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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The pre-eminent leader of leadership studies, August 17, 2009
This review is from: The Essential Bennis (Hardcover)
I have read and reviewed all of Warren Bennis' books and read most of his articles. Therefore, I was especially eager to examine this volume in which Bennis collaborates with 20 guest contributors on creating what is best viewed as a retrospective examination of the themes, issues, crises, failures, and achievements that have guided and informed - in some respects defined - his life and career thus far. The material is carefully organized within six Parts, each of which has an organizing theme: My Life as a Leader, How Organizations Create or Thwart Leaders, On Becoming a Leader, Leadership as Performance, Cultivating the Leader in Others, and finally, Leadership and the Media. Bennis provided a brief but remarkably enlightening introduction to each Part.

Presumably Patricia Ward Biederman (who co-authored Organizing Genius with Bennis and contributed "The Berkeley of the East" and "What Went Wrong") also assisted with the editing of the abundance of the material. However, the dominant voice is Bennis', as it should be, and he probably reveals more about himself (warts and all) than in any prior publication. I found all of the contributors' articles well worth reading and especially appreciated these:

Scott Snook and Rakesh Khurana on "The End of the Great Man"
James O'Toole on "A Corporate Fear of Too Much Truth"

Note: O'Toole's essay on "Speaking Truth to Power" in Transparency, co-authored with Bennis and Daniel Goleman, is a "must read" for all executives.

Frances Hesselbein on "Understanding the Basics"
Glenn Close on "Leadership as a Performing Art"
Bill George on "The Challenges of Leadership in the Modern World"
Jean Lipman-Blumen on "Followers Make Good Leaders"

Readers will also appreciate the Foreword provided by Charles Handy and the Introduction provided by Bennis. Although the narrative consists of 433 pages, most readers will probably review the Contents and then cherry-pick subjects that are most relevant to their own business needs and interests. However, there are several "gems" among the contents that I came upon literally by accident and would have otherwise missed. Either I did not recognize the author or assumed that the subject would be of little (if any) interest. I urge others not to make that mistake. There is not only "something for everyone in this volume," there a great deal for everyone...and some of that requires a willingness to locate it and then an open mind receptive to what it offers.

In the Introduction, Bennis reflects on certain themes that have always fascinated him (e.g. "that bureaucracy was doomed") and continue to fascinate him. In certain respects, his own contributions to this volume could be viewed (in aggregate) as memoirs but, in my opinion, they can - and should - also be viewed as a "map" of intellectual and emotional "territory," much of which has yet to be explored. As part of the "Bennis Heritage," therefore, I presume to suggest that the implicit challenges in this book are offered with a fervent hope that others will accept them with the courage, curiosity, determination, and humility that Bennis has demonstrated throughout his life and career. With all due respect to his achievements, those qualities are his "essentials." Begin your own journey of self-discovery by allowing him to share his.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars True leader of our time, September 5, 2009
By 
Donald Hsu (NYC, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Essential Bennis (Hardcover)
Warren Bennis is the distinguished professor of Management, at the University of Southern California
and the founding chair of the Leadership Institute.

The Leaning Ivory Tower, 1973, and The Unconscious Conspiracy: Why Leaders Can't Lead, 1976, were classics
before everyone else talked about "Leadership".

I enjoy reading all his books. Bennis books are original, make you think outside the box.

Fast foward to 2009, internet and global connections provide new paradigm for learning. E-Leader conferences took Leadership
to the next level,[...]
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0 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BRAVO Dr. Bennis, November 25, 2010
This review is from: The Essential Bennis (Hardcover)
Dear potential buyers,

A leader's necessary foundation.

sincerely,

AHTL (aka Alex)
2009 Business & Finance Club at Harvard University -- Chief Human Resource Officer (summer interim)
Prevent Alcohol Risk related Trauma injuries for Youth program speaker
Laurence Decore Student Leadership Award
Mount Royal College (University) Student Leadership certification (X2)
Frances Caymre memorial Award
Canadian Red Cross Milestone Award
NCCP coaching certified
University of Calgary Student Success certification
University of Calgary Student Advisory Council (2007-08)
University of Calgary Team Leadership certification (X2)
University of Calgary Personal Leadership certification

Publication in the Herald & National Post on June 7, 2010 bio of me:
"A drunk and substance intoxicated driver hit Alex while he is riding his motorcycle years ago. A year of intense and difficult hospitalization taught Alex to persevere and had given him profound experiences. Alex speaking to the public, different schools/ students derive his humanity mandates. Advocating through education means is likely the greatest freedom that we currently have. Through education Alex gain and provide opportunities. Alex brings his non-profit business administration studies at Mount Royal College forward and indirectly leads to an opportunity to write to the Honourable Doug Horner, advanced education minister and the Honourable David Onley, lieutenant governor to help the transition to Mount Royal University. With blessings, Alex bring his study to Harvard University studying a graduate course. Alex scoring an "A" in the organization behaviour course signals his hard work, morale and value. He was being described by others: "Inspirational leadership", "Diligent, excellent communicator and he is focused", "Remarkable", "Alex have much to say and much to teach", "In addition to the qualities of courage and service, Mr Lam embodies an ethic of honesty and depth", "an extraordinary person", "outstanding performer with great potential", and "a leader that will make a difference in the world". Because of these reasons Alex will continue to ground his morale and value in leadership to gain the objective for both positive ends and high performance. The outcome of his effortful advocation, discourse, and meetings with the university's administration and the Dean of Law: The University of Calgary Register and the Faculty of Law became accessible. The accessibility gives easy access to the Law library users, University of Calgary students, instructors, the deans and the public. Especially, those leader(s) who continue to challenge OUR constitution for greater (means) result."
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The Essential Bennis
The Essential Bennis by Warren Bennis (Hardcover - August 10, 2009)
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