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Leadership and the Art of Struggle: How Great Leaders Grow Through Challenge and Adversity Paperback – March 11, 2013
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From Publishers Weekly
—From the foreword by Bill George, former CEO, Medtronic; Professor of Management Practice, Harvard Business School; and author of the bestselling True North
“Steven Snyder’s Leadership and the Art of Struggle is the must-read leadership book of the year. It is one of the most intelligent, revealing, and practical books on the subject I have ever read. It confronts a vital truth about leadership: that challenge is the crucible for greatness and that these adversities introduce us to ourselves. Buy this book immediately, read it with a sense of urgency, and apply it with the commitment of a disciple. You and those you work with will benefit greatly when you do.”
—Jim Kouzes, coauthor of the bestselling The Leadership Challenge
“Steven Snyder covers all the bases from channeling your energy to managing conflict, including a great segment about overcoming your leadership blind spots. Leadership and the Art of Struggle is full of real-life examples of leaders who emerged from tough times better and stronger than before. This encouraging book is a must-read!”
—Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager and Great Leaders Grow
“The leadership journey is rewarding but definitely not easy. Leadership and the Art of the Struggle gives you clear and compelling advice on transforming pitfalls into possibilities.”
—Jodee Kozlak, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, Target
“A very fresh and inspiring perspective that constructively embraces the natural tensions that all leaders encounter every day. I heartily recommend it to any leader who aspires to lead and contribute more fully.”
—Douglas R. Conant, former President, CEO, and Director, Campbell Soup Company, and coauthor of the New York Times bestseller TouchPoints
“Steven courageously confronts the element of struggle, which is frequently overlooked in all the leadership hoopla. It’s time we had an open and honest conversation about this integral and vital aspect of leadership.”
—Ken Melrose, former CEO, Toro
“Steven guides you on a journey that can be deeply fulfilling as well as enlightening. I recommend this book for any leader who wants to engage more authentically and constructively in a complex and ever-changing world.”
—Mary Brainerd, CEO, HealthPartners
“Leadership and the Art of Struggle contains compelling stories of great leaders who have struggled with various facets of their leadership responsibility. It offers practical advice and tools to help you deal more effectively with the inevitable struggles of leadership.”
—Trudy Rautio, President and CEO, Carlson
“If you are leading an organization of any kind today or desire to lead one in the future, you need to read this book.”
—Frank Russomanno, former CEO, Imation
“Snyder has opened an intriguing and insightful portal into the challenge of leadership. You’ll be inspired and invigorated with ideas that you can immediately put into action.”
—Kevin Wilde, Chief Learning Officer, General Mills, and author of Dancing with the Talent Stars
“Life in a start-up is chaotic, intense, and unpredictable. Snyder knows this world well and gives you sage advice on how to remain grounded, focused, and energized. This is a book that every entrepreneur or would-be entrepreneur should read.”
—Michael Gorman, Managing Director, Split Rock Partners
“Snyder boldly tackles a subject that every leader needs to master. Sometimes leadership is a struggle, and these are the times that really put us to the test. This insightful book will teach you how to thrive during life’s most challenging moments.”
—Marshall Goldsmith, New York Times bestselling author of Mojo and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There
“This book resonates to the core. It gives us grounding and offers precise practices for locating our work deep in the soul. Steven makes the dive into the waters of purposeful living and leading deep and attractive. What a delightful dive!”
—Richard Leider, bestselling author of The Power of Purpose and coauthor of Repacking Your Bags
“The French writer Albert Camus tells us, ‘In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was within me an invincible summer.’ Snyder wisely observes that we can best strike a blow against tragedy and disappointment by using them as inspiration to make a positive difference in the lives of others through our personal leadership.”
—-Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Chairman, Carlson
“This is the right book for these times. Leadership has become more difficult in the chaotic world we live in; Steven acknowledges that and draws on his own deep experience and the lessons learned of others to help any new, aspiring, or well-worn leader!”
—Beverly Kaye, founder of Career Systems International and coauthor of Love ’Em or Lose ’Em and Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go
“Leadership and the Art of Struggle deserves to be a leadership classic! Snyder brilliantly charts a course to strengthen ourselves through the important crucibles of challenge and adversity. If you want to build more authentic leadership in yourself and others, get this life-changing book!”
—Kevin Cashman, Senior Partner, Korn/Ferry International, and bestselling author of The Pause Principle and Leadership from the Inside Out
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Top Customer Reviews
Can I do this?
What is happening?
Maybe I'm not cut out for this?
What went wrong?
When will "they" realize I'm just a fraud?
If you have gone through this stage or are in it now, there is no better resource I can recommend than the subject of this book review: Leadership and the Art of Struggle: How great leaders grow through challenge and adversity by Steven Snyder.
My reaction to Leadership and the Art of Struggle was the reader's equivalent of a fist-pump: I leaned back in my chair, closed my eyes, let out a whispered "yes!" and silently thanked Mr. Snyder for taking the time to write this book.
In Leadership and the Art of Struggle, Snyder spells out a fundamental truth known to every accomplished leader: skill comes through growth and growth...is often very painful.
Granted, you can read biographies, literature, or watch movies and understand the challenges and adversity that confront leaders.
What Snyder adds is a model for understanding the challenges you're going through as well as a process for interpreting them, reflecting upon them, and easing your learning process as you grow in effectiveness.
The definition of leadership Snyder chooses will give you a sense of where he wants to take you. He uses a definition from Harvard instructor Joe Badaracco:
Leadership is a struggle by flawed human beings to make some important human values real and effective in the world as it is.
That is a deep and profound definition.
If it makes you uncomfortable - please read this book.Read more ›
In this book, Snyder shares a number of "stories" of men and women who demonstrate the art of struggle. Some are famous (e.g. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs), others are not, but all of them have relied on one or more of six scripts that Snyder identifies and discusses (Pages 25-27):
1. Proactive Reinvention
2. Stumble, Recover, and Learn
4. Transcending Constraint
5. Mission Impossible
6. Confronting Failure
"Leaders respond to the change, tension, and intense emotions of their struggles in different ways." Abraham Lincoln probably followed all six at one time or another throughout his life and especially while serving as 16th president of the United States.
These are among the dozens of passages that caught my eye, also listed to suggest the scope of Snyder's 's coverage.Read more ›
Perhaps the most remarkable part of the book, is the fact that he has 151 examples, real life cases, that deal with this topic. It is rare to have someone so connected, that has done so much research, and has talked to so many profound leaders in the business world.
This is an absolute must-read book for anyone, in any industry, that would like to become a better and more thoughtful leader. It is a book you could re-read a number of times, and can continue to learn and grow and pick up new things each time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am the CEO/founding e-neur of a small, but growing, firm. This book was recommended by my executive coach, just as I was reaching the pinnacle of a major struggle in my... Read morePublished on November 24, 2013 by Susan Kruger, M.Ed.-SOAR Study Skills
When, like Steven Snyder, we accept the vital truth that great leadership and great struggle go hand-in-hand, our path becomes clearer and we learn to embrace the journey. Read morePublished on October 31, 2013 by Dorie Clark
How refreshing it is to find a leadership book that shows us the messy side of leadership. Beautifully written, Stephen Snyder demonstrates how the best leaders thrive on chaos. Read morePublished on October 14, 2013 by Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, Ph.D.
Bill has indeed written a "treasure" with this dynamic read! I bought copies to share with leaders in my coaching practice! Opening doors is what it's all about!Published on August 26, 2013 by Charles Lang, III
One of the first books which describes the real world, that not everything works on the first try.
With good examples of great leaders and their fails at a first try, standig... Read more
An excellent reading for leaders or others who work hardly to get results in our difficult scenarios. I recommended this book to some of my friends.Published on June 30, 2013 by Amazon Customer
Steven Snyder's new book "Leadership and the Art of Struggle: How great Leaders struggle and grow with adversity" focuses on the inner dimensions of leading, the dynamics of... Read morePublished on June 23, 2013 by off the tropic
Life is a journey - a journey towards wholeness and "becoming the best we can be." Unexpected challenges and setbacks coupled with enslavement to our fears and weaknesses become... Read morePublished on June 16, 2013 by Thomas M. Loarie
The books offers an interesting perspective and encourages you to tap into your true leadership potential by aligning your personal values and goals.Published on May 29, 2013 by Octavia