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Great Leadership: What It Is and What It Takes in a Complex World Paperback – February 16, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Nicholas Brealey America; Reprint edition (February 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0891063978
  • ISBN-13: 978-0891063971
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #914,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

How does one learn leadership? Business schools don't teach it, and few top leaders have mentors. History's great leaders have contributed to the literature of leadership. And some of the best business minds have written brilliant tomes on the subject. But how does a good leader who wants to become great make the best use of this vast body of knowledge?

Leadership scholar and executive coach Antony Bell has integrated different elements of great leadership from the best thinkers and writers into one comprehensive, manageable source. In GREAT LEADERSHIP, he presents a coherent model that unifies the viewpoints, theories, concepts, and notions about leadership into a single easy-to-grasp, workable approach.

The book is embroidered with helpful graphics, real-life business stories, research studies, and quotes from a fantastic array of leaders and thinkers, ranging from Churchill and Faulkner, to Daniel Goleman and rock-star CEOs, to illustrate key concepts and breathe life into this thorough course on leadership.

Readers learn:
* How to develop within three leadership dimensions--organizational, operational, and people--to achieve a well-led organization
* How character and competence combine to achieve the heart, mind, soul, and talent of a great leader
* The key elements of an organization that are critical for bringing about real change in it
* How to improve the consistency of your leadership decisions
* How to use the book's framework to customize your own leadership development process

GREAT LEADERSHIP is for all C-suite leaders, mid-career managers, and entrepreneurs who want a framework to understand their organization, their leadership role, and how to prepare for challenges in the future. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

For current and aspiring leaders looking to take charge of their growth and learning, leadership development expert Antony Bell offers an easy-to-grasp, workable framework that gets to the very heart of what defines greatness: knowledge, skills, and talents combined with the inner qualities of a leader that drive noble actions.

GREAT LEADERSHIP traces leadership's evolution from the simple to the complex, pulling together the research and writings of such eminent thinkers as Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Warren Bennis, Daniel Goleman, and John Kotter into a practical model that makes complexity manageable and leadership development as simple as possible--and no simpler. Bell defines three fundamentally different types of leadership--leading organizations, operations, and people--and provides both hands-on tools and a philosophical framework to help you assess when and how to exercise each one.

Exploring in depth the interplay between character and competence, and integrating leader development with organization development, GREAT LEADERSHIP demonstrates clearly how organizations benefit when leadership is effectively practiced: employees align with the organization's mission, commit their heart and soul to improving their own productivity, and collectively contribute to improving the corporate bottom line. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


More About the Author

Antony Bell is president/CEO of LeaderDevelopment Inc. (LDI), a company recognized as a thought leader in leadership development and organizational change. Its unique framework makes sense of the confusing complexity of leadership, helping leaders understand, exercise, and teach great leadership. Its leadership-development specialists have helped thousands of leaders in their quest for great leadership. He is the author of Great Leadership--What It Is and What It Takes in a Complex World and The Clock Tower (a story about the three key dimensions of leadership). Growing up in France and Great Britain, Antony's professional and executive experience spans the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and South Africa. He earned his bachelor's degree in business and economics in the UK and his master's degree in European Law and Business Institutions in France. He serves as adjunct faculty member at the Daniel School of Management at the University of South Carolina, and currently chairs the board of the National Institute for Learning Development. He is a frequent contributor to the business press, and is a sought-after voice on leadership issues.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
It is practical and addresses the two pivotal points of good leadership -- character and competence.
Mark L. Earley
This book integrates a broad spectrum of leadership principles in such a way that makes their application relatively easy as well as appropriate to the context.
Edwin Walker III
This is must reading for anyone who aspires to become an effective leader, and for those who coach anyone on the leadership journey.
Robert W. Soady

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John Gibbs TOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book starts with a synthesis of other people's insights on leadership. As I was reading the first half of the book, I thought that it provided a reasonable summary for people who did not have time to read other leadership books, but no new insights. That all changed when I reached the second half of the book and started delving into the author's discussion of competence in leadership.

According to the author, there are three dimensions of leadership: organizational leadership, operational leadership and people leadership. Organizational leadership requires creating direction, aligning the organization and promoting the message of that direction. Operational leadership involves planning and shaping processes, organizing and controlling, and measuring and problem solving. People leadership involves selecting the right people, explaining expectations, and motivating and developing.

Effective leadership, the book asserts, requires the following elements, each of which builds upon the preceding element: leadership capacity, purpose and values, vision, systems and structures, selection development and succession, and execution. The book then contains useful discussion of the nature of and differences between organizational leadership, operational leadership and people leadership. It is well-written and insightful, and in my view lives up to its promise of being a useful leadership development curriculum.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Edwin Walker III on May 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Great Leadership is different from so many books written on leadership and leadership development in that it does not ride a hobbyhorse. This book integrates a broad spectrum of leadership principles in such a way that makes their application relatively easy as well as appropriate to the context. The reader from a novice to a high-level experienced leader will find this book helpful in any leadership context from an operational leader of a small unit to the organizational focus of a CEO of a large global corporation.

This is not a "how to" book, but one that gives focus and understanding. This enables the reader to focus attention on the essentials of great leadership. The book begins with an insightful and critical historical survey of the development of leadership theory to the present time. It emphasizes the equal importance of both the character and competence of the leader. The book then integrates the principles of organizational, operational, and people leadership into a balanced, comprehensive whole. One of the great values of this book is that it puts that which is of value from the leading leadership thinkers into a systems approach that is unique to the author. This systems approach gives the leadership principles broad application in a complex world, which keeps it as simple as possible but no simpler.

I highly recommend this book by Anthony Bell.

-Edwin S. (Ed) Walker, retired President of World Team USA, Inc.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By In Ardua Tendit on May 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
As the Executive VP, COO and partner in a multi-million dollar commercial printing operation, I can tell you I've read A LOT of books on leadership! Most of them are rife with cliches and catch phrases designed to impress. Quotability does not produce good leadership.

Antony Bell's book wisely explains leadership should be "as complex as it needs to be, and no more." With concise language Bell gives the leverage points leaders need to move their organization. His three areas of Organization, Operation and People, have given me more useful insight into leadership than any of the "21-Laws, 7-Habits, 10-Keys" approach have ever done.

Bell also gives a historical perspective that makes it easy to see why we have run from one management guru to the next. I am happy to say I have read the LAST book on leadership I will ever need. But I expect to reread it in the years ahead.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark L. Earley on May 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Having personally benefited from the concepts in this book through the coaching of its author, Tony Bell, I recommend this book to anyone who aspires to lead or who has been given the opportunity to lead. It is practical and addresses the two pivotal points of good leadership -- character and competence. Mark Earley, President/CEO, Prison Fellowship Ministries
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Format: Hardcover
It is not too often that an employee in a non-leadership role will contemplate great leadership outside of the context of "rating your boss." The important thing that most people fail to understand is that when they do rate their bosses they often are doing so with absolutely no leadership framework of their own. Their idea of what is or is not a great leader is pure fog. Take away the emotional statements they make about their current leadership situation and there will lay the shakiest of foundations.

I personally was involved in a small IT company in which I was very frustrated. I wanted to blame the leaders for lack of vision, commitment, expertise, co-operation, etc. However, I could not express my concerns or verbalize them very well. I felt as if my concerns were not valid and that I simply needed to accept that all these "lack-of" notions I observed were simply due to the complexity of small business landscapes.

While reading this book, "Great Leadership" - by Antony Bell, I quickly became more confident in my ability to assess the leadership "statements" of this particular company. Immediately, with the framework presented in the book, I was able to see through the fog.

The most curious of effects due to this book is that I could be free from speculation and focus again on my work- knowing that if I had to address issues with leadership about their behavior, I would have a powerful tool. In summary, this book should be read, not only by would-be leaders, but by all employees who are genuinely concerned about the health of their organization.
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