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Apples Are Square: Thinking Differently About Leadership Hardcover – July 3, 2007


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Hardcover, July 3, 2007
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--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Kaplan Publishing (July 3, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419593927
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419593925
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,228,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Kuczmarskis, a pair of business consultants, trainers and authors, deliver a lackluster primer on the personal and managerial strategies of 25 people from many walks of life. A few are famous, such as Dean Kamen (inventor of the Segway scooter), Craig Newmark (founder of Craigslist, the Internet classified ad service) and actress Susan Anton. Most are less well-known CEOs, political activists, educators, arts administrators and someone who calls himself an esoteric healer. But for such an eclectic group, there are few unusual insights. Most of their ideas come across as platitudes about the importance for leaders of such traits as humility, compassion, transparency and inclusiveness. Many of the anecdotes and inspirational homilies are retreads, though a few are intriguing—for example, the story of how Rep. Jan Schakowsky got started in public life as a crusader for freshness dating on food packages. But even interesting stories often lack a compelling point—Schakowsky's tale, for example, appears in a chapter about encouraging one's colleagues. This attempt to offer chicken soup for the leader's soul provides thin gruel. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

From the Inside Flap

Your 7-Step Prescription for creating a compassionately competitive work culture.

For centuries, leaders have been operating within a 'control and compete' mindset. But times are changing. More and more, at the helm of successful companies, you'll find a different sort of leader. Collaborators, not controllers, they are 'square apples,' bold men and women who dare to create success by reshaping the workplace in unexpected ways.

In Apples are Square, innovation consultants and celebrated authors Dr. Susan Smith Kuczmarski and Thomas D. Kuczmarski share with you the secrets of how to become a square apple in your organization.

To develop their groundbreaking strategy for success, the authors interviewed dozens of leadership pioneers, including Craig Newmark (founder of Craigslist), Mary Ellen Weber (former NASA astronaut), and NFL star Chris Zorich, whose personal story inspired the title of this book. With the tools in Apples are Square, you'll be able to take any bruised environment and reshape it into a positive force.

As the authors take you through their seven-step process for rejuvenating your workplace, you'll learn how to:

- Master the six essential qualities of new leadership

- Communicate in innovative ways that inspire people to serve others

- Build strong relationships for a sense of community in your company

- Create loyalty and retain employees

- Encourage personal risk-taking, creativity, and flexibility --From The Inside Flap

Praise for Apples are Square...

Presents the model of leadership necessary to move from the information age to the knowledge-based and ultimately, to a wisdom-based culture. The future depends on the survival of the wisest and on leadership that is based on inner values.
- Deepak Chopra, author of The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success

An effective case for risk-taking within a framework of humanity.
- Business Week

Serving others, helping others, and inspiring others to bring out their inner core of strengths and talents are what the new definition of success is all about.
- Fast Company

Susan and Thomas Kuczmarski have made an important contribution to our understanding of leadership with their new book. It is a work of great substance and relevance that provides not just an entry point for talking about models of leadership, but real profiles of those who have used these models to transform their own organizations and the people within them.
- Donald P. Jacobs, Dean Emeritus, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

Tom Kuczmarski does not have a patent on innovation, but he should have.
--Charles P. Carey, Chairman, Chicago Board of Trade

A rare and powerful book that provides a window into the views, thoughts, and soul of exceptional leaders in simple yet compelling language.
- Dr. Surinder Kumar, Chief Innovation Officer, William Wrigley Jr. Company, and author of Riding the Blue Train

The Kuczmarskis make a key finding managing and motivating people with compassionate, collaborative, transparent and inclusive leadership not only positively affects the traditional bottom line, it also gives a boost to hard measures including ROI, stock price and operating earnings.
- The Hindu Reviews

In this quick but insightful read, the authors outline the six critical values needed to lead and succeed in today's workplace. Their roadmap is based on extensive interviews with 25 pioneering leaders who embody these values. The book also succeeds in terms of its relevancy to today's business environment. Leadership, or the lack thereof, is one of the most pressing issues facing organizations today. At a time when too many corporate leaders are still reading Sun Tzu's The Art of War, this book offers an important alternative approach to leadership. While it might not be the catalyst that finally sparks the revolution, it should at the very least prompt readers to think about the type of individual they are and the type they want to become.
--John Challenger, Chicago Sun-Times --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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The authors demonstrate the values in their writing.
G. Thome
After hearing an interview with the Kuczmarski's, I felt that the book might be a very good read.
Book Addict
I think that's what sets this book aside for me - the humanized leadership model.
Ringmaster

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ringmaster on July 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I recently borrowed this book from a friend and found it to be an invigorating read. There are so many leadership books out there that teach you how to be assertive, how to communicate well, how to have a vision et-cetera et-cetera - all great values, but few that discuss this 'human' side of leadership. I think that's what sets this book aside for me - the humanized leadership model. This book combines wonderfully with many older leadership books, and is an asset to my personal library.

The book is written around an assorted group of 25 leaders and their stories. There are some very interesting experiences mentioned in the book - starting from the one that gave its title. I don't want to spoil the story for you, but I think you can read some chapters of the book on its website.

I've read the stories mentioned in the book over and over again, and every time I find hidden gems previously overlooked. The authors did a wonderful job weaving the book around these leaders, making it an inspiring narrative-story-like read rather than just theory.

Besides just the six leadership qualities mentioned, the book also discusses steps to improve as a leader - another feature which I found very useful. I wish every time I've had to work under a control-freak, or just a boss who-I-wish-would-disappear, I could have given them a copy of this book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Book Addict on August 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
After hearing an interview with the Kuczmarski's, I felt that the book might be a very good read. The authors sounded like they had a genuine passion for leadership based on sound values.

Our current negative perception of leadership has been generated by the misconduct and unethical behavior so often revealed amongst the leaders of corporate America as well as government officials. We have seen so many examples of what not to do that it is very refreshing to read this book that tells the stories of 25 leaders who showcase new values-based ways to lead. The Kuczmarski's have thoroughly researched their 25 leaders and have given the reader real life examples of the six critical values the authors deem necessary to lead successfully.

This book is exremely readable and could very well be used as a reality check on our current negative perception of leadership. The Kuczmarski's have shown that there are good leaders for us to emulate.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By bibliofile on August 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
What I liked most about this books is that it breaks away from the stereotypical leadership book. With most books on leadership, once you've read one, you've read them all--they all discuss the same leaders and the same leadership styles. Apples breaks from this mold--the leaders profiled are unique and have fascinating stories to tell, and the leadership paradigm presented is one I really believe makes sense. A refreshingly insightful read.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Buffalo Barzane on July 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The Kuczmarski's are on to something important in this book. Certainly anyone who has been stifled by a highly controlling boss or who is thinking about their own place in the world of management will find value in Apples Are Square.

This book searches for, and reveals, the human side of leadership. It makes the case that in an increasingly global economy, a new style of leadership is not only important, it is vital. The authors call for an end to the traditional control and compete model of management and substitute instead a form built on human qualities--things like humility and values-based decision making.

We can watch Enron collapse and study the crash of its CEO or we can watch craigslist enjoy huge success and explore what it is about Craig Newmark that triggers such a following. I prefer the lessons of Craig to sifting through the destruction of Enron.

Read this book. It reveals the values of leadership and a strategy for incorporating them in your own life and workplace. Apples are Square is a significant contribution.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Richard A. Hagle on August 31, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Everyone who aspires to be come a better leader, whether in business, community affairs, or in other endeavors, should buy this book and read it--several times. All of us will benefit.

The authors show that while great leadership is absolutely essential to better organizations, it isn't or needn't be a highly technical matter. They show that great leaders are easy to find if we know where to look and what to look for. And they show how to do that.

First, great leaders aren't the rapacious, egocentric, greedy bullies who are too often romanticized in the popular culture. Second, they are all around us--if we only where to look and know what to look for.

The formula? Great leaders are service-oriented (toward clients, customers, constituents, colleagues, and emplooyees/subordinates alike, regardless of personal 'status"), collaborative, respectful, honest, and loyal.

Where do we find hese individuals? Not in the limelight. They're too busy enabling others to reach their potential. In other words, they are all around us--if we only where to look and know what to look for.

It's easy to become discouraged about the state of leaders and leadership these days. The Kuczmarskis show us a way up and a way out.

More good news: where do we find hese individuals? Not in the limelight. They're too busy enabling others to reach their potential. In other words, they are all around us--if we only where to look and know what to look for.
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