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Take the Lead: Motivate, Inspire, and Bring Out the Best in Yourself and Everyone Around You [Kindle Edition]

Betsy Myers , David Gergen , Warren Bennis , John David Mann
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $12.99
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Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
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Book Description

“Why is it that some people challenge us and motivate us to rise to our best abilities, while others seem to drain our energy and spirit? What is that particular quality certain people have that causes those around them to engage fully and feel connected?”

You are a leader. You do not need to be in a boardroom, on a battlefield, or on a ballot to have a profound impact on everyone around you. In this life-changing book, Betsy Myers—senior adviser to two US presidents and former executive director of Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership—demonstrates how each of us has opportunities to take the lead every day and shares seven core principles that will enable us to be more productive, engaged, and successful.

From the Oval Office to the playground, cabinet meetings to kitchen tables, in public life and private, Betsy Myers has seen firsthand the emergence of a new leadership model where having all the answers up front is less important than asking the right questions, where strength is derived less from the power you wield than from how you make the people around you feel.

With personal stories from her time in government, in academia, and on the campaign trail, as well as her experiences as a wife, daughter, and mother, Myers helps all of us learn to set the right priorities for ourselves; to connect on a deeper level with the people around us; to uncover problems early when they are still easy to fix; to collaborate with those whose points of view are different from our own; and to push through our fears and live our most authentic lives. Myers demonstrates that more than simply making people feel good, this kind of leadership can have a profound effect on the results achieved: it is how initiatives are launched, profits are made, and work gets done.

Personal, practical, and profoundly inspiring, Take the Lead is a book for anyone who wonders where all the great leaders have gone. Betsy Myers helps us see that true leadership is all around us—and within us.

Editorial Reviews


“A home run.... a perfect read for anyone seeking to understand, develop, or unleash his or her genuine leadership potential.”
—Publisher’s Weekly

“An enjoyable and insightful read for anyone interested in increasing their personal and professional effectiveness.”
Kirkus Reviews

“An ‘original’ take on leadership sounds absurd. But Betsy Myers has given us just that. This peerless book truly is for everyone. ‘Take the lead’ means you and it means me; and it means today, not tomorrow.”
—TOM PETERS, author of the #1 national bestseller In Search of Excellence

“Betsy Myers will help you recognize the leader within you and show you how to use that gift to bring out the best in others. Read this book over and over and absorb its simple truths.”
—KEN BLANCHARD, coauthor of the #1 national bestseller The One Minute Manager ® and Lead with LUV

“After forty years of being a boss, I’ve found Take the Lead the most inspirational new tool, not only for leadership but for life.”
—KAY UNGER, cofounder of Phoebe Couture and Kay Unger New York

“A principled yet practical guide to twenty-first-century leadership. Myers’s candid, courageous stories offer convincing evidence of what it takes to be an authentic leader.”
—BILL GEORGE, author of True North and former CEO of Medtronics

“Betsy Myers, adviser to US presidents and longtime advocate for women, shares her considerable experience and wisdom with everyone who cares about high-level and everyday leadership. This charming, engrossing book will particularly excite and empower women, who will treat this book as their personal mentor and apply Myers’s principles to enrich their lives.”
—ROSABETH MOSS KANTER, Harvard Business School professor and bestselling author of Confidence and SuperCorp

“A must-read for current and rising leaders. Betsy Myers approaches leadership in a personal, compelling, and actionable way.”

Take the Lead captures essential, practical wisdom, anchored by powerful stories with key insights for any reader who aims to lead.”
—RONALD HEIFETZ, founder of the Center for Public Leadership, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

“In working with some of the most powerful leaders in the world, Betsy has had the opportunity to see into their hearts and minds and understand what makes them inspiring and successful leaders. The result is a book filled with insight and wisdom. ”
—STEVE BELKIN, chairman, Trans National Group

“One of the most topical and well-written business books ever. This book will be given to all leaders in my department, as I believe the concepts Myers discusses are absolutely critical for success in any business.”
—BRIAN HIRSHMAN, senior vice president, Southwest Airlines

“True leadership requires both IQ and EQ—the right combination of head and heart. The leadership principles Betsy Myers illuminates are not only good for business, they are also economic and social imperatives.”
—GLORIA CORDES LARSON, president, Bentley University

“Betsy has a huge heart, tremendous empathy, and a genuine interest in others. That not only makes her a wonderful friend, it also makes her an exceptional leader. In Take the Lead, she makes a compelling case that all of us can learn to lead with our hearts.”
—DEE DEE MYERS, former White House Press Secretary and author of the New York Times bestseller Why Women Should Rule the World

"The defining difference in this superb book is Ms. Myers’ insistence that every day provides leadership opportunities for every one of us -- from the most junior employee to the top of the organization."
-- The Washington Post, The Best Leadership Books of 2011

About the Author

Betsy Myers served as chief operating officer and senior adviser to Barack Obama’s 2007–2008 presidential campaign and chaired the Women for Obama organization. A senior official in the Clinton administration, she was the first director of the White House Office for Women’s Initiatives and Outreach. Before joining the Obama campaign, she was executive director of Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership, and she currently serves as founding director of the Center for Women in Business at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. She lives with her family near Boston. Visit her online at

Product Details

  • File Size: 775 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; Reprint edition (September 13, 2011)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #495,075 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for leaders of all types October 26, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a must read for anyone trying to make change these days. As a a Prof. in Leadership what stands out to me is that it takes a stand for what leadership is, and looks like. In addition, it is filled with amazing, practical stories about how to expand your influence and power. Moving the conversation from leadership being about position to leadership being about influence is critical in an era when we need people of all types to step up and make change happen.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read It and Reap . . . Highly Recommended September 25, 2011
By S. Horn
Kudos to Betsy Myers for showing that business books can be substantive, insightful, inspiring. . . and page-turning.

She shares behind-the-scenes stories and revelations from her one-of-a-kind experiences - from heading up President Clinton's White House Office for Women to serving as COO of Obama's grassroots Presidential campaign - to show that people are yearning to be well led.

Knowing that is one thing; doing it is another.

Betsy's put-you-in-the-scene examples of "leaders who listen" and real-life recommandations on how to "take the lead" make this a "can-use-it-today" book you'll want to refer to again and again so you can continue to reap real-world results . . . on and off the job.

Read it and reap.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy read/good content June 5, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a good leadership book. I read it on the advice of some of my managers at work. It is an easy read and combines anectdotes with suggestions on what makes a good reader. I could not be any more different than the author and I went into the book thinking I would not enjoy it, but I was pleasantly suprised. Worth the price paid as I bought it used on Amazon. I am just beginning my foray into a leadership role, so I may not be the best one to review, but I would say there is a good chance I will read it again within the next few years (and I never read a book twice).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Myers Walks Her Talk December 13, 2011
Take the Lead: Motivate, Inspire and Bring Out the Best in Yourself and Everyone Around You is a great book. In writing it and sharing her experiences, Betsy Myers continues to be one of America's foremost examples of leadership. She gained her experience in two United States presidents, their administrations and walked the halls with the most powerful people in the world in Washington DC and at Harvard University. Now as a speaker and resource for the Young President's Organization, Bently University and to anyone who buys this book, she shares practical advice on how the best inspire and motivate. Betsy says we are all leaders in some aspects and in Take the Lead, she shares Seven Core principles which all leaders can use to be their best. She encourages us to bring out the best in ourselves first, and to inspire and motivate those around us in our profession and in life. From the Oval Office to the playground, there is something here for leaders and even for ordinary people seeking inspiration everywhere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellence in Leadership August 19, 2012
Betsy Myers has written a good book on how to motivate, and inspire people when you are in a position of leadership. It also tells you how to get into a position of leadlership and have the respect and love of the people you are leading.

Myers uses a series of stories about her own experiences and those of others to illustrate her take on leadership. She says that to be a good leader you have to be a good listener and put people first. She gives example after example of how people used the personal touch to work with their staff of employees. Some leaders made a point of getting to lunch or coffee with every person under them to get their views and opinions on variouis policies and issues facing the company or organization. She tells how one company had to cut the salaries of their people by 30 percent and how the leaders talked to every employee and gave them time and helped them through the crisis, making each one feel like they were an important and valued part of the organization.

I really like Betsy Myers ideas about leadership. I've been jobs I loathed because of a dictatorial boss and I know what it is to be an employee that is not heard. I love the idea of being able to talk to my boss openly and candidly and feeling like I am a valued part of the organization that I am working for. Having a leader like she describes seems like a dream. By applying the principles of this book it can be a dream come true. -- Valerie Lull, Author, Ten Healthy Teas
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book on Leadership I've Ever Read! November 24, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Do you love a book that you never want to end?!


I've read countless leadership books and most seem to just repeat what their mentor or someone that inspired them said in a slightly different format, but, in the end, it's really just the same stuff you read before. Not this book!

Betsy Myers brings an entirely new perspective to leadership that is so simple and yet so profound. Her lifelong love for the study of what makes a leader great has taken her professionally from her own business in southern California to being a senior official in the White House to Harvard's Center for Public Leadership to being the COO of a winning presidential campaign to ultimately one of her most important positions, a parent and to her daughter's first grade classroom.

Betsy's belief that leadership starts with ourselves is powerfully demonstrated when she shares a conversation she had with one of her daughter's elementary school teachers. The teacher had just shared with Betsy that she (the teacher) didn't see herself as a leader. To which Betsy responds: "Are you kidding?"..."You're teaching all these children how to read and write, how to share and other important life skills. They are growing and developing their sense of self-worth, and you are right in the middle of that process, teaching them how to learn and nurture their own abilities. You're leading them into their future!"

Betsy's ability to bring out the most productive feelings in those around her carries through into each page of her book and brings about those same feelings in her readers.

BUY THIS BOOK TODAY! IT'S OUTSTANDING! And be sure to get copies for your team, colleagues, staff, etc. -- I have no doubt you will see a rise in productivity.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars This book is more of a summary of this woman's ...
This book is more of a summary of this woman's work for presidential campaigns than a book with applicable leadership skill building ideas. Very disappointing.
Published 5 months ago by KJL
3.0 out of 5 stars Too many personal anecdotes.
If you took out all the personal stories about times working in the White House, studying at Harvard, and working on the Olympic Committee, you could probably cut the length of... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Globetrotter5K
5.0 out of 5 stars Met Expectations
It was a great book, and it arrived in great condition. I don't have any other comments about the purchase. Thank you.
Published 17 months ago by Jenna B. Love
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Leadership Book
It was great to find a leadership book written by a active women in politics. I got it for a leadership assignment for a graduate class.
Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Stories illustrate her common-sense leadership principles
Her stories illustrate her principles and underscore the priority of helping the people we lead to be and do the best they can.
Published on February 18, 2013 by Keith Dawson
5.0 out of 5 stars Leadership Lessons for Everyone
Betsy, warmly places leadership in the hands of everyone. She instructs us on the art and human quality of great leadership, telling wonderful stories during her White House years... Read more
Published on November 25, 2012 by Dani monroe
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical, Appealing and Purposeful
Betsy Myers' book is an interesting as she is to listen to and I had that opportunity last year at the University of Michigan, my alma mater. Suffice to say it's a joy! Read more
Published on September 27, 2011 by J. Eich
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