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Leading Quietly: An Unorthodox Guide to Doing the Right Thing Hardcover – 1 Jan 2002

3.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business School Press; 1 edition (1 Jan. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486634159
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578514878
  • ASIN: 1578514878
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 2.3 x 23.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 212,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Joseph L. Badaracco Jr. is a Professor at Harvard Business School, the Chair of the M.B.A. Elective Curriculum, and the author of Defining Moments: When Managers Must Choose between Right and Right (ISBN 0875848036, HBS Press, 1997).

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In a period where the ghost of Enron and other business malpractices wanders over the stock markets, a book like this certainly has it's value. However, after reading the book I wonder whether people applying what's written down in this work would have helped to prevent these malpractices, and I must say that I have my doubts. More specifically, instead of doing some whistle blowing, you might decide to back off, in order to save your career. That might be "emotional intelligent" in the sense of understanding the emotional reactions of others against whistle-blowers, but its not really "integer" according to my definition of that word and thus certainly doesn't fit my European interpretation of being an ethical person. That explains why from a business ethics point of view, I prefer Linda Tobey's "The Integrity Moment" or even Badaracco's previous book "Defining Moments".
Actually, when I bought the book, I hadn't fully grasped I was buying a business ethics book. I though I had a leadership book in my hands, which explains my average rating. While its' true that personal restraint, modesty and tenacity are virtues for leaders, if you want a book on leading quietly, I prefer Jim Collins' "Good to Great" by far. His level 5 leadership is also a form of leading quietly, but it's much more a book for people willing to lead in the business meaning of that word.
Patrick E.C. Merlevede - author of "7 Steps to Emotional Intelligence"
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Format: Hardcover
This philosophical essay about leadership is not about the kind of leader who makes it onto the front pages of newspapers or into the history books. Instead, it is about average people who labor in the middle to lower levels of bureaucracies, and who do the work that keeps their organizations moving forward. Author Joseph L. Badaracco, Jr., calls these people "quiet leaders." They make decisions that may not appear earthshaking, but that still must take many complex factors into account. Badaracco illustrates the kinds of ethical and moral dilemmas quiet leaders face by extracting guidelines from case studies. However, many of the stories he presents are so commonplace, and the lessons he draws are so self-evident, that the book is hardly the "unorthodox guide" it wishes to be. We recommend this to mid- and low-level managers who are looking for an alternative to traditional ideas about heroic leadership.
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Format: Hardcover
Joseph Badaracco reminds us that the best leaders are not highly visible "heroes" who single-handedly set things right with dramatic deeds on center stage. They are restrained, modest and tenacious individuals working quietly in the shadows. If they are ever recognized, like Winston Churchill or Mother Theresa, it is only after many years or decades of quiet striving. We should not only recognize them, but learn to emulate their unassuming style.

Using case studies and clear prose, the author describes the techniques of quiet leadership, advising us to focus on small things that need to be handled every day. Quiet leaders accept that they will be surprised and will need to make decisions without knowing all of the facts. They are able to trust others, but verify information when possible. Quiet leaders are realists, accepting mixed motives in themselves and others. This allows them to find win-win solutions between individuals and organizations with different needs and goals.

Quiet leaders don't rush--or allow themselves to be rushed--into hasty decisions. They try to buy time to dig into the political and technical details and find a better solution. They build up political capital with others over time and "withdraw" this capital to help solve problems--or get extra time to solve them. Quiet leaders carefully consider drawing on this resource before taking on a problem. They may walk away from a problem they do not have the resources to address. They may bend the rules a bit to solve a problem, being careful to adhere to the principles they are based upon. A compromise is preferable to a conflict. If conflict seems necessary, quiet leaders move toward it carefully, escalating gradually, continually testing and trying for a low-key resolution.
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