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)
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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