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How We Lead Matters: Reflections on a Life of Leadership Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (August 21, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071600175
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071600170
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 6.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #536,772 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

From one of "The World's Most Powerful Women" (Forbes)
An inspiring collection of stories, insights, and profound life lessons

As a CEO, daughter, wife, mother, and grandmother, Marilyn Carlson Nelson has always put people first--a key priority in her uniquely effective philosophy of corporate leadership. How We Lead Matters combines her adventures and insights with wisdom from renowned spiritual, political, and literary figures to convey the leadership precepts behind her business, managerial, and corporate success.

From stargazing and world travel to equal rights and corporate wrongs, this thoughtful combination of professional and personal experiences is one of Carlson Nelson's proudest legacies. It is a book that will inspire you to think about how you live, how you lead, and how you can make impactful choices that create your own brand of success.

"These stories are the ones that are closest to me...life is made up of a series of days and choices, and how we lead matters."--Marilyn Carlson Nelson

About the Author

Marilyn Carlson Nelson is chairman and CEO of Carlson, a global group of companies providing travel, hotel, cruise, restaurant, and marketing services, including such brands as Radisson® and Regent® hotels and resorts, Country Inns and Suites By CarlsonSM, Park Inn® and Park Plaza® hotels, Regent Seven Seas Cruises®, Carlson Wagonlit Travel®, Carlson Marketing®, and T.G.I. Friday's® restaurants.

Deborah Cundy, an assistant dean at the Carlson School of Management, has worked with Marilyn Carlson Nelson for nearly 20 years as a former vice president at Carlson and speech writer. She assisted Ms. Carlson Nelson in the founding of the Center for Integrative Leadership at the University of Minnesota.


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
Even if the woman was his daughter.
Walter H. Bock
Her business advice in this book is extraordinary and inspirational.
D. Olson
It is the rare book that I want to return to again and again.
Deborah A. Morrin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Catherine S. Read on September 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I pre-ordered this book based on a recommendation from Harvey Mackay (one of the 5 people in this world I would like to meet before I die.) He writes a weekly column that I have gotten for years by email and he mentioned Marilyn Carlson Nelson and her book several months ago. So of course I ordered it. I wasn't sure what the book would be like, but it totally exceeded my expectations. I just ordered 8 copies to give as gifts to my colleagues.

This book is genuine, heartfelt, and powerful in its simplicity. The ideas are "bite sized" and therefore easy to remember and readily recalled. The format is terrific as well - a quote or poem on one page, and a short story on the facing page. I loved it! What a great read. I found it very inspiring.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Walter H. Bock on February 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The author of How We Lead Matters, Marilyn Carlson Nelson, just retired from the job of CEO at Carlson. You may know the company under its brands, including Radisson, Country Inns and Suites, Regent, Carlson Wagonlit Travel and TGI Fridays.

Carlson is one of the largest privately held firms in the world. The company employs more than 200,000 people in more than 150 countries. Last year's revenue was $40 billion. The company was founded by Marilyn's father, Curt Carlson, during the depression.

Right about now you may be thinking that this is a typical "rich kid takes over daddy's business" story. You might suspect that Marilyn is a bit of an empty suit.

You'd be wrong on both counts. And if you know a little bit about Marilyn Nelson and her story, you can make a wise decision about whether to buy this book.

The subtitle of the book is, "Reflections on a Life of Leadership." That's exactly what it is. It's not a treatise on leadership. It's not a chronicle of successes. If that's what you're looking for, this is not the book for you.

It's also not a book that you read from front to back and are done with. Instead, it's a collection of the very personal reflections of a very successful leader with a fascinating story.

Marilyn wanted to work her way up in her father's company. She really did. But, alas, she wasn't the son he had always dreamed would succeed him.

Curt Carlson embodied what a lot of people think is good and bad about "old school management." He valued conservative management and conservation of assets. He also thought that a woman's place was not in the executive suite, especially if she had children. Even if the woman was his daughter.

He actually fired Marilyn.
Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. Olson on September 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I highly recommend this book!! As a professional woman, I was drawn to Marilyn Carlson Nelson. Her business advice in this book is extraordinary and inspirational. It simply compels you to raise the level of your contribution to and satisfaction with life. I expected to get that from this book. What I did not expect, however, was the intimate, personal reflection of a powerful CEO who also happens to be a mother, a wife, a community leader, a mentor and a friend. I found nuggets of wisdom for every aspect of my life, as did my husband who also read it. From her personal stories of well-known historical people and events to her moving reflection on the loss of her college-bound daughter, this book made me think, laugh and cry on occasion. You will not find anything that touches you more deeply.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Artisana on November 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I had the honor of listening to Mrs Carlson Nelson at the Central States Conference on World Languages in Minneapolis in 2010. She is an inspiration and a REAL person with emotions, unlike many speakers who give good speeches but are just a person behind a podium. This booklet has very short stories drawn from Mrs Nelson's life experiences, and each story is preceded by quotes. It is a very quick read, inspirational, and a great collection of quotes. Makes a valuable gift for young people beginning their adult life journey. This book applies to more than people in the Business world: Parents, teachers, or anyone with ambition to advance in the world with a conscience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Susan on October 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
What a wonderful book! Terrific snapshots into Ms. Nelson's exciting life and the everyday lessons learned along the way. I am going to gift it to many of my friends.
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By Des on January 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I can't say enough about this book. Marilyn Carlson Nelson has managed to share many of her life experiences in a delightful way while encouraging leadership values. Thank you.
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