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If You Will Lead: Enduring Wisdom for 21st-Century Leaders Hardcover – June 7, 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Agate B2 (June 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193284158X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932841589
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,189,141 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

More About the Author

Doug Moran's debut book, If You Will Lead: Enduring Wisdom for 21st-Century Leaders, was named one of LeadershipNow.com'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.

Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book to anyone wishing to become a better leader.
He has created a book and leadership framework that provide the tools leaders and aspiring leaders need to reach their potential.
A leader
Doug has a way of getting to the point without all the fluff found in other books on leadership I have read.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John Gibbs TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 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 By Crazie Betty on January 7, 2013
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 By Mb on May 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
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 By mary on June 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Golfing Joe on June 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
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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