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Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It, Why People Demand It (Jossey-Bass Management) Paperback – March 3, 1995

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Behavioral savants Kouzes and Posner ( The Leadership Challenge ) here provide philosophical and practical guidance for business executives at a time when computers, consultants, coproduction and ever-growing employee empowerment leave less for managers to do. Unsurprisingly, the authors place honesty, competence and a talent to inspire ("a set of values that can be learned") at the core of effective leadership. From a penetrating survey of business methods and employee attitudes worldwide, Kouzes and Posner pinpoint future trends--e.g., more authority for customer contact personnel--in a logical, integrated and symbiotic organizational plan to replace a now-outdated omnipotent-boss system. Unfortunately, a hucksterish title and an introductory essay on "credibility" do a disservice to this broad and serious work's potential readership. 50,000 first printing; Executive Program book club selection; author tour.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"With the hundreds of look-alike, sound-alike, self-help books available on how to succeed in just about any field, it is a pleasure to read a book that contains something new and useful. In Credibility, not only have the authors captured the essence of leadership, they also alert us to the hazards surrounding leaders, would-be leaders and followers in all walks of life, including the health field.'' (Canadian Hospital Association)

"Credibility' may well move quickly into the lexicon as the next leadership buzzword.''

"Kouzes and Posner have found a way to communicate the importance of hope and offer practical ways of keeping it alive.'' (from the foreword by Tom Peters)

"A much needed human approach to leadership, finally focusing on issues that really matterhonesty, sensitivity to diversity, and the need for community.'' (Ken Blanchard, chairman, Blanchard Training and Development, Inc. and coauthor, The One Minute Manager)

"A well-crafted work. Kouzes and Posner see beyond today's survey results to challenge their assertions with the test of time and circumstance. This solid book persuades readers that credibility is fundamental in spite ofor perhaps because ofthe instability and cynicism that characterize many American work places.''


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Product Details

  • Series: Jossey-Bass Management
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (March 3, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787900567
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787900564
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,566,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Boris Martinez on January 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book was an optional reading in a course I recently took as part of my PhD studies in organisational leadership. The text flows logically, with highly readable prose; it excels at providing a great depth of insight on a) discovering one self; b) appreciating constituents and their diversity; c) affirming shared values; d) developing capacity; d) serving a purpose; and d) sustaining hope. Even though the research upon which the text is based was done mostly in the first world, I found it quite useful and applicable to my own context in Guatemala. I definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to understand how crecibility affects leadership success.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 9, 1997
Format: Paperback
Deals with what credibility is, how you gain it, lose it. More
importantly, the authors discuss why this issue is one of
the keys to a successful personal and business life.

If you are a parent, spouse, manager, or deal with people in
any way, this book will help you analyze how you deal with
people, what they expect, and how you can fullfil their
expectations and yours and have them think you are wonderful.

Experience how much better your life is when your relationships
are on a sound footing. Warning - if you like playing games
with people or messing with their minds, this book will be
a disappointment to you.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. Olsen on June 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
Credibility is a leadership book based on the thought that through honesty, competence, and valuing people, leaders can be most effective. When credible leadership exists, people have a strong desire to follow their leaders, not just because they have to, but because they want to. When employees are committed to their leader, they are committed to the success of their company as well.

The book is easy to read and presents many interesting case studies and profiles of companies and leaders who apply this philosophy. Divided into sections, the book explains the six disciplines of credibility: discovering yourself, appreciating constituents, affirming shared values, developing capacity, serving a purpose, and sustaining hope. Useful applications of the theory and "next step" action plans are provided to help readers gain credibility in their own leadership roles. Unfortunately the book is a bit dated, as it was published in 1993.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dennis DeWilde on August 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
Starting with the headline, 'Leadership is a Relationship'; Authors Kouzes & Posner demonstrate that Credibility is the foundation of any sound relationship, but particularly between leaders and their constituents. Using credibility to represent a combination of admired leadership characteristics - honest, forward-looking, inspiring, and competent, etc. - the authors of "The Leadership Challenge" declare the six disciplines of credibility to be:
1. Discovering your self
2. Appreciating constituents
3. Affirming shared values
4. Developing capacity
5. Serving a purpose
6. Sustaining hope
The authors then devote a chapter to each of these disciplines, first providing definitional understanding, before outlining steps for developing the discipline.

Although the original writing of this book is about 15 years old, the message is more important today than ever. As defined in this book, leadership credibility is much the same as `trust' in the recently published book, The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything by Stephen M. R. Covey. Both of the books should leave you with a clear understanding that; leadership is relational, this trust/credibility component is crucial, it all starts with knowing and being responsible for who you are, and purpose is its heart. Not a bad success formula for any relationship, business or otherwise. This book is recommended for anyone wanting to learn the underpinnings of relationships.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lettie on August 25, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was a part of my reading for my Phd in Organizational Management. Here's my review.
In reading, "Credibility" by Kouzes and Posner (2003), the two leadership experts in the field of organizational development and management, particularly workplace outcomes, addressed some important managerial issues that relate to values, leadership roles and performance outcome. Their main argument discussed how shared values can help an organizations improve productivity and organizational effectiveness. The authors suggest that "shared values are the foundation of building productive -relationships" within organizations (p.121) in which there are various ways for organizations to build long lasting partnerships between leaders and its constituents. In general, when organizations develop a shared value relationship with its constituents, they can begin to work together on the organization's goals and objectives.
I agree with the author's philosophy that organizations must first communicate clearly to their constituents about who they are and what they represent. Open and honest communication is vital within any organization. It creates a sense of purpose and inspiration to others to support the organization's mission. In doing so, there must be an internal paradigm shift that must take place within the organization so that leaders begin to attract and maintain constituents who are connected to the organization's vision.
I would recommend this book to leaders within small and large organization to develop a strong foundation for growth and expansion.

Lisa Willis
Coach and Organizational Consultant
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