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Leading from Within: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Lead Hardcover – September 21, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0787988692 ISBN-10: 0787988693 Edition: 1st

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Leading from Within: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Lead + Teaching with Fire: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Teach + Teaching with Heart: Poetry that Speaks to the Courage to Teach
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (September 21, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787988693
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787988692
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 1 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"Like fraternal twins, each pair of facing pages introduces you to magically close companions—an inspired practitioner and a poet who lit the leader's fuse or touched his or her soul. Each touched a deep place in the leader within me.
—Dan Mulhern, author, Everyday Leadership: Getting Results in Business, Politics, and Life

"Do you want to be a more effective, courageous leader? Then read this book. [You may] realize that you must lead with your heart as well as your mind to inspire people to willingly follow."
—Peter Roy, former president, Whole Foods Market, and coauthor, The Book of Hard Choices

Leadership is more than principles or practices—it requires heart, courage, and wisdom, qualities that can be inspired and informed by poetry.

In this beautiful collection of 93 poems, accompanied by a brief personal commentary, leaders reflect on how poetry helps them make sense of the challenges and possibilities in their work. The contributors represent a wide range of professions including Vanguard Group founder John Bogle, MoveOn.org cofounder Joan Blades, several members of Congress, Christian activist Brian McLaren, business guru Peter Senge, and leaders from business, medicine, education, nonprofits, law, politics, and religion. The poems include works by well-loved poets such as T.S. Eliot, Mary Oliver, William Stafford, Rumi, Langston Hughes, May Sarton, Pablo Neruda, Rainier Maria Rilke, Robert Frost, and Wendell Berry. As they did for teachers in their best-selling book Teaching with Fire, Sam M. Intrator and Megan Scribner inspire and nourish the hearts and souls of leaders of all kinds in Leading from Within.

From the Back Cover

Praise for Leading from Within

"Leading from Within is perhaps the most soulful treatment of leadership ever composed. Leadership is first an inner quest, and there is absolutely no better place to explore your inner territory than in the pages of this book. This is an evocative work of art; do yourself an immense favor, and engage with these amazing and diverse leaders and their poems."
—Jim Kouzes, coauthor of the bestselling The Leadership Challenge and A Leader's Legacy

"Leading from Within makes brilliant use of the world's great poets to inspire us to lead with our hearts as well as our heads. It calls to the deeper purpose and meaning within all of us to use our gifts to serve others."
—Bill George, author, True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership

"This is a superb collection of poems and deeply personal reflections from a wide range of real leaders. It is a gift to all of us who believe in bringing our hearts to our work."
—Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.)

"The entries in this wonderful anthology are a joy to read and all the more interesting because of their special meaning to the leaders who recommended them. It is a book that every nonprofit leader should place among those they draw upon for inspiration every day."
—Diana Aviv, president and CEO, Independent Sector

"Leading from Within offers a candid view straight into the heart and soul of leaders striving to do good and effective work in the world. The poems and commentaries remind us that leadership is always deeply personal and chock-full of dilemmas that must be addressed by creativity, passion, imagination, and courage."
—Jeff Swartz, president and CEO, Timberland

Royalties from this book support leadership programs offered through the Center for Courage & Renewal.


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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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This is a book not just to read but to savor.
Ann B. Graham
It contains a great selection of poems from people who are leaders in their respective fields and their reflections on their chosen poem.
Cam
We hope they will inspire us, but we seldom think about where they find inspiration.
James Quay

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This handsome anthology pairs some of our greatest poets with the reflections of prominent leaders across a wide range of professions. Each contributor testifies to a particular poem's power to illuminate the heart of his or her life's work. Leaders write with startling candor and clarity about both the light and dark places they encounter in their professional lives--and in the inner lives they bring to their work. This gathering of poetry and reflection reminds me that head and heart together create whole individuals with the vision, drive, self-awareness and authenticity that lead to creative and positive change. I have a copy on my desk and another on my nightstand. It's a book to curl up with and savor--and to turn to when the going is rough.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ann B. Graham on December 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In Leadership from Within I am discovering one poem and essay at a time what leadership means to all kinds of people from college students to college professors, from social advocates to corporate executives, lawyers and journalists and more. It is fascinating to see the poems that inspire them and the reasons why. This is a book not just to read but to savor.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Brian Venturo on October 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Never before has there been a collection of poetry so profound, yet so in touch with human nature. Boldly, yet subtly, one of my favorite collections, will not fall off of my reading desk anytime soon.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jean K. Haley on March 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Just the title, Leading from Within--Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Teach, cues the reader to the truth that this is a very different book about leadership. With each page turned, a leader shares a poem which spoke to his or her heart at a significant life moment or one which seems to give new life to core beliefs. What ties them all together?
Each leader's story illustrates the value of inner work as critical to his or her work in the world. By using metaphorical materials, the leaders are able to name and welcome the power of their gifts and talents while recognizing the potential for their abuse.

This is a book which can be picked up and put down, dipped into at any page, read and reread. It needs to be placed on the corner of your desk, on your night-stand or in your brief case; left some place for easy perusal of authentic insights.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By avidreader on October 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This beautifully written collection brings together experience and insight from a wide range of leaders--executives, educators, clergy, politicians, and entrepreneurs, just to name a few. The poems they share are themselves beautiful and profound; the reflections accompanying them speak to both the challenges and potential of inspired leadership. A powerful source of encouragement for all those who seek to change our world for the better.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Paul Batalden on September 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Francis Bacon said that "some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested." This one deserves to be chewed and digested--read from front to back, back to front or from the middle out, or just on a happen-to-be-open page. The poems are eclectic, the comments are refreshing and easy to identify with. A perfect gift opportunity!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By James Quay on March 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This wonderful anthology gives pleasure two ways: first, as a source of a wide variety of new and interesting poets and poems you may not have encountered before, always an important service for an anthology to perform. Second, however, the brief introductions that each contributor offers to his or her poem are a revelation and often as powerful as the poem itself. Who would have guessed that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and John Bogle, founder of the Vanguard Group, would both find inspiration in Tennyson's "Ulysses"? Or that a Congresswoman would be touched by Naomi Shihab Nye's "Kindness".

If you are expecting a collection of sentimental poetic candies, fear not. A few old chestnuts are here: "Invictus", for example, offered by a philosophy professor at the U.S. Naval Academy, but when you read his reason for including it, you read the poem with a new appreciation. Poets like William Stafford, Mary Oliver, and Langston Hughes are cited multiple times, and much-anthologized poets like Robert Frost and T.S. Eliot are here too, but so are poets new to me: William Ayot, Carol Zippert, or Ezzeddin Nasafi. Mystics like Rumi, Hafiz, and William Blake. Public figures like Eugene McCarthy and Martin Luther King Jr.

The 93 poems are thoughtfully grouped into eight sections with intriguing titles that will make sense to anyone who's been in a position of leadership: "Called", "Defining Moments", "Sometimes It Aches", "Pay Attention", "The Real Bottom Line", "Dare to Endure", "Leading Together", "Back At It". The editors have clearly paid attention to the poems and clearly thought deeply about leadership. We expect much of our leaders and project upon them powers and motives that only compound the responsibility they already carry.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By L. kinkead on March 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have come late in life to poetry. I learned in high school how to dissect and wrestle a poem to the ground not how to savor and take a poem into my heart for my own use. This book of poetry and reflections is one I can savor. I so enjoy reading how others have found inspiration in a poem that I too have come to love like the poem "Lost" by David Wagoner with a reflection by Peter Senge. I highly recommend this book.
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