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How Great Leaders Think: The Art of Reframing Hardcover – July 28, 2014

4.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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one of the best leadership books of the year. The pair blend anecdotes, cultural references and hard facts to stunning effect, even if their findings aren t always new (People Management, October 2014) Whether you ve been managing employees and setting a structure for your business for 20 years or 20 days, the simple, succinct explanations, illustrated with interesting and engaging examples, will help you get control of your business plan and allow you to forge ahead with a well-rounded, concise vision (Talk Business, October 2014)

From the Inside Flap

How Great Leaders Think: The Art of Reframing uses compelling, contemporary examples to show how better thinking is the key to better leadership. Leaders who can reframe capture a sharper image of what’s going on around them and understand what they need to do to achieve the results they want. Bolman and Deal’s influential four-frame model of leadership and organizations—developed in their bestselling book, Reframing Organizations: Artistry Choice, and Leadership—offers leaders an accessible template for understanding four major dimensions of organizational life: structure, people, politics, and culture. Tapping into the power of the imagery enables leaders to decode the messy world in which they live, see more options, tell better stories, and find more powerful leadership strategies. Case examples of leaders like Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Howard Schultz at Starbucks, Tony Hsieh of Zappos, Ursula Burns at Xerox, and the late Steve Jobs of Apple provide concrete lessons that readers can put to use in their own leadership. The book’s lessons include:

  • How to use structural tools to organize teams and organizations for better results
  • How to build motivation and morale by aligning organization and people
  • How to map the political terrain and build a power base to navigate the partisan struggles in organizations
  • How to develop a leadership story that shapes culture, provides meaning, and inspires people toward a shared purpose.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (July 28, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118140982
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118140987
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #346,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Bolman and Deal begin their book stating, "Good thinking is the start of good leadership." They go on to say, "Leaders who can reframe - look at the same thing from multiple perspectives - think better." They also point out, "Reality is what each of us believes it to be." The authors then help us to conceive our reality in different ways. Bolman and Deal have long professed there are four "frames" through which leaders must assess their organizational environment - the structural, human resource, political, and symbolic frames. In this eminently readable book the authors have provided many stories of how leaders in well known business settings utilized a particular frame, for success or failure.
Warren Bennis said it far better than I, " If you would be a genuine leader in today’s crazy-quilt environment, you must challenge yourself to think about things in new or different ways." Bolman and Deal's new book will no doubt help any of us in leadership positions to consider "reframing" our "reality" in new and different ways.
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Format: Hardcover
As F. Scott Fitzgerald noted, "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function," and this is very much the frame of reference on this 2014 book on leadership. While so many, many books and theories propound the exclusive prominence of a particular set of ideas, Bolman and Deal have long been comfortable with the reality of ambiguity. For almost 40 years, they have explored the facets of the alternative lenses through which the data of organizational life can be viewed.

I believe that the authors' Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice and Leadership (Jossey-Bass, 1991) is the best-selling organizational behavior textbook of all time. Here they laid out their central thesis that virtually anything that happens (or doesn't happen) in organizational contexts can be seen in several different frames simultaneously. Let's take the example of a promotion:

The Structural Frame would look at a promotion through the lens of goals, roles, rules, policies, order in relationships, and procedures. It is the stuff of thoughtful analysis and bureaucracy, which is not a negative term in this context. Policies developed over a long period of time might require decisions to be made about the viability of every associate in an organization on at least a three year basis. Vetting structures are needed to determine the criteria against which promotion should occur and measurements would needed to assess outcomes against goals. Promotions are part of the natural order of things: when people produce results, they are promoted. When organizations are in various stages of their life-cycle, as determined by product mix, markets, degree of innovation, etc.
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Format: Hardcover
Superb. Very enthusiastically recommended for anyone interested in (especially business) leadership.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Another brilliant and accessible book by these authors. Well structured, clearly presented relevant material. A must for providing a structure for understanding organisations.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of the best books I have read on leadership since Tom Peters' material.
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