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4.2 out of 5 stars
Extraordinary Leadership: Thinking Systems, Making a Difference
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 2007
This is the long awaited text for the first year of Dr. Gilbert's 3 year leadership seminars. Here leadership is grounded in a solidly scientific theory of human relationships. As such, it scintilates with insight. Like her other presentations of Bowen Family Systems Theory, this slim tome is exceptionally applicable, faithful to theory, engaging and succinct, without sacrificing depth. It is hard to beat Dr. Gilbert's introductions for reliable, pithy and helpful interpretation of a most original coherent theory of human functioning. For the novice to Family Systems theory, any of Dr. Gilbert's books are good places to start. Keep Bowen's "Family Therapy in Clinical Practice" in one hand, and one of Dr. Gilbert's books in the other.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2009
This book is a wonderful introduction to leadership thinking that is more lifestyle than step-by-step. It promises to affect the whole individual in all relationships (including family) and allows self-work to grow a leadership style that will emerge from a person's being rather than his/her doing. Great for inner reflection and pragmatic application!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
While the writing style is a bit enthusiastic for this reviewer's taste, the grasp of Bowen theory and its application to leadership is very good and the work is quite readable. This work makes is a very readable, comprehensive introduction to the application of Bowen theory to leadership and thus in this reviewer's perspective, a good introduction to the meaning and practice of leadership.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 2012
This book serves as a short summary of systems theory, but an excellent one at that. Gilbert summarizes and applies systems theory in a much more effective way than even the great Ed Freidman. This book has changed my leadership style and I expect that I will thumb through it many more times throughout my career.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2013
This book is one of the most helpful books I have read in a long time. It addressed real issues that I am dealing with in my congregation and helped me to know how to respond to the issues in better ways.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2012
A very helpful framework for understanding organizations as relationship systems. And most importantly, understanding your own role in that system. Very accessible and well written.
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on August 28, 2012
I loved this book. I think it was very helpful in using systems theory in work place settings and seeing how we all tend to fall into certain roles. It helps you identify when you are emotionally hijacked and different ways of behaving. You can't change other people but you can change yourself and your behavior and it is amazing how small changes in the way you interact with people will change the situation. This is great for people who want to take a look at themselves and figure out how to improve their home or work environment. Gilbert's books do tend to be a bit repetitive so reading both this book and the 8 concepts book might be too much - if you have to choose I would pick this one.
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on December 9, 2014
While writing my doctorate on Family Systems Theory and Strengthening Marriage, I found Dr. Gilbert's books, especially Extraordinary Leadership to be extremely helpful in coming to clarity about Bowen theory. As Dr. Gilbert says, the clearer our thinking becomes, the healthier our leadership style. This is a book well worth picking up.
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on October 27, 2013
Want to grow as a leader in ministry? This book will help you understand how to lead through a variety of situations involving people with different backgrounds.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2013
I have just read the first two chapters of this book. The information may be accurate, but the presentation is in desperate need of a good editor. Commas are out of control and make readability difficult, headings are inconsistent in style and level and hamper ease of understanding. Words such as "things" and "this" are used way too often instead of more concrete terminology. The examples are vague--as if someone wants to tell you something without appearing to gossip, so you are just left with a very general idea of what's going on. I am also finding that the terminology is inconsistent. Are "relationship patterns" the same as "relationship postures"? I'm not really sure, but it seems that these two terms are used interchangeably without any indication to the reader that they can be. I think I will need to find other sources for the information I need on systems theory.
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