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From Values to Action: The Four Principles of Values-Based Leadership Hardcover – AC-3, April 19, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (April 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470881259
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470881255
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

In this anticipated book, Harry Kraemer, professor at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and former chairman and CEO of Baxter International, a multibillion-dollar health care company, argues that, as the global economy becomes even more competitive, organizations will turn to values-based leaders who, in doing the right thing, deliver outstanding and lasting results.

Kraemer knows about delivering results. During his leadership at Baxter, the company experienced consistently strong growth. And Kraemer also knows about doing the right thing; not only did he step up to the plate when things were going well but also when faced with change, controversy, and crisis, as he did throughout his career. In From Values to Action, Kraemer argues that the journey to becoming a values-based leader starts with self-reflection, which he identifies as the first of four principles that guide leaders to make choices that are aligned with their values. The four essential principles are:

  • Self-Reflection: The ability to reflect and identify what you stand for, what your values are, and what matters most.

  • Balance and Perspective: The ability to see situations from multiple perspectives, including differing viewpoints, to gain a holistic understanding.

  • True Self-Confidence: More than mastery of certain skills, true self-confidence enables you to accept yourself as you are, recognizing your strengths and your weaknesses, and focusing on continuous improvement.

  • Genuine Humility: The ability never to forget who you are, to appreciate the value of each person in the organization, and to treat everyone respectfully.

Drawing from first-hand experience, Kraemer offers current and aspiring leaders a framework to adopt the four principles of values-based leadership to make their organizations beacons of enduring value in the world. Insightful and inspiring, From Values to Action comes at a critical time when true leadership in every facet of society is greatly needed.

From the Back Cover

Praise for From Values to Action

"A worthy read for any aspiring leader. Kraemer leverages his unique collection of world-class experiences to bring the leadership journey to life in a compelling and practical fashion."—Douglas R. Conant, president and CEO, Campbell Soup Company

"Values-based leadership has never been more important. For anyone wanting to be a better leader, every page of Kraemer's book offers practical advice."—Greg Case, president and CEO, Aon Corporation

"Kraemer's engaging book takes you into the heart of genuine leadership: the practices and habits that enable leaders to be reflective, self-aware, and genuinely humble. Like learning from a superb mentor, Kraemer shares his deep experience and inner secrets of what it takes to lead a great organization."—Bill George, professor, Harvard Business School; former chair and CEO, Medtronic; and best-selling author, True North and Seven Lessons for Leading in Crisis

"There's a difference between doing things right—and doing the right thing. This is the essence of values-based leadership, which Kraemer captures in this lively and highly readable book. A must-read for traveling the road ahead."—Gary Burnison, CEO, Korn/Ferry International

"In an increasingly fast-paced and turbulent world, leadership based on character and values will be essential for impact and success. This book provides a wonderfully clear and practical view of what values-based leadership means and how it can be applied in our everyday life."—Dominic Barton, global managing director, McKinsey & Company"Values and culture are paramount to corporate leadership. This book provides leaders with the tools to develop their talent." —Jeff Immelt, chairman and CEO, General Electric Company


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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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The book is easy to read, practical, and interesting.
Amazon Customer
This book is not a standard book on leadership with a formulaic approach to business success, although it offers lot's of very helpful insights.
Phillip W.
Anyone interested in business leadership needs to read this book.
AKolton

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Vikram on April 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was fortunate to be student at Professor Kraemer's class at Kellogg. This book captures all that we learnt in our 10 week leadership course. Anyone aspiring to be a better leader (actually a better human being) would be well served reading this book. This class was by far my favorite class at Kellogg and I try to apply what I learnt everyday of my life. From my perspective, what stands out is that Professor Kraemer walks the talk - he is a living example of all that he says in this book and his lectures. Another important fact is that he is an excellent teacher, a successful CEO and a wonderful family man - its difficult to hit a home run in all aspects of life but Professor Kraemer man cracked the code. Its easy to admire him but difficult to implement all that he says. At this stage I am half way through the book and I can safely say that the book succeeds in bringing his classroom lectures to life and for anyone not fortunate to be in his class this book is an excellent reference guide to keep coming back to time and again. Happy reading!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Star Angel on April 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I want to work with Harry Kraemer. It's as simple as that.

Kraemer shares his experience of how he became and lives as a value-based leader in a style that is personal, hopeful and engaging. Not only does Kraemer take the risk that always comes with sharing your own story, but he tells it in a way that allows you, the reader, to understand and follow his blueprint - if you so desire.

What makes the book a compelling read is that you walk away with the sense that Kraemer believes in you and your ability to follow his path. This approach makes Kraemer's book both a business book and a self-help manual - and I say that in the best way possible since I'm not a big fan of the self-help aisle.

From Values to Action is a business book with a heart and a soul. And we have too few leaders like Harry Kraemer in the world today. Maybe this book will change that.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jim Pursley on May 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Harry Kraemer is an authentic leader whose intellect, sincerity, and principled leadership are a true asset to his students, his colleagues, and those who have the pleasure of interacting with him. We need more leaders like Kraemer."

Jim Pursley, General Manager at Care Innovations an Intel-GE Company
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Format: Hardcover
Harry M. Jansen Kraemer Jr. is the former chairman and CEO of Baxter International, a leading global health care company. In this book, he outlines the four primary principles of ethical, values-based leadership. Now a professor at the Kellogg School of Management, Kraemer is a veteran leader with much to teach about working ethically. He recounts how he handled various leadership crises and faced difficult issues, including the traumatic time when a Baxter medical product led to the deaths of 53 people. His examples demonstrate how he thought through his actual business problems based on being ethical, and how he put his values to work leading his company. getAbstract recommends this worthwhile treatise to business people at all levels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I would recommend this book to anyone at any level and in any type of organization: for profit, not for profit, academic, or family unit. The book is easy to read, practical, and interesting. I had the pleasure of hearing the author speak in person at my company and the book as well as his presentation were excellent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Garrett Sheridan on May 11, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
From Values to Action is a great book for leaders at all levels, especially for those who lead large corporations. Harry Kraemer, a former CEO of Baxter, a professor at Kellogg and an exec. partner at Madison Dearborn Partners provides multiple real life examples of the 4 principles in action (self-reflection, balance and perspective, true-self confidence and genuine humility). Practiced or applied together these principles point to a way of leading that is less about self advocacy (an all too common theme) in today's C-Suite leaders, and more about doing the right thing, for the right reasons in a thoughtful manner that delivers results. This book is not a standard book on leadership with a formulaic approach to success, although it offers lot's of insights. It reminds us that as leaders we need to step back, build self-awareness, collaborate with and rely on others, help people to achieve their best and display humility and gratitude. Harry Kraemer is clearly an authentic and very accomplished leader who knows what he knows and what he doesn't know and is very comfortable with it.
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Format: Hardcover
All organizations need effective leadership at all levels and in all areas of their operations. Few organizations have sufficient leadership and therein lies a huge problem and an even greater opportunity. Harry M. Jansen Kraemer, Jr. correctly asserts that "there's no greater benefit of becoming a values-based leader than setting the standard for the rest of the organization so that it, too, focuses on what matters most." Of course, Kraemer is referring to C-level executives but he would be among the first to insist that the power of values-based leadership must never be limited to them. He identifies and then rigorously examines what he characterizes as "the four principles of values-based leadership." They are:

o Self-reflection
o Balance
o True self-confidence
o Genuine humility

None is a head-snapping revelation, nor does Kraemer make any such claim. There could just as easily be seven or ten and each could be described with different terms. Whatever the number of attributes, however they are identified, the fact remains that the greatest leaders throughout history (with rare exception) are exemplars of the same core values. Kraemer devotes a separate chapter to each principle in Part I, then shifts his attention to what he calls "the essential elements of a vales-based organization" in Part II (one chapter per each element) before explain in Part III how a great leader summons the moral courage and social responsibility to lead her or his organizations (whatever its nature) "from success to significance." For example, that is precisely what Elizabeth I did after the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588.
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More About the Author

Harry Kraemer, Jr. is professor of management and strategy at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, where he teaches in the MBA and the Executive MBA programs. Additionally, he is an executive partner with Madison Dearborn Partners (MDP), one of the largest private equity firms in the United States where he consults with CEOs and other senior executives of companies in MDP's extensive portfolio. Harry is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Baxter International Inc., a multi-billion-dollar global healthcare company. He was voted by the students at Kellogg as the Professor of the Year in 2008 and was a finalist for the award in 2014.

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From Values to Action: The Four Principles of Values-Based Leadership
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