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On Leadership Paperback – March 12, 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; Reprint edition (March 12, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0029113121
  • ISBN-13: 978-0029113127
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,013 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

YA-- Gardner asserts that the most critical problem challenging the U. S. today is its lack of leadership. He proposes and supports with excellent illustrations his theories on leadership that go beyond charisma to heightened motivation, trust, confidence, and shared values on the part of those in charge and their followers. Giving historically significant examples of leaders, Gardner shows the tremendous amount of energy, talent, and dormant enthusiasm that can be mobilized by effective leaders in all levels of society. Given the current apathetic situation he decries, this easily read, inspiring text should be required reading for all high-school social studies classes. Gardner challenges leaders in all walks of life to take their positions in the bastions of the American democracy now or face the dismal consequences later.
- Barbara Batty, Port Arthur I.S.D., TX
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Howard P. Allen Chairman and CEO, Southern California Edison Company In "On Leadership, " John Gardner has shown uncommon insight in his analysis of this complex and difficult topic. His perceptive guidance to leaders and followers alike is a contribution to leadership development and a service to our nation.

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Customer Reviews

Anyone aspiring to the leader/manager level would do well to read this and other books on the subject.
David G. Stokes
The author enlivens this academic material by breathing politically historical examples to illustrate its application.
Sonya D. Stutts
As I said, even though I'm already familiar with the concepts of leadership, I really appreciated this book.
Ourocard

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Greg L. Thomas on February 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a book that can rightly be called a classic to those who study the subject of leadership. It is now over ten years old but is still used by many universities as a textbook for their leadership or business classes. Gardner can truly be called a renaissance man due to his many talents and achievements. With a formal education in psychology he has been a teacher, corporate officer, public-servant in the government, respected author, and military officer. He was awarded the Presidential Metal of Freedom in 1964. Through these experiences he has learned much about leaders and the subject of leadership. On Leadership is written from the heart and discusses the author's philosophy and personal reflections on what it takes to lead others. He defines leadership as "the process of persuasion or example by which an individual (or leadership team) induces a group to pursue objectives held by the leader or shared by the leader and his or her followers".

Gardner begins by stressing the lack of leadership in the U.S. He believes this is a critical problem and opines that new leaders are desperately needed to tackle the obvious monumental societal problems that exist in our culture. Much of the book has a common thread on the critical need for leadership development. The author frequently uses historical examples to highlight his theories on leadership. On Leadership begins by stressing that understanding real leadership is an important first step. Leaders must be accountable, and must be held accountable for their actions and the direction they are taking us. He also does not shy away from a bold discussion on the importance of shared values, ethics, integrity and responsibility.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Richard W. Cummins on August 13, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gardner's first sentence of his introduction, "Why do we not have better leadership?' is first answered by his initial definition of leadership attached to a disclaimer: "attention to leadership alone is sterile--and inappropriate. The larger topic of which leadership is a subtopic is the accomplishment of group purpose" [italics original]. This purpose, he says, is furthered by people other than individuals traditionally identified by leaders, such as "innovators, entrepreneurs and thinkers." He did not intend "to deal with either leadership or its related subjects comprehensively" but wanted instead to "illuminate aspects of the subject that may be of use in facing our present dilemmas--as a society and as a species" (p. xvi).

His book accomplished his purpose by highlighting, in vignettes, what by the 1990s had become the standard topics of leadership--traits, contexts, leader-follower dynamics, and so forth. In this sense, Gardner's book, with a flavor made particular by his extensive political examples, is in the genre of classic leadership textbooks, and his answer to the question posed in his first sentence was the book-length elaboration of the final sentence of his introduction: "We can do better. Much, much better" (p. xix).

His contributions to the field of leadership studies include his discussion of "dispersed leadership," which is woven through the text, his thoughts about renewal, and his discussion of how leadership and followership can release human potential. His extended definition of leadership, found on the first page of the first chapter, stated "Leadership is the process of persuasion or example by which a leader (or leadership team) induces a group to pursue objectives held by the leader or shared by the leader and his or her followers" (p.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Leon M. Bodevin on January 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a book from one of the great observers of leaders in our country. Gardner emphasizes shared values and community building as the basis for great leadership. He also spends a great deal of time discussing renewal and how a leader must renew himself and his organization. Buy this book and Howard Gardner's Leading Minds.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sonya D. Stutts on March 2, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
John Gardner opens with the question that I have often pondered myself, "Why do we not have better leadership?" For me, the following question is 'how did these people obtain their position?' Of course the latter question exceeds the scope of Gardner's text.

Gardner does explain the attributes of a leader, basic components of leadership and its placement & utilization in large-scale organizations. The author enlivens this academic material by breathing politically historical examples to illustrate its application. The discussion comes full circle when Gardner segues into leadership development, motivation, and the release of human potential.

Personally, I relished absorbing and will emphasize the value of Chapter 13, 'Sharing Leadership Tasks'. Up until this point, most of the material colorfully delivered has been the foundation of leadership in its academic sense and you can find most of these precepts in any leadership text. But in Chapter 13, Gardner ties the principles together and hold all parties responsible. Leaders must be accountable for their actions & outcomes and conversely, the subordinates/constituents are responsible for holding their leader accountable. Gardner does not gloss over the role and responsibility of the subordinate/constituent because they act as a check & balance component for their leader. Furthermore, Gardner challenges the leader to trust, empower and hold his or her subordinates/constituents accountable for their jurisdiction and involve their energy & ideas. Gardner left me with the impression that any person at any level accepting responsibility and sharing in leadership tasks can have a positive ripple effect on those with whom s/he come into contact.
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