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Tempered Radicals: How Everyday Leaders Inspire Change at Work [Paperback]

by Debra E. Meyerson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 19, 2003 1591393256 978-1591393252 1
"Very well researched, very readable. Anyone who feels they don't fit in or who manages those who don't fit in will want to take a look." - "Inc. Magazine". In this engaging book, Debra E. Meyerson reveals how adaptive, family-friendly, and socially responsible work places are built not by revolutionaries but by those she calls "tempered radicals," a group of people that balance company conformity with individual rebellion. While their differences often put them at odds with the "mainstream" organizational culture, Meyerson argues that these "everyday leaders" act as crucial sources of new ideas, alternative perspectives, and organizational learning and change. Drawing from fifteen years of research and the compelling stories of tempered radicals in a variety of organizations, Meyerson illustrates a spectrum of innovative ways that individuals use to "rock the boat" from inside the corporate ship - and steers a course for powerful, positive change.

Editorial Reviews


"- "Meyerson's radicals are part of their organization yet apart from it, tolerated more than embraced, committed to the company's success yet at odds with its rules. Walking that line, says Meyerson, is not flashy. But it's where you'll find the real stuff of change." - Fast Company, 9/1/01. - "This is a more realistic and inspiring way to think about leadership - and life - than are images of leadership found in the popular business press." - Future Survey, 1/1/02. - "To resist policies or behaviors they find offensive or disrespectful, her subjects choose savvy tactics, from negotiation and humor to confrontation and collective action." - Wall Street Journal, 12/19/01. - "Through exemplary behavior and appropriate responses, 'tempered radicals' effect change in the most difficult work environments." - Washington Business Journal, 5/31/02. "A Modest Manifesto for Shattering the Glass Ceiling," with Joyce K. Fletcher. (Jan/Feb 2000)

About the Author

Debra E. Meyerson is an Associate Professor of Management at the Center for Gender and Organizations at Simmons Graduate School of Management, and a Visiting Associate Professor for the Center for Work, Technology, and Organizations, School of Engineering at Stanford University.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business School Press; 1 edition (June 19, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591393256
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591393252
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #743,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Change makers: A book for us August 25, 2003
By A Customer
If you are working within an organization, to try and change that organization for the better, this is the book for you. It lays out the day to day problems, realities, and rewards that change makers experience as they lead, succeed, and fail in attempting small and large change efforts. It explains the tightropes we walk, as we try and establish credibility in the language the organization values, while at the same time we work within the system for change, skirting the dangers of being co-opted and losing sight of our change goals, or pushing too hard for change, and being discredited and marginalized. Vivid examples of more and less radical change makers include architects, bankers, executives, academics, and even artists. This book is at once a comfort and a guide as we struggle with the ups and downs of trying to make our organizations better. Unlike many books written for practitioners, this one is is based on years of very careful research. Meyerson is a tenured faculty member at Stanford University, and she writes from the heart, with little jargon and much insight. I assign this book to MBAs, and I read it for myself. Professor Joanne Martin, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jump start your activism July 21, 2004
By Chata
Some of us were around in the 70s, and some of us are much more mainstream now than we were then.

I found this a very helpful book for self reflection and inspiration to get back to my activist values. The esperiences of a diverse group of changemakers helped me to look at where I'd been and what kind of person I want to be in my workplace. It helped me look at some of the difficulties I've had actualizing my dreams as I've risen through the ranks in a mainstream government position. It gave me hope to continue.
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