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Since time immemorial, relationships have determined the fate of leaders. But today they are more critical to success than ever. No longer can leaders count on slow markets or sloppy competition to make up for the inefficiencies that poor relationships create. Leaders must make decisions and take action quickly and well with people who have little in common—perhaps not even a time zone. This new world puts relationships at the center of what leaders must understand and master in order to succeed.
The Elephant in the Room offers a compelling and systematic look at how relationships determine the success of leaders and their enterprises. Written by business-relationship expert Diana McLain Smith, The Elephant in the Room draws on the author's clinical research and a wealth of in-depth observational studies to explain how relationships at the top of organizations work, develop naturally over time, and with effort, can be transformed. By revealing the hidden patterns underlying relationships, Smith shows how some relationships systematically drive growth, learning, and innovation, while others just as systematically stifle it. Then, by outlining a time-tested method for assessing and strengthening relationships, Smith shows how to build relationships strong enough to accelerate and sustain growth, even under the most intense pressures.
Armed with these powerful tools, leaders will be able to discuss, strengthen, and even transform their most important relationships. No longer powerless to confront the elephant in the room, they will be able to harness relationships to drive growth, learning, and change.
"Smith brings to center stage the three R's of leadership: relationships, relationships, and relationships. One of the most brilliant and original books I've read, illuminating a theme almost universally ignored, and, ironically, the indispensable core of successful leadership."
—Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Management, University of Southern California; and author, Still Surprised: A Memoir of a Life in Leadership
"If you're burned out on business books, this one will wake you up. Its non-intuitiveinsights are as refreshing as they are useful. You'll savor The Elephant in the Room from first sentence to last."
—Douglas Stone, lecturer on law, Harvard Law School; and coauthor, DifficultConversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most
"Pick this up and you won't want to put it down. This fascinating book combinescommon sense, great stories, and practical advice about how to approach relationships in the workplace. While my job is to provide healthcare for two million people, all the interactions that matter are one-on-one."
—Nick W. Turkal, president and CEO, Aurora Health Care
"Leadership is a relationship. And it's the quality of your relationships that will ultimately determine your level of success. No one understands this better than Diana McLain Smith. Her new book, The Elephant in the Room, is extraordinary. It's one of the most insightful and discerning examinations of interpersonal relationships at work I've ever read. Buy it, read it, use it."
—Jim Kouzes, coauthor, The Leadership Challenge; and the Dean's Executive Fellowof Leadership, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University
"An exceptional book about how to navigate a terrain most leaders leave to intuition,and few know how to discuss. No leader, or aspiring leader, should operate without it because, at the end of the day, every organization's success is due to the people within it."
—Alan E. Lewis, chairman and CEO, Grand Circle Corporation
"Smith could help the proverbial three blind men not only correctly identify their elephant, but engage it, teach it to talk, and transform it into an organizational asset."
—Roger Schwarz, author, The Skilled Facilitator
I recommend the book as a challenging but worthwhile read.
I found "Elephant" an overall worthy read that brings to light a variety of useful insights... Put Relationships in Perspective.
One of the reasons it's a great book is because it attacks a soft problem that most business books fail to attack.
As an avid reader struggling to re-engage my business counterpart, the book seemed promising. Upon reading however, I felt that the story components tended to be very verbose, and... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Chris Hartley
This book brings a new and interesting way office thinking organizational relations. It is important to construct relations and review wrong outcomings.Published 23 months ago by Ciro César
I think Diana M. Smith Book The Elephant in the Room makes a powerful and profound contribution, and as an CEO coach, I was able to practically and immediately apply it. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Robert Hargrove
Diana's book is so insightful and a must read for anyone who works with others (which is pretty much everyone!). Read morePublished on February 6, 2012 by Emily Cherniack
The Elephant in the Room is a must read for anyone in the business of training leaders, those aspiring-to-be leaders, and definitely for those in high level management positions. Read morePublished on February 4, 2012 by R. Meagher
For my entire career, bosses have assigned and I have read the latest, hottest business success bibles. Read morePublished on February 2, 2012 by Coastal Hostess
The Elephant in the Room will change the way you see and use what until now you've probably only vaguely felt: the power of relationships at work. Read morePublished on January 23, 2012 by Tim Murphy