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The Character of Leadership: Political Realism and Public Virtue in Nonprofit Organizations Paperback – November 13, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (November 13, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787941204
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787941208
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Every leader will find this book a richly rewarding read. It legitimizes power and challenges leaders to embrace it and use it in their service to society." --Paul Hersey, president, Center for Leadership Studies and author of The Situational Leader

"A fresh and systematic look at the writings of Machiavelli enables the reader to see beyond the opportunism that is so often associated with Machiavelli's name to a realistic and principled set of strategies for achieving public virtue." --David A. Erlandson, professor of educational administration, Texas A&M University

"The Jinkinses have cut through much of the wishful thinking that floods our leadership discussions these days. In this remarkable example of practical humanities scholarship, they have dusted off a great political thinker and put him to work to illumine our realities. Those who lead all sorts of nonprofit organizations can benefit from this bracing encounter with political realism." --James Wind, president, The Alban Institute and author of Places of Worship

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"We are beholden to Machivel, and writers of that kind, who openly and unmasked declare what [people] do in fact, and not what they ought to do; for it is impossible to join the wisdom of the serpent and the innocence of the dove, without a previous knowledge of the nature of evil; as without this, virtue lies exposed and unguarded."?Sir Francis Bacon, The Advancement of Learning (1605)What does political savvy have to do with running a nonprofit organization? According to the authors of this practical and empowering guide, it's essential to success. But can political know-how and altruistic values comfortably coexist in a nonprofit leader? According to Michael and Deborah Bradshaw Jinkins, the most effective leaders are those who combine the expertise of their discipline and their deeply held values with political skills, enabling their expertise and values to flourish in real-world conditions. The Character of Leadership is a compelling tutorial in the use of pragmatic and principled politics that will help individuals become better leaders.Drawing from the experiences of leaders in a variety of nonprofit organizations, this book gives readers a viable approach to rethinking the practice of leadership. This book helps them examine their current practice and the organizations they serve, reflect on their character as leaders, and gain political skills for value-rich leadership.While most nonprofit leaders have a clear sense of their ultimate goals, they tAnd to be idealistic about their Andeavors, viewing politics skeptically?even disdainfully. Much of what they learn in professional schools and their own highest ideals may actually work against their effective leadership. This much-needed guide offers a practical, principled approach to the politics of leadership.As their model, the authors use one of the smartest political observers of all time?Niccolo Machiavelli. While the dictionary uses his name to define cutthroat politics, many contemporary

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Alex Lubertozzi on December 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
Machiavelli has been unfairly portrayed for centuries--kind of a Renaissance Dick Morris (minus the propensity for prostitutes and toe-s#&king). But the authors recognize the truth of Machiavelli's advice in the proper historical context and apply what he has to say to leadership in the modern world, especially as it relates to nonprofits. The section on determining whether your organization is a republic or a principality is worth the price of the book by itself. The authors' examples of skillful political maneuvering on behalf of worthwhile causes--not to mention bungling by well-meaning, but hopeless executives--are also enlightening.
Essentially, this book gives you some wonderfully useful strategies and ideas for making progress toward your organization's mission. You may have to learn to settle for incremental progress, for not always accomplishing everything you'd like to as soon as you'd like, but you can make a difference without compromising your values. The lessons in this book are practical for leaders of nonprofit and for-profit organizations. A little slow in parts, but well worth it overall.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
The character of leadership: Politic Realism and Public Virtue in nonprofit organizations
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