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If You Will Lead: Enduring Wisdom for 21st-Century Leaders [Kindle Edition]

Doug Moran
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

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Book Description

If You Will Lead: Enduring Wisdom for 21st-Century Leaders provides readers with guidance for any sort of leadership journey. Whether you are a seasoned executive or just starting your first leadership role, this book will help you grow as a leader. Doug Moran starts by posing four critical questions for every reader to consider:
1. Who am I?
2. What do I want?
3. How can I get others to make their own choice to follow me?
4. How can I earn and retain the privilege to lead?
If You Will Lead helps each reader discover his or her own answers to these pivotal questions.

Moran has taken Rudyard Kipling’s classic poem "If--" and created a leadership framework out of it that comprises sixteen eternal and essential leadership attributes. He draws on noteworthy historical events to illustrate how great leaders like Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Mother Teresa, and others applied these leadership attributes to achieve extraordinary results.

If You Will Lead uses the power of storytelling to teach its leadership lessons. It combines bigger-than-life examples with everyday stories to help leaders apply its lessons to their own leadership challenges, whatever they may be. It's a practical guide that offers numerous resources and tools to help readers hone their skills and achieve their full potential.

Editorial Reviews



"Leadership consultant Doug Moran offers a fascinating, instructive perspective that identifies the “If Sixteen Leadership Attributes” that [Rudyard] Kipling's poem describes. Moran’s well-researched biographies of historic figures illustrate qualities Kipling found essential to great leadership. getAbstract recommends Moran’s insights to students of history and to good leaders seeking to become great." - Washington Post

"Doug Moran, a former Capital One CIO and Virginia state commissioner, offers perspectives on principled leadership." - Baseline Magazine

"There is considerable wisdom to be garnered from Doug's perspective....There is no question that any leader who embraces the quest for continued learning will benefit from this book. Read it. Learn from it. Share it." - Kristin Kaufman, founder of Alignment Inc.

"If You Will Lead uses the power of storytelling to teach its leadership lessons. It combines bigger-than-life examples with everyday stories to help leaders apply its lessons to their own leadership challenges, whatever they may be." - Interview Angel

"Provocative, engaging and helpful...Many of the 'If Sixteen' leaders whose lives Doug chose to chronicle are people I thought I knew about, and/or whose careers I had formed solid opinions about. However, Doug’s biographical information about them, coupled with his unique interpretations, provided healthy challenges to my understandings." - Susan Palmer, founder of Susan Palmer Consulting

"Speak[s] to our need to rethink our core thinking, beliefs and motivations—to do the uncomfortable." - Leadership Now

Product Details

  • File Size: 488 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 193284158X
  • Publisher: Agate B2 (June 1, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005270YF2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,303 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rudyard Kipling's leadership wisdom June 9, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Rudyard Kipling's words in the poem "If-" describe a path we may choose to follow to become better leaders, according to Doug Moran in this book. Each of the poem's sixteen couplets describes a leadership attribute, and together they provide a leadership framework on which the author bases his book, with one famous leader from history being chosen to exemplify each attribute.

The attributes are: character, authenticity, integrity, self-efficacy, ambition, vision, boldness, resilience, inspiration, courage, selflessness, stamina, composure, patience, enthusiasm and accountability. There is room for debate about whether these are the most important leadership attributes - for example, empathy and judgment are missing from the list - but they are still a remarkable list of leadership characteristics.

The leaders chosen to illustrate the various attributes include some obvious choices like Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa and George Washington, as well as some less obvious choices. The author does not claim to be a historian, and some of the stories he relates are not entirely aligned with the most widely accepted historical sources. To get the most benefit from the book the reader needs to overlook any historical inaccuracies and concentrate on the lessons that the author elicits.

I enjoyed reading the book and found it to be a worthwhile experience. There is not a lot of new material for those who have already read plenty of other leadership books, but Kipling's inspiring poem and the historical stories keep the book interesting. For each leadership attribute the author poses a number of useful questions that the reader can use in reflecting on his or her own leadership qualities.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
3.5 Stars

I really enjoyed this book but it could've been much shorter. The entire leadership concept portrayed in this book is based off a poem by Rudyard Kipling titled "If". The concept is fabulous and I truly enjoyed how the author chose different leaders in history to demonstrate the different leadership principals he was speaking to. The problem is so many things are reiterated over and over again in this book. It has definitely been fitted with some filler to make the book a bit beefier but if you can get past that and just stick it out for the extra couple of days it takes to get through it, then the concepts are well worth it. The 16 leadership principals discussed by Doug Moran are crucial and it is extremely important to be able to understand and differentiate between the different qualities and what actually goes into them.

Unfortunately, I feel like the author could've made a stronger and more lasting impressions if he hadn't tried to make the book longer than it needed to be. It could've been shortened by at least a 1/3 and because of this I lost focus throughout the book and found my mind wondering off to other things. Fortunately, however, because there are so many repeats, it doesn't take much effort to realize what you missed while you were spaced out because it will go ahead and be repeated for you again a few times. I've read dozens and dozens of leadership type books and although the concept in this book was new and very smart and intriguing, the author loses a little bit of credibility in my opinion when he can't just trust the material as it is without repeating it 10x. As a reader, it is insulting when an author believes his readers are too stupid to get the idea without it being repeated over and over again.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and entertaining too May 23, 2011
By Mb
I love the stories from history - from leaders we're familiar with, to others who are more obscure, like Captain Mulligan in the chapter on stamina. I also especially like Moran's personal stories.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ageless wisdom June 9, 2011
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it - that is the admonition. But the flip side is that those who DO learn from history have the opportunity to change their lives, and maybe the lives of others - in their families, their companies, or just fellow citizens.

Doug Moran's "If You Will Lead: Enduring Wisdom for 21st-Century Leaders" is a terrific combination of the lessons of history and insightful management wisdom. The breadth of leaders that Moran covers, ranging from their varying inherent personalities to the circumstances under which they exercised leadership, ensures that every leader and aspiring leader will find valuable, applicable information in this book.

I also enjoyed the structure that Moran created through Kipling's poem "If--". The way in which the poem and the leadership examples resonated across the centuries left me feeling that the book was built on an ageless and undeniable foundation of wisdom.

I enjoyed "If You Will Lead" immensely and recommend it highly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars if you will lead June 20, 2011
By mary
If You Will Lead, by Doug Moran, is sure to appeal to a wide variety of audiences. The book will undoubtedly offer mature leaders an opportunity to reflect on the true meaning of leadership, enlightened by the experiences of the l6 known leaders and Moran's less known family members and friends. It offers a tool to younger leaders with which to examine, and perhaps refocus, their leadership efforts. College and high school students will draw inspiration and direction from the accessible stories of the historical leaders and the imitable ordinary people described in the book. Moran offers an engaging and readable book, rooted in theory but far from theoretical.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by L. A. Nicholas
1.0 out of 5 stars Historical Fiction at Its Worst
The point of Doug Moran's book "If You Will Lead" is to present persons whose life, actions, or choices exemplify sixteen characteristics of great leaders. Read more
Published 5 months ago by LFD
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
It's ok
Published 8 months ago by Satisfied Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read on leadership
Moran breaks down important leadership attributes into bite size stories of historical leaders that lived and breathed them. Read more
Published on May 28, 2013 by MMJT
5.0 out of 5 stars Provocative title and worthy content
If you are looking to hone your leadership skills, you should really consider buying this book. It is full of useful information that can benefit any leader - and motivates the... Read more
Published on October 3, 2012 by fjmva2224
4.0 out of 5 stars Why you can lead
I found the way this was written to very helpful, giving an outline of why to lead. This is not one of those books that you have to follow the steps or it doesn't work. Read more
Published on September 13, 2012 by PaPa K
5.0 out of 5 stars Creative approach to leadership!
As the child of an English teacher, I often heard Kipling's "If" quoted when I was a child. It's incredibly refreshing to have the poem used now as the basis for a leadership... Read more
Published on March 9, 2012 by Vozzie
4.0 out of 5 stars If You Will Lead
"If-," the famous poem by Victorian poet Rudyard Kipling, captures the essence of modern-day leadership. Read more
Published on February 6, 2012 by Rolf Dobelli
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent guide
this is an excellent guide that will improve one's ability to take charge in the most effective way. Read more
Published on December 4, 2011 by lee
5.0 out of 5 stars A1 Leaders Manual
As a lawyer in my community, this book taught me how to better assist my clients by using the leadership qualities as described in the book. Read more
Published on October 20, 2011 by Leading Lawyer
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More About the Author

Doug Moran's debut book, If You Will Lead: Enduring Wisdom for 21st-Century Leaders, was named one of's "Best Leadership Books of 2012." Doug founded If You Will Lead, LLC in 2009, providing leadership development, executive coaching, and infrastructure and technology strategy. Doug believes fervently that everyone has the capacity to be a leader. He is passionate about helping those who choose to lead by fostering the skills and competencies necessary to do so powerfully and effectively.
Doug speaks and writes on a variety of topics related to leadership and change. Doug is the author of the bestselling book, If You Will Lead: Enduring Wisdom for 21st-Century Leaders. His articles and interviews have appeared in a variety of national magazines, including Investor's Business Daily, CIO Insight, LeadershipNow, Leadership Edge, Inside Business, Leadership Excellence, Training Magazine and Enterprise Leadership.
Doug has more than 25 years of hands-on leadership experience. He has led organizations of all sizes, from a complex enterprise of more than 16,000 employees to small teams of individual contributors. Before starting If You Will Lead, Doug spent ten years with Capital One Financial Services in a variety of executive roles. Most recently, he was CIO for Capital One's Financial Services Division, providing technology leadership for domestic and international business units. Doug also oversaw the company's Merger and Acquisition IT team.
Doug served Virginia's Governor as Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Resources, COO of the Department of Social Services, and Director of Telecommunications. Under his leadership, Virginia revolutionized its welfare system, putting more than 50,000 unemployed citizens to work. He was recognized by both the National Association of State Telecommunications Directors and the National Public-Private Partnership Association for outstanding leadership and innovation. Doug started his career with Verizon, where he led two new product launches and patented three inventions. Doug is a graduate of Georgetown University's Leadership Coaching Program, and he is designated as an Associate Certified Coach by the International Coach Federation. Doug holds a Bachelor of Science degree from James Madison University. His community involvement centers on education, affordable housing, and children's healthcare.

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