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Leaders At All Levels: Deepening Your Talent Pool to Solve the Succession Crisis (Your Coach in a Box) Audio CD – Bargain Price, January 2, 2008

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Product Details

  • Series: Your Coach in a Box
  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Your Coach Digital; Unabridged edition (January 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596591250
  • ASIN: B005M4VJRC
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,871,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"…cool-headed guide on how to identify and retain leaders and to get succession right". (Securities & Investment Review, April 2008) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From the Inside Flap

Leaders at All Levels

"Crisis may be an overused word, but it's a fair description of the state of leadership in today's corporations. CEOs are failing sooner, and falling harder, leaving companies in turmoil. At all levels, companies are short on the quantity and quality of leaders they need."—From the Introduction

In Leaders at All Levels, Ram Charan addresses a pressing problem—a shortfall of leaders prepared to face today's complex business challenges. When so many companies struggle to find successors for their top jobs, and when so many leaders rise to the top only to fail shortly after getting there, you know there's something wrong with our leadership development practices.

In this book, Ram Charan presents a radical and controversial remedy for the crisis in leadership: the Apprenticeship Model. This new approach to succession and to leadership development makes it a hands-on activity for leaders and their bosses. People with the talent for leadership get stiff challenges hand-picked for them. Their bosses play a crucial role in accelerating their development. HR gets a new job, as trustee of the Apprenticeship system. Leaders at all levels develop faster and better, and boards have better choices when it comes time to choose the next CEO.

New but not untested, this approach works because it is based on Charan's keen insights into how great business leaders actually develop. Having worked closely with many successful leaders over several decades, Charan concluded that:

  • Leaders are different from other people

  • Leaders develop their talent through practice and self-correction

Filled with down-to-earth advice and real-world examples, Leaders at All Levels gives you the tools you need to create an enduring legacy of leadership excellence. It also gives individual leaders a road map for taking charge of their own growth. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Ram Charan is the coauthor of bestsellers Execution and Confronting Reality and the author of What the CEO Wants You to Know and 10 other books. A noted expert on business strategy, execution, building a high-performance organization, 21st century leadership, corporate boards and succession, he has worked with leaders of some of the world's most successful companies, including GE, Bank of America, Verizon, Coca-Cola, 3M, Merck, Aditya Birla Group, and Tata Group.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
A CEO can make a weak company strong and a good company great.
Rolf Dobelli
"Leaders At All Levels" is a must read for CEOs and Boards of Directors concerned with CEO succession and leadership development.
Thomas M. Loarie
Here are the things that are likely to need to change in most companies to make an apprenticeship model work.
Walter H. Bock

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John P. Christian on May 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
If you have read the Leadership Pipeline (co-authored by the same guy) then you have seen most of the thoughts expressed here. It is focused on the top end of the management chain and the failure of many corporations to adequately foster the growth and development of leaders from within the company. Other than that it is a good book with noble and respectable intensions. This is not a good "how to" manual, more of a conceptual description of the kinds of poor leadership issues that impact most large companies. I would have liked to have seen a better description of the root causes of poor leadership thinking with some pointed examples of how this can be fixed and an explanation of why the fixes work. For example I as a manager have conceived and implemented the best plan or solution vs. I put the challange to my team to develop the best plan or solution and then partnered with them to achieve a superior result, etc. If you are looking at ways to cultivate new CEOs within your complany this book will make more sense than if you are looking at moving your company toward a great leadership culture by teaching new leaders the meaning and value of leadership skills.
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Format: Hardcover
Ram Charan's "Leaders At All Levels" takes on a major crisis that exists today in most large US corporations - the shortage of leadership talent. Companies while focused on the next quarters' earnings target have ignored the hard work of building future company leaders. In a recent poll of 1380 Human Resource (HR) directors of large US companies, sixty percent said their firms have no CEO succession plan in place.

The top jobs are harder now than in the past due to hyper-competition, changing technology, and a raft of emerging players from every corner of the globe pressuring companies to keep changing their game to survive and thrive. And the evidence shows that a lot of firms are not responding to it well. Why? Charan argues the state of leadership development is faulty and companies must abandon traditional leadership practices. The severe shortage of leaders is an unmistakable sign that the typical approaches to leadership are fundamentally flawed. We urgently need to get at the root causes, faulty conventional wisdom about what leadership is and how to develop it.

"Leaders At All Levels" lays out a radically new leadership-development model, "The Apprenticeship Model," which transforms leadership development from a discrete activity run by the human resources staff to an everyday process that is fully integrated into the fabric of the business and in which line leaders play a central role. The model centers on customizing and accelerating a potential leader's development and growth path.
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Format: Hardcover
Now more than ever before, organizations need leadership at all levels and within all areas of their enterprise. The "succession crisis" to which the subtitle of this book refers includes but is by no means limited to C-level executives. With all due respect to formal education and institutional training programs, on-the-job training is (by far) the best preparation for completing more demanding tasks, assuming increased responsibilities and duties, etc. Moreover, Ram Charan is absolutely correct when asserting that organizations "are short on the quantity and quality of leaders they need...[We must] abandon our traditional leadership development practices. They're not working. Tinkering and fine-tuning won't solve the fundamental program. It's time for a completely new approach to finding and developing the kinds of leaders businesses need... To fix the problem, you have to get to its root, which is the faulty conventional wisdom about what leadership is and how to improve it."

Charan offers what he characterizes as a "radically different approach," one "that is not for the fainthearted": the Apprenticeship Model. (What it involves and how to implement it are best revealed within Charan's narrative rather than discussed now, out of context.) Any model is based on certain assumptions and Charan's is no exception. By now, he has concluded that not everyone can become a leader, that leadership ability is developed through practice and self-correction, and that the CEO job requires "giant leaps in learning." The Apprenticeship Model is based on these assumptions.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Walter H. Bock on January 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Leaders at all Levels: Deepening Your Talent Poll to Solve the Succession Crisis by Ram Charan is the first book by a major leadership guru to discuss the development of leaders as an apprenticeship process. That's a good reason to read it, but there are many more.

You will get the most out of this book if you keep in mind that Ram Charan works with the top executives of large companies. That's who he writes for, too, so if you're in a smaller company, plan to adapt what you read here to your situation.

Keep in mind that Charan has been involved in leadership development for a very long time, well before it was the fashionable topic it is today. He is the co-author of the best book on the subject for large companies, The Leadership Pipeline. He brings deep knowledge and experience to the subject.

The core of the book revolves around the insight that leadership is an apprentice trade. You learn about 20 percent of it from courses and books. You learn 80 percent on the job, by taking action, getting feedback, and learning. You learn most through a series of developmental experiences, some which are planned and some which are not.

I know that this works because I've been applying it in my writing and consulting practice for years. Charan writes about it in this book with an almost single-minded focus on what are called "high potential" leaders, the ones who wind up in the C-suite, but you can use the principles for leadership development for leaders in any company or for yourself or a protégé.

The premise is very simple, though Charan is the first big-name consultant to write about it in book form. People learn about leadership in classes and from books. But they learn leadership by leading.
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