Harvard Business Review on Leadership

Product Description
The Harvard Business Review paperback series is designed to bring today's managers and professionals the fundamental information they need to stay competitive in a fast-moving world. Here are the landmark ideas that have established the Harvard Business Review as required reading for ambitious businesspeople in organizations around the globe. Harvard Business Review on Leadership gathers together eight of the Harvard Business Review's most influential articles on leadership, challenging many long-held assumptions about the true sources of power and authority. Harvard Business Review on Leadership

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5 Responses to “Harvard Business Review on Leadership”

  • Excellent book with eight fantastically different views on Leadership. Describes fundamental differences between leadership and Management and brings forth thought process which can help professionals in all fields. Contents are 1) The managers Job (folclore and fact), 2) What leaders really do, 3)managers and leaders (are they different), 4) The discipline of building Character, 5) the ways CEO’s lead (5 different ways gathered from study of 160 CEO’s),6)The human side of management, 7) the work of leadership, 8) whatever happened to the take-charge manager, also contains brief background about the contributors. Each chapter is from a different contributor
    Rating: 5 / 5

  • Anonymous says:

    Looking for some informative, original and clear thinking about leadership? This book is a great choice! The eight articles in this work cover: the role of leadership, differences between managing and leading, and ways chief executives lead. Each article begins with an executive summary which, for the fast-forward crowd, is a big plus.

    So many books are merely ONE GOOD ARTICLE embedded in a thicket of verbiage. Chopping away through such a jungle of verbosity for the gist-of-it-all often proves tedious and disappointing. (Blessed are the laconic!) This book, on the other hand, just serves up a bunch of ‘gists’ -the pure meat and potatoes of ideas. Happily, the HBSP has published several other collections of this sort on such topics as knowledge management, change, and strategies for growth. Each of these is collection of first-rate ‘gists’. Reviewed by Gerry Stern, founder, Stern & Associates, author of Stern’s Sourcefinder The Master Directory to HR and Business Management Information & Resources, Stern’s CyberSpace SourceFinder, and the Compensation and Benefits SourceFinder.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  • Much of the contextual material in this volume is out-of-date, given the fact that the eight articles originally appeared in the Harvard Business Review years ago (1975-1998). However, I think the core concepts remain sound and provide a valuable frame-of-reference for understanding the advances in effective decision making that have occurred during the last five years. For example, if anything, Henry Mintzberg’s article (“The Manager’s Job”) is even more relevant today than it was when it first appeared in the July/August issue in 1975. In it, he examines “four myths about the manager’s job that do not bear up under careful scrutiny of the facts,” such as “the manager is a reflective, systematic planner.” In fact, Mintzberg suggests that managers work “at an unrelenting pace, that their activities are characterized by brevity, variety, and discontinuity, and that they are strongly oriented to action and dislike reflective activities.” Mind you, this was an opinion expressed more than 30 years ago.

    No brief commentary such as this can do full justice to the rigor and substance of the eight articles. It remains for each reader to examine the list to identify which subjects are of greatest interest to her or him. My own opinion is that all of the articles are first-rate. One of this volume’s greatest benefits is derived from the fact that a variety of perspectives are provided by a number of different authorities on the same general subject. In this instance, leadership.

    Readers will especially appreciate the provision of an executive summary that precedes each article. They facilitate, indeed expedite frequent review of key points which – presumably – careful readers either underline or highlight. Also of interest is the “About the Contributors” section that includes suggestions of other sources to consult. Here are questions to which the authors of the other seven articles respond:

    What do leaders do? (John P. Kotter)

    Comment: “Institutionalizing a leadership-centered culture is the ultimate act of leadership.”

    How do managers and leaders differ? (Abraham Zaleznik)

    Comment: “Managers see themselves as conservators and regulators of an existing order of affairs with which they personally identify and from which they gain rewards [whereas] leaders tend to be twice-born personalities, people who feel separate from their environment.”

    How do “defining moments” help to develop character? (Joseph L. Badaracco, Jr.)

    Comment: “Defining moments force us to find a balance between our hearts in all their idealism and our jobs in all their messy reality.”

    Note: In Leading Quietly (2002) and then Questions of Character: Illuminating the Heart of Leadership Through Literature (2006), Badaracco develops in greater depth many of the core concepts introduced in this article.

    What are the ways in which CEOs lead? (Charles M. Farkas and Suzy Wetlaufer)

    Comment: “No matter where a company is located or what it makes, its CEO must develop a guiding, overarching philosophy about how he or she can best add value…. A leadership approach is a coherent, explicit style of management, not a reflection of personal style. This is a critical distinction.”

    Why are there so few great managers? (Thomas Teal)

    Comment: “Great management involves courage and tenacity. It closely resembles heroism.”

    How to lead others during adaptive change? (Ronald A. Heifetz and Donald L. Laurie)

    Comment: “Solutions to adaptive challenges reside not in the executive suite but in the collective intelligence of employees at all levels.”

    “Whatever happened to the take-charge manager?” (Nitin Nohria and James D. Berkley)

    Comment: “Pragmatists understand that it is unrealistic to try to avoid uncertainty. Attempts to deny or ignore it can blind managers to the real contexts in which they are working and prevent them from responding effectively.”

    Those who share my high regard for this volume are urged to check out the recently published Harvard Business Review on Making Smarter Decisions as well as other series title in the Harvard Business Review Paperback Series such as those on Becoming a High-Performance Manager, Change, Corporate Strategy, Decision Making, Effective Communication, the Innovative Enterprise, Leadership, Leadership at the Top, and Measuring Corporate Performance.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  • Anonymous says:

    Gives an insightful view of a manager’s job. It enunciates traits and behaviors of leaders and managers very well, and explains how it is important for a manager to have both traits. The material triggers a manager to look within to understand one’s leadership and managerial styles. If one wishes to change or develop leadership and managerial skills this material is a great beginning.
    It also points out that organizations and academic institutions are good at developing organizational specialists but not at training managers. The author thinks that these institutions should provide management programs that also focus on developing leadership and managerial skills. But to do that it’s important to understand what managers and leaders really do.
    Overall a very good read for a traditional manager to be introspective and effective.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  • Nataly Kelly says:

    Another fantastic resource from HBR.

    The article titled, “The Manager’s Job: Folklore and Fact”, by Henry Mintzberg, has been requested for reprint more than 22,000 times in the past two years. Mintzberg did a fascinating study of how managers worked to analyze behavior.

    “What Leaders Really Do”, by John Kotter, provides a wealth of helpful information. Among the passages I’ve underlined:

    “Leadership complements management; it doesn’t replace it…”

    “Planning is a management process, deductive in nature… Setting a direction is more inductive…”

    “One of the most frequent mistakes that overmanaged and underled corporations make is to embrace ‘long-term planning’ as a panacea for their lack of direction and inability to adapt to an increasingly competitive and dynamic business environment…”

    “In a company without direction, even short-term planning can become a black hole capable of an infinite amount of time and energy.”

    “Leaders also regularly involve people in deciding how to achieve the organization’s vision… This gives people a sense of control…”

    All of the articles in this volume are helpful, but these two are the ones I found most interesting.
    Rating: 5 / 5


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