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Leaders: The Strategies for Taking Charge 2nd Edition

9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0887308390
ISBN-10: 0887308392
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From the Publisher

Leaders: A Timeless Classic Updated for the New Millennium

Leaders: The Strategies for Taking Charge by Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus, has been hailed as one of the top 50 business books of all time by Stuart Crainer, writing in the Financial Times. Now, the authors have prepared a new edition of this seminal work for the 1990s and beyond; the second edition of Leaders is updated throughout, and features a new foreword and an important new chapter on the future of leadership.

Looking to the future, Bennis and Nanus predict that one of the most important challenges facing leaders in the twenty-first century will be the speed and pervasiveness of technological change. In the face of such change, organizations find themselves more and more composed of "knowledge workers," expert in specialized disciplines and demanding a high degree of independent responsibility. In the future, the leader of the organization must be able to manage successfully both rapid changes in technology itself as well as the organizational and structural development such changes bring to the organization.

Successful leaders will still master and display the same basic skills identified by Bennis and Nanus in the groundbreaking first edition of Leaders. Drawing on in-depth interviews with leaders from both the public and private sectors, the authors challenge traditional myths about leadership and show that it constitutes a set of skills that can be isolated, studied, and mastered. In Leaders, they describe how leadership differs from management; identify vision, communication, positioning, and "the creative deployment of self" as the key strategies employed by leaders; and show how leaders use those skills to empower others.

In this new edition, the authors have also expanded and amplified some of their key insights, including:

Leadership is about character
Leaders must create an organization that fosters intellectual capital
Leaders must display a passion to realize their vision
Leaders must be able to generate and sustain trust
Leaders are able to convince others to sign on to their vision
Leaders display a bias towards action

Through their careful and thorough revisions and through the addition of new insights and materials, Bennis and Nanus have ensured thatLeaders will continue to be one of the most influential works on the topic.


Warren Bennis, a Distinguished Professor of Business Administration and Founding Chairman of the Leadership Institute at the University of Southern California, draws on over 40 years of experience as a bestselling author, a prestigious educator, renowned consultant, and award-winning visionary. During most of the 60s and 70s, Bennis was an innovative university administrator, serving as President of the University of Cincinnati for seven years. He has been an adviser to four U.S. Presidents, and has served as professor at such institutions as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard College, and Boston University. A recipient of eleven honorary degrees, Bennis has advised many Fortune 500 companies. He lives in Santa Monica, California.

Burt Nanus is Professor Emeritus of Management at the University of Southern California, where he served on the faculty from 1969 to 1994. While there, he founded the University's Center for Futures Research and served as its director for sixteen years. Prior to joining the University, he spent ten years in various managerial capacities at Sperry Rand Corporation, the System Development Corporation, and his own consulting firm, Planning Technology, Inc. He is the author of nine business books, six of them on leadership. He resides in Pacific Palisades, California.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness; 2nd edition (February 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0887308392
  • ISBN-13: 978-0887308390
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #261,026 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Warren Bennis (Los Angeles, CA), born in 1925, is an American scholar, organizational consultant and author, who is widely regarded as the pioneer of the contemporary field of leadership. He is University Professor and Distinguished Professor of Business Administration at the University of Southern California. In the past decade, he served as chairman of the Advisory Board of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, working with David Gergen.
Bennis has consulted for many Fortune 500 companies and served as adviser to four U.S. presidents. He has served on the faculty of MIT's Sloan School of Management and was Chairman of the Organizational Studies Department. He is a former faculty member of Boston University, former Provost and Executive Vice President of State University of New York at Buffalo and President of the University of Cincinnati. His global experience includes teaching at the Indian Institute of Management-Calcutta, INSEAD, the London Business School, and IMEDE (now IMD). In 2007, Business Week called him one of ten business school professors who have had the greatest influence on business thinking. He has received 20 honorary degrees and has served on numerous boards of advisors.
Bennis has written or edited 30 books, which have been translated into 21 languages, and many articles on three of his passions-leadership, organizational change, and creative collaboration. The Financial Times recently named Leaders as one of the top 50 business books of all time.
Bennis is proud of the four years he served in the U.S. Army, 1943-1947. At the age of 19 he was one of the youngest infantry commanders in Germany and was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star. His dream remains: to write a terrific one-act play.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Patrick Lattore on September 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
I teach leadership and this book has been on my required list since 1990. It is short, instructive and not easily replaced by others. It handles the subject broadly and with a great anticipation for this decades insights about effective leadership. The use of survey material, while a little flawed in terms of sampling (not all great leadership takes place at the top) gives us very helpful data to validate some unusual conclusions about leadership.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By C.J. Dodd on February 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
Much to the book's credit, this is a surprisingly short overview of leadership and the differences between management and leadership. The emphasis on leadership as a learnable skill is evident throughout the book. It highlights the many common characteristics found within a study of 90 leaders, and it translates those characteristics into recognizable traits such as possessing and sharing a vision. The book not only addresses these skills, but also change and its impact on leadership potential, especially in the age of technology. The human element of leadership and the impact of leadership on human interaction form the foundation of the book. The emphasis placed on leadership in the workplace is at times heavy, and sometimes clouds an understanding of other applications of leadership. The skills and elements presented are valuable however, and definitely are applicable to all areas of life.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By TJ on February 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
I was assigned to read this book for one of my communication classes. After reading the book, I realized this book could be used effectively for someone else, but not me. I just began studying leaders and grasping the basic concepts of leadership and this book was disecting it. On the other hand, if I were a leader in an organization, this book could be very helpful. The authors did an enormous amount of research for this book. They did a study using 90 effective leaders from all kinds of organizations. Some of their leaders gave them the secrets to their success, while others hardly spoke. The authors narrowed all the information they got from the leaders down to four main strategies to become a better leader. You have to read the book to find out what they are! Lastly, I had one major problem with this book. Boring...It was putting me to sleep. If Bennis and Nanus(the authors)would have made the materal more interesting, this book would have been great.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Auren Hoffman on December 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a good book on leadership -- another Bennis classic. A good airplane book, it is a quick read and worth the time.
However, if you have to read ONE Bennis book, I suggest reading "Organizing Genius".
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bennis and Nanus nailed it with this read. A necessary read for anyone who is considering or in a position of leadership. They go after the intangibles of why a leader is great or not, and do it in a manner that can be understood and contemplated.
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