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Hedgehogs and Foxes: Character, Leadership, and Command in Organizations Hardcover – August 5, 2008

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Editorial Reviews


"In his new book, Abraham Zaleznik explores the effect on leadership of the tension between the individual identity and the roles imposed by the hierarchies of medicine, business, the military, and politics.  Drawing on examples from recent history and from literature, Zaleznik combines the subtle sensitivity of a psychoanalyst  with years of experience as a consultant to executives to make this an outstanding and indispensable book on leadership."  -- Norman N. Holland, Marston-Milbauer Eminent Scholar, University of Florida

"A clear-eyed analysis and masterful account of the human side of leadership. This admirable book demonstrates Zaleznik's wisdom about styles of leadership in different kinds of organizations. This book reaches beyond the corporate world to the pages of modern history and gives us his analysis of Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, Martin Luther King jr. and Joseph Conrad. This is not a book that praises the famous, rather the studies are tough minded and, yes, judgmental. Even if you do not agree with all of Zaleznick's evaluations (I ,for example, happen to like Ike) you will be impressed with his understanding." -- Alan A.Stone, M.D. Past President of The American Psychiatric Association, Touroff-Glueck Professor of Law and Psychiatry in the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Medicine Harvard University

“In this important new book Abraham Zaleznik discusses leadership in organizations from a psychoanalytic perspective, examining how the character of leaders is formed, and then how that character shapes leadership style, the use of power, success and failure.  In ten fascinating case studies we learn of political, social, business and artistic leaders who changed the world, and how their characters came to be.  This is must reading for those concerned with understanding leadership in organizations.” -- Robert Michels, M.D., Walsh McDermott University Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry, Cornell University

About the Author

Abraham Zaleznik is Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Leadership, Emeritus, Harvard Business School. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award, 1996, and the McKinsey award for best article in the Harvard Business Review.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (July 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230606237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230606234
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,620,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Manager from New Jersey on August 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Zaleznik provides a rich analysis of leaders using the metaphor of hedgehogs (those leaders that rose to the top on one big thing) and foxes (those leaders that know many things.) Focusing on some well know leaders such as Robert McNamara, Ronald Reagan, Martin Luther King Jr., and Dwight Eisnehower (just to name a few) Zaleznik uses a psychoanalytical framework to detail their leadership style and he focuses on each leader's character as it was developed from youth. For anyone who wants an in-depth study of some great historical leaders, this book is a must!
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