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Finding Your True North: A Personal Guide Paperback – June 16, 2008

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Finding Your True North: A Personal Guide + True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership + Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (June 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470261366
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470261361
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 8.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Your Personal Guide for Finding Your True North

Based on Bill George's bestselling book True North, this personal guide offers leaders a comprehensive approach for identifying their unique "True North." The book describes methods for personal reflection and includes targeted exercises that help leaders hone in on the purpose of their leadership and in developing their authentic leadership skills.

Praise for Finding Your True North

"True North (is) one of the most important books on leadership to come along in years, because it is based on so much up-close-and-personal observation."
New York Times

"True North debunks the myth of the superhero top executive ... 125 executives talk about their failures and personal tragedies, and how these setbacks shaped them as leaders."
Wall Street Journal

"On leadership, Bill George knows what he is talking about. He is (one of) the most respected business leaders around."
—Charlie Rose on Charlie Rose Show

"In True North, Bill George once again provides a road map for leadership in the 21st Century. The best people will follow only authenticity."
—Jeff Immelt, CEO, General Electric

"Bill George reminds us that compassion and understanding are as important qualities for business leaders as dedication and resolve."
—President Jimmy Carter

About the Author

Bill George is professor of management practice at the Harvard Business School and former chairman and CEO of Medtronic, the world's leading medical technology company. He is the author of the Business Week bestselling books Authentic Leadership and True North.

Andrew McLean, PhD, has coauthored case studies and articles with Bill George and was the research director for True North. He brings his experience developing higher education programs based on the True North approach.

Nick Craig offers expertise in developing and delivering the True North approach with Fortune 500 corporate leadership programs and in his work coaching executives with the Distributed Leadership Model at MIT Sloan School.

More About the Author

Bill George is a professor of management practice at Harvard Business School, where he has taught leadership since 2004. He is the author of four best-selling books 7 Lessons for Leading in Crisis, True North, Finding Your True North, and Authentic Leadership. Being released in early September 2011 is his next book, True North Groups.

Mr. George is the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Medtronic. He joined Medtronic in 1989 as President and Chief Operating Officer, was Chief Executive Officer from 1991-2001, and Chairman of the Board from 1996 to 2002. Earlier in his career, he was an executive with Honeywell and Litton Industries and served in the U.S. Department of Defense.

Mr. George currently serves as a director of ExxonMobil and Goldman Sachs, and also recently served on the boards of Novartis and Target Corporation. He is also currently a trustee of Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, World Economic Forum USA and the Guthrie Theater. He has served as chair of the board of Allina Health System, Abbott-Northwestern Hospital, United Way of the Greater Twin Cities, and Advamed.

He has been named one of "Top 25 Business Leaders of the Past 25 Years" by PBS, "Executive of the Year-2001″ by the Academy of Management, and "Director of the Year-2001-02″ by the National Association of Corporate Directors. Mr. George has made frequent appearances on television and radio, including: The Charlie Rose Show, The Today Show, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, NOW, CNBC, Bloomberg News, and NPR. His articles have appeared in Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, and numerous other publications.

Mr. George received his BSIE with high honors from Georgia Tech, his MBA with high distinction from Harvard University, where he was a Baker Scholar, and honorary PhDs from Georgia Tech and Bryant University. During 2002-03 he was professor at IMD International and Ecole Polytechnique in Lausanne, Switzerland, and executive-in-residence at Yale School of Management.

He and his wife Penny reside in Minnesota.

For move information about Bill and projects he is working on follow him on Twitter (@bill_george), Facebook (, and LinkedIn.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By M. Palmer on March 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
I am a PhD student very close to finishing my coursework with a specialization in Leadership (September 17, 2010) and found this book to be the best book I have read to date on leadership. The reason I feel it is "the best" is because it grounds you in traits and characteristics found in some of the best leaders in America that should help you find your own personal true north. True north, as described by the book, is a way for you to capitalize on your strengths and apply them in a way that not only helps you but also helps the organization and those around you. It helps you to reflect and look at your own flaws in leadership, correct them, and potentially avoid pitfalls of self-destruction.

Every single chapter has something to offer. Additionally, there is a lot of information about some people you would never have thought would have had any issues with their compass. There are exercises at the end of each chapter to help you along with self-discovery and reflection. It is VERY well written and should easily be understood by anyone who can read. It is not necessarily a book that requires even a high school education to understand.

The book entails numerous stories and interviews yielding revealing information about some of our most trusted leaders from students to large corporations to even a former White House employee. If you know of someone who is needing to be grounded in basic leadership skills, who has gone down a path of self-destruction who cannot take responsibility for their own actions, a power hungry climber, or even if you are lost yourself in what direction you going in leadership, this is the book you need in your personal library.

I am keeping my copy for not only future reference, but also to let others read it who either want to or who I feel need do in order to recalibrate their compass to point to their own true north.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jade Bookworm on July 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
It was one of my text books from the MOL program (Master of Organizational Leadership)at Biola University. It's a great book to help opening a new path to survey one's 'self.' the book shows me how to develop/improve my character up to the point that how to become an authentic leader. following by the guidances and applied to my daily life, I found my true north and gained more understanding of how to developed them and used them in a full benefit to others.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Clement on February 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
Peter Drucker, the father of modern business management is credited with saying, "Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things." This simple yet profound quote embodies the spirit of the insightful book True North. Its author Bill George, who served as CEO for a successful medical device company for a decade, uses the illustration of a compass and how it always points north as a metaphor of how authentic leaders tend to do the right things more than others, while also being able to cope with adversity better than most. According to George's research and first-hand interviews with top leaders, the ability to do the morally, right thing cuts across nationalities, gender, religion, race and socioeconomics. Soundview recommends this book for the optimistic message it contains that each of us can discover the True North for ourselves, while also recognizing that it's a lifelong journey of learning and commitment but one that's well worth the trip.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By W. Benjamin Beaird on July 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
This will be a classic on leadership in time. Two things make this book a winner. One, Bill George has 35 years of impressive corporate experience culminated in a super impressive 10 year CEO tour with Medtronics. Second, he and his Harvard staff interviewed 125 CEO's nationwide to bring research for his leadership principles. This makes them very helpful to new and experienced leaders.

Bill George declares his mission at age 65 is to help produce the leadership that our nation must have in these uncertain times.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rae Luskin on October 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved reading True North and then I got the companion workbook. I loved it. I am that person that loves to answer the questions at the end of every chapter. This made it easy. The material is a must have for anyone wanting to improve their leadership skills. Being authentic is tough work and this gives you the guidelines how to communicate effectively from your crucible story with staff and family. Having a support network in place is crucial and he shows you the way.
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This simple workbook is a fine addition to any library on leadership. George does a nice job providing opportunities for people to explore leadership - from examining your own journey to executing life as a leader. I use this material with a leadership cohort each year and find that different folks appreciate different sections of the book, depending upon their place in their journey. Good stuff.
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