term thinking. This can be a stumbling block in the pursuit of total leadership. One of Bennis' premises is that that the context of leadership is a breaker not a maker and that most people fail to realize the difference. To be an effective leader one must see it as an end result, not a beginning. Learning from failure is also an important theme in the book. The author points out a person fictitiously called Ed and how he never really understood what it took to be an effective leader. While he had wonderful management skills, he was not trusted because he was unable to make people feel willing to follow. He had followers but they were not always willing followers. Norman Lear again provides insight to what he calls mastering the context of leadership. A leader must be self-expressive, listen to the inner voice, learn from the right mentors and give oneself over to a guiding vision. Bennis defines three ingredients that encompass leadership.
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Format: Paperback
Warreen Bennis shows how holding the status quo in management and leadership will provide a void in inspirational leadership in the 21st Century. He correctly writes about how management can get the best out of people by empowering them, by giving them input into things that affect them and by getting out of their way.
The author correctly identifies so called leaders who have attained top positons but lack integrity, knowledge of human development, what motivates people and compassion. He calls them "destructive achievers" and pronounces them dangerous.
Bennis has obviously devoted many years of his life to discovering what good leadership is and what it isn't. He notes that "Everyone deplores the alleged lack of leadership in America today" and further states that, "Greed, timidity and lack of vision are rampant among the current crop of psuedoleaders." He is correct in arguing that "Our culture is currrently dominated and shaped by business." He asks us to consider that "those who are skilled at achieveing prominence are not necessarily those who are ready to lead once they arrive."
If we consider all of the violence in America, lack of health care, the working poor, starving children and homeless people how can we deny Bennis when he states that, "Our quality of life depends on the quality of our leaders?" Should not a government, with all of its "leaders" be judged on how well people at the bottom are doing instead of people at the top?
Anyone reading this well written book will understand that American leadership is lacking and that we must develop better leaders if we are to increase our performance throughout the world.
Dr. Norman Jones-author of Performance Management in the 21st Century:Solutions for Business, Education and Family (St. Lucie Press-1999)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a rule, I avoid reading glib, pop-psychology books because a lot of them are loaded with drivel and rehased words-of-wisdom. If I want lazy psychology sound bites, I'll watch Dr. Phil. Warren Bennis' On Becoming a Leader, however, is not one pop-psychology tome. This book truly deserves to be a classic. The author bemoans the lack of leadership in every sphere of human activity today. He points out that society has become disenchanted with political, religious and corporate leaders in the light of the Enron, WorldCom and the sex abuse scandals in the Church. Leadership today seems to be failing. He then addresses leadership on a personal and corporate level.

PERSONAL LEADERSHIP

The book is a product of research into the lives of various leaders in their respective fields. Some of the leaders interviewed are Norman Lear, Clifton Wharton, Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss (of A&M records). What becomes clear is that rather than giving some standard, formulaic method for becoming a leader, the book outlines personality traits/behaviours that have made these successful leaders successful. It is not so much a "how-to-do" as it is "how-it-is". What stands out to my mind about the leaders interviewed is the following:

- They reflect on their childhood experiences and education in order to know themselves

- They accept failure as part of their life experience and learnt from it

- They accept, nay embrace change

- They are lifelong learners comfortable with chaos in their lives

On a personal level, true leadership begins with knowing and expressing oneself.
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