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Practical Lessons in Leadership: A Guidebook for Aspiring and Experienced Leaders Paperback – June 28, 2007


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Practical Lessons in Leadership: A Guidebook for Aspiring and Experienced Leaders + Leadership Caffeine-Ideas to Energize Your Professional Development: Slightly More than 80 Power-Packed Essays on Improving Your Effectiveness as a Leader
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Trafford Publishing (June 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1425122493
  • ISBN-13: 978-1425122492
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,112,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 5 customer reviews
I found these very beneficial and entertaining.
M. Heidtke
Art and Rich have done a great job of getting to the meat of how to put action to the development of leaders and more importantly potential leaders.
S. Wallin
I highly suggest it for all who are, or want to be, in leadership roles.
Kay Wais

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kay Wais on November 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
I highly recommend this book because it improved the way I view organizational leadership and I believe the practical ideas presented can significantly strengthen new leaders or experienced leaders.

The conversational, easy-flowing writing style creates an enjoyable reading experience. The book repeated a well-paced pattern: leadership vignettes, leadership lessons, and then off to the Web site for the authors view on the vignettes. Each chapter begins with a preface consisting of a realistic leadership vignette - a challenging scenario that puts the reader in the shoes of a leadership dilemma. Then the chapter introduces the leadership concept being discussed, such as "To Lead or Not to Lead?". The chapters interweave leadership lesson and concepts, pragmatic philosophies, and the two author's personal experiences.

Then after reading the chapter, but before moving on to the next, I found myself visiting the Web site to read the authors perspective on the vignette in that chapter's preface. Readers don't have to use the Web site in conjunction with reading the book, but I found myself very curious to learn more about how the leadership concepts could be applied to the vignette.

The three chapters that I found particularly beneficial were on the topics of choosing to be a leader or a solo performer, credibility and providing meaningful feedback.
The authors challenge the reader to honestly assess if they've got the right motivation, values, and qualities to be a leader. They help the reader make this determination between choosing a solo career versus a leadership career without judging one choice as "better" than the other - just very different.

I was refreshed by the lack of theoretical prose that seems to be too prevalent in most management books.
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By Walter H. Bock on October 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is the best practical book on leadership that I've read in at least twenty years. The title makes two promises.

The main title promises that these are practical lessons and that you will learn things that will help you in the day-to-day, nitty-gritty work of leading a group of people. The book lives up to that promise.

The sub-title promises that this book will be valuable for both "aspiring" and experienced leaders. The book lives up to that promise, too.

In the Introduction, the authors say: "The choice to lead is often made without understanding." They're right.

Many people choose to take a promotion to management because it's the only way to increase income and prestige. They don't think about how their life and work will change. Many companies offer promotion to management without analyzing whether a person can succeed in the specific work of leadership.

Part One, "To Lead or Not to Lead?" tells a person considering moving into leadership how to make a good decision about whether to do so. It's worth the price of the book all by itself.

The authors point out that leadership should be a specific career choice because it is a specific kind of work. Some people will have the talent to do it well. Others will not. You'll find seven questions to help you determine your ability and willingness to succeed in a leadership position.

Chapter 2, "Solo Performer or Leader," helps you look at leadership from both sides. If you decide that you want to pursue leadership work, Chapter 3 will help you answer the question: "How do I get there from here?" The authors give you eight solid career planning questions to help you sort things out, along with lots of good advice.
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Format: Paperback
Art and Rich have done a great job of getting to the meat of how to put action to the development of leaders and more importantly potential leaders. Too often we push people down the leadership path with no defined criteria as to who will make a great leader and how you guide people through that decision. Months later you deal with talented people being ineffective leaders, which leads to wasted time and (more painfully) difficult decisions as to what to do with a once effective person. This book will help you make the right choices with your valuable resources and then follow up on how to get the most out of those chosen leaders. You'll also end up with happier, more focused teams as a result of effective leadership.

The book does a nice job of balancing theory with action plans. The addition of their website provides a set of resources to use on an on-going basis. In my opinion the book is differentiated by the fact that it isn't a one-time read that ends up sitting on the shelf and adding little value a month after it is read. You will definitely want to keep this one on your desk. The book allows leaders at all levels to define action plans with their direct reports and put the critical follow up into place that holds all of us accountable to developing leaders rather than paying lip service to the importance of leadership. A highly recommended read for all levels of leadership.
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Format: Paperback
I read a lot of books about leadership and this is one of the best I've seen in a long time. The "Preface" to each chapter puts the following pages into context. The ongoing business case of fictional company Apex Integrated Technologies takes an arguably dry subject (i.e., "leadership") and fleshes it out to be a very interesting topic.

The authors segment the challenges a manager/executive faces into logical chapters. Each is carefully analyzed and presented in a way that makes the reader *think*. Although Messrs. Petty and Petro provide good substance, this book is also interactive. There are plenty of lists and general observations (e.g., "The Top Ten Challenges of the New Leader" and "The Nine Credibility Builders Rules for Effective Leaders to Live By"), but equally important are the thought-provokers (e.g., "Career Planning Questions" and "Seven Questions for the Ambitious Aspiring Leader"). The chapters are chocked full of insight and advice, and each is nicely closed with an "Epilogue."

What makes this book unique are the Discussion Questions at the end of each chapter and the password-protected portions of the authors' web site that provide answers and additional content and perspectives.

This book was so "right on," that I ordered an additional 12 copies to share with close clients and business associates. It's a must read!
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