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Paperback Leadership Is an Art Book

ISBN: 0440503248

ISBN13: 9780440503248

Leadership Is an Art

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Book Overview

In what has become a bible for the business world, the successful CEO of Herman Miller, Inc., explores how executives and managers can learn the leadership skills that build a better, more profitable organization.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Leadership Is About Liberating People

On page one of Leadership Is an Art Max Depree writes, "The book is about the art of leadership: liberating people to do what is required of them in the most effective and humane way possible". This is a theme that runs throughout this very wise and in every way excellent work. The following quotes provide some of the flavor of Depree's enlightened and inspiring thinking: * The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between the two, the leader must become a servant and a debtor. * In addition to all of the ratios and goals and parameters and bottom lines, it is fundamental that leaders endorse a concept of persons. This begins with an understanding of the diversity of people's gifts and talents and skills. * Understanding and accepting diversity enables us to see that each of us is needed. It also enables us to begin to think about being abandoned to the strengths of others, of admitting that we cannot know or do everything. * Leaders don't inflict pain; they bear pain. * First, as a Christian I believe that each person is made in the image of God. For those of us who have received the gift of leadership from the people we lead, this belief has enormous implications. * Leaders owe people space, space in the sense of freedom. Freedom in the sense of enabling our gifts to be exercised. * Participative management is not democratic. Having a say differs from having a vote. * Interestingly, though in organizations like ours we need a lot of freedom, there is no room for license. Discipline is what it takes to do the job. * One of the important things leaders need to learn is to recognize the signals of impending deterioration. * Without forgiveness, there can be no real freedom to act... Depree has given us an abiding philosophy of leadership. Actually operating in alignment with these principles demands a very high level of integrity - one that few leaders ever do attain. Those that do so unleash forces of transformation resulting in high performance high involvement organizations. This book characterizes a commercial arena filled with vocational potential. I give it the highest recommendation.

Artful & Philosophical Leadership

Thoughtful and thought-provoking, Max DePree's easy-to-read classic, "Leadership is an Art," was one of the best leadership books I have read. I recommend it to brand-new leaders to help lay a solid leadership foundation upon which to build, and to seasoned leaders and managers interested in sharpening their leadership skills and refining their approach to leadership. This book is a series of interdependent philosophical essays that are part of a holistic view of effective leadership. DePree defines the art of leadership as "liberating people to do what is required of them in the most effective and humane way possible," and that definition is a theme that runs throughout the book. Another closely related common theme in these non-sequential yet complementary essays is that leaders must abandon themselves to the strengths of others in order to serve them and allow them to realize their full potential. DePree put a lot of emphasis on people and fostering leadership environments in which trusting, respectful, and effective relationships flourish. His ideas and beliefs about leadership, some that I have never really read anywhere else, were refreshing and stimulating. One largely ignored insight that particularly stood out to me was that "much of a leader's performance cannot be reviewed until `after' the fact." In today's common short-term focus/instant gratification world, such insights deserve our uncommon attention. Although originally published in 1989, DePree's thoughts, ideas, and approach to leadership are timeless. While some people may argue that DePree's writings are idealistic, I found them to be realistic given the nature of people and the frenetic pace of our hyper-competitive professional environments. Every leader owes it to him- or herself, and to those who allow themselves to be led, to read and reflect on the leadership wisdom contained in this small and powerful book.

Leadership for the soul

This book is written from an angle no other leadership book takes: the human side to leadership. There is no talk of strategic thinking or efficiency. Instead, DePree artfully talks about how to make people feel needed in a corporation or how to empower people to be giants. DePree's voice is a healing one, writing about how the right type of work can give your life meaning and how leadership is nothing more than service. This book is definitely worth a look.

Perfect for Some, good for others

This book has been an incredible resource for me personally in my leadership development. Every time I feel I need a "refresher" on leadership or what I'm doing in my leadership positions, I pick it up and learn something new. However, it is not for everyone. This is a philosophical, "touchy-feely" book. For someone who tends to be more of a hands-on leader who leads with caring and compassion, it is great! Others who are looking for more of a formula approach to leadership won't find it helpful. It doesn't have lists of do's or don'ts. It isn't the 7 traits that make a leader (like you could ever nail it down to any given number...).I loved this book, and it has truly helped me in my leadership development. I recommend it to anyone that is looking for something out of the norm of leadership and management books.

The most elegant book on leadership you will ever read.

For anyone looking to go beyond the status quo of leadership, Leadership Is An Art is required reading. Going beyond the mechanics of leading and into the ethics and philosopy of leadership, the book puts a human face on what can be a very harsh position, corporate leadership. With probing questions, the author pulls out of the reader many insights, and forces you to think through things yourself, allowing you to own the conclusions you come to. If you are in any type of leadership at all, from parents to CEO's, read this book.
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