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Leadership Brand: Developing Customer-Focused Leaders to Drive Performance and Build Lasting Value Hardcover – August 13, 2007

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; 1 edition (August 13, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422110303
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422110300
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #489,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


The authors lay out a straightforward six-step process of creating a leadership brand --The New York Times, September 4, 2007

The ultimate test of a leadership brand occurs only after the top leader steps down... --Investor's Buisness Daily, September 25, 2007

Put this book on your reading list it presents a com­pelling and practical approach to developing and sus­taining a leadership brand. --International Human Resources Information Management, November 2007

About the Author

Dave Ulrich is Professor of Business at the University of Michigan and co-founder of The RBL Group, an education and consulting firm that helps organizations and leaders deliver value. He has published 12 books and more than 100 articles. Norm Smallwood is co-founder of The RBL Group and co-author of four books. He is also on the faculty of the Executive Education Center at the University of Michigan Business School. They are co-authors of Results-Based Leadership and How Leaders Build Value.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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As usual, they provide concrete examples, practical steps and tools for making it real to employees and those accountable for results.
Starr L. Eckholdt
For that reason, I strongly recommend that all decision-makers in a given organization read this book, then discuss it with other members of senior management.
Robert Morris
Leadership Brand is an excellent framework for developing the capaiblity of an organization to drive results through distinctive leadership.
Curt J. Howes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By M. Hiebert on September 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Thousands of books have been written for leaders. Like a leader that stands out from the pack, a new leadership book must present some significant new insights to prosper in this crowded marketplace. Hard on the heels of their last successful book, How Leaders Build Value, Dave Ulrich and Norm Smallwood produce another winner. How's that? A mix of reliable advice combined with some new insights which include:

' Leadership is more than individual leaders. "An exceptional individual leader may deliver outstanding results for a while, but the quality of leadership is what sustains results ... Leader emphasizes the qualities of the individual and how he or she leads and engages others ... leadership emphasizes the quality of leaders throughout an organization."
' It focuses on results, not on the traditional personal characteristics of leaders. "Our study of leadership began with a simple premise: leaders must deliver results ... the leadership field has become so enamored with competencies and personal characteristics of leaders that the leader's job to also deliver results was almost forgotten."
' Its leadership focus is from the"outside/in instead of the inside/out." "Outside in means that customer (and investor) expectations should frame, focus, and influence leader behaviors. When leaders know and do things that add value to customers, they are more likely to be doing the right thing."
' It uses the metaphor of a brand (like those of Pepsi, Lexus and Nokia) to reframe the power of leadership. "Leadership brand is the identity of the firm in the mind of the customers ... Leadership brand occurs when leaders' knowledge, skills, and values focus employee behavior on the factors that target the issues that customers care about ...
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Walter H. Bock on February 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Here's the Quick Review of Leadership Brand: Developing customer-focused leaders to drive performance and build lasting value by Dave Ulrich and Norm Smallwood.

Concentrates on leadership as a company endeavor, not as a matter of individual growth.
The authors attempt to get you to analyze your company's leadership from the outside in.

This is truly about leadership development in the company.
The chapter on "Assessing Leaders Against the Brand" is worth the price of the book.
Good research and citations.

You may have trouble reading this book from cover to cover.
What's here is far too programmatic to be practical taken whole.
The concept of "Leadership Brand" may get in your way.

If you're interested in leadership development, this book should be on your shelf.

Now for the detailed review.

There's not much new about leadership. But every new leadership book attempts to give you something unique, a new way to look at the subject, new things to try, or old things to try in different way. Every book tries to shift your thinking.

Leadership Brand by Dave Ulrich and Norm Smallwood attempts to shift your thinking from studying leaders to studying leadership and toward influencing how leaders connect the company to customers and other "outsiders." They work through the metaphor of a "leadership brand," which they tell us is "the identity of the firm in the mind of the customers made real to employees because of customercentric leadership behaviors."

That quote tells you that this book will stretch your thinking about leadership development in your company.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
In the Preface, Dave Ulrich and Norm Smallwood make this affirmation: "We believe that leaders matter, but leadership matters more. We have all experienced a gifted leader who engaged all of us -- our hearts, minds, and feet. Dynamic leaders enlist us in a cause, and we willingly follow their counsel. But leadership exists when an organization produces more than one to two individual leaders. Leadership matters more because it is tied not to a person but to the process of building leaders." By no means do Ulrich and Smallwood question the importance of individual leaders. On the contrary, they assert (and I agree) that one of the most important obligations of being a leader is to strengthen or at least sustain a process by which to identify, hire, develop, and then retain high-impact leaders at all levels and in all areas throughout her or his organization.

With regard to this book's title, Ulrich and Smallwood offer another affirmation: "We believe that all organizations have a leadership brand, either explicitly crafted and deployed or implicitly perceived and randomly perpetuated...[Therefore] leadership brand is the identity of the leaders throughout an organization that bridges customer expectations and employee and organizational behavior." I've noticed that in recent years, several of the same companies (e.g. Berkshire Hathaway, FedEx, GE, Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, and Toyota Motor) appear on the annual lists of those Most Valuable as well as those Most Highly Admired. These exemplary companies all have high-impact leadership that consistently produces superior results. I've also noticed that the U.S. military services and their academies are also renowned for the high quality of their leadership development programs.
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More About the Author

Dave Ulrich is a professor of business administration at the University of Michigan School of Business and the author of the best-selling Human Resource Champions, Results-Based Leadership, and The HR Scorecard.