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The Extraordinary Leader: Turning Good Managers into Great Leaders [Hardcover]

by John Zenger, Joseph Folkman
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 7, 2009 0071628088 978-0071628082 2

People can learn how to lead. This was the position John H. Zenger and Joseph R. Folkman took when they wrote their now-classic leadership book The Extraordinary Leader—and it’s a fact they reinforce in this new, completely updated edition of their bestseller.

When it was first published, The Extraordinary Leader immediately attracted a wide audience of aspiring leaders drawn to its unique feature: the extensive use of scientific studies and hard data, which served to demystify the concept of leadership and get readers thinking about the subject in a pragmatic way.

Now, Zenger and Folkman revisit the subject to address leaders’ most pressing concerns today. The result is an up-to-date, essential leadership guide for the twenty-first century that includes:

  • Late-breaking research on the psychology of leadership
  • New information on leading in a global environment
  • A breakthrough case study on measuring improved leadership behavior
  • Studies revealing the importance of follow-through

The Extraordinary Leader is a remarkable combination of expert insight and extensive research. The authors analyzed more than 200,000 assessments describing 20,000 managers—by far the most expansive research ever conducted for a leadership book.

Zenger and Folkman have created the leadership book of the ages. The Extraordinary Leader explains how to build leadership skills that will take you and your organization to unimagined success.


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The Extraordinary Leader:  Turning Good Managers into Great Leaders + The Extraordinary Coach: How the Best Leaders Help Others Grow
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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

A No-Nonsense, Battle-Tested Program for Developing Exceptional Leadership Skills—Both In Your Organization and Yourself

The ability to lead, far more than just a natural gift, is a concrete and learnable skill—one that can be acquired by studying and applying specific proficiencies and attitudes. The Extraordinary Leader draws on responses from 200,000 questionnaires to define the skills that comprise effective leadership, and then provides a systematic and innovative program for attaining, developing, and implementing those skills.

Praise for The Extraordinary Leader:

"The Extraordinary Leader attacks cherished but unsupportable assumptions, and does it persuasively, precisely, and professionally. Through their exceptional research the authors demonstrate and prove that leadership does make a difference, and that you can learn to lead."—James M. Kouzes, Chairman Emeritus, Tom Peters Company, Coauthor, The Leadership Challenge and Encouraging the Heart

"Extraordinarily readable! This book represents some of the best thinking on leadership I’ve seen in a long while."—E. David Spong, President, Military Aerospace Support, The Boeing Company

"This is a ‘must read’ for coaches, leaders, and those who develop them. The Extraordinary Leader goes beyond anecdotes or ‘war stories,’ it builds upon comprehensive research. It is destined to be a classic in our field."—Marshall Goldsmith, Named by Forbes as one of five top executive coaches and one of Wall Street Journal’s "Top 10" executive educators

"Our objective is to provide the reader with an empirical analysis of leadership, a simple and practical conceptual model of what leadership is, and an actionable guide to helping leaders develop ‘greatness.’"—From Chapter 1 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

An Updated Edition of the Leadership Clasic!

The Extraordinary Leader is a groundbreaking guide that helps you pinpoint and maximize the leadership qualities you already possess. This brand-new edition has been extensively updated to include the latest research into leadership psychology, case studies for leading in a global environment, and the necessary skills for guiding yourself, your team, and your organization to greatness.

Praise for the first edition of The Extraordinary Leader

“This is a ‘must read’ for coaches, leaders, and those who develop them. The Extraordinary Leader . . . is destined to be a classic in our field.”
—Marshall Goldsmith, named by Forbes as one of five top executive coaches and by The Wall Street Journal as one of the “Top 10” executive educators

“The Zenger Folkman philosophy has its eye on the right goal—real, measurable results. The Zenger Folkman leadership model is distinguished from others in that it is backed up by research and data.”
—Bill Blase, Senior Executive Vice President, Human Resources, AT&T Corp.

“Through their exceptional research, the authors demonstrate and prove that leadership does make a difference and that you can learn to lead.”
—James M. Kouzes, Chairman Emeritus, Tom Peters Company, and coauthor of The Leadership Challenge and Encouraging the Heart


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 2 edition (May 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071628088
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071628082
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,079 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning to Become Extraordinary October 12, 2009
Format:Hardcover
In practically any athletic endeavor, executing a successful "follow through" is critical in achieving superior results. Now, John H Zenger & Joeseph R Folkman demonstrate that concept applies to developing good leadership skills, as well. Welcome to the world of 21st century leadership; extraordinary leaders are created through extensive research & development along with a willingness to learn.

In this extraordinarily pragmatic study of leadership, Zenger & Folkman shed new light on issues that were previously considered vague and difficult to measure. Their study corroborates Douglas W Hubbard's findings in How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business, as well as Daniel Coyle's conclusions in his groundbreaking book, The Talent Code: Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown. Here's How.. Leadership can certainly be taught, and its effectiveness is tangible; measurable.

The significance of this study is, appropriately, extraordinary. The psychology of leadership is seen in a new light and gives us new insight, from a global leadershp perspective. In short, this could be the most comprehensive study of leadership, ever.

For any organization striving to train & develop a new breed of dynamic leaders, this is the handbook to guide them through that process.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I guess you need to buy the next book . . . February 22, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
. . . to find out the HOW. The authors make great hay of defining the WHAT -- What is a good leader? What characteristics are essential, and which are nice-to-have? What are the fatal flaws that will torpedo a career and a team? But it's short on the Hows -- how can I develop these characteristics. My company has adopted the dimensions of THE EXTRAORDINARY LEADER for our evaluation and appraisal system for managers so I'm working through it with the managers who report to me. We are finding gaps in the text to tell us how to develop ourselves so we are filing in for ourselves -- being the extraordinary leaders we are! <grin>

Incidentally, I've gone through the 360-degree feedback the Zenger company offers. The company is having us do that exercise from the top down. I found it helpful, but it's not for the faint of heart. For a mediocre manager or for a manager with enemies, it can be absolutely devastating.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Extraordinary Leader August 11, 2005
Format:Hardcover
One of the two or three better books on leadership in my opinion. Contemporary, based on recent solid research. As a management consultant, confirmed many of the principles and concepts I embrace while adding several new, valid ones. Very practical, with sound, "I can use now" applications.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich in Facts, Excellent in Examples April 27, 2004
Format:Hardcover
Unlike many studies of leadership and management, this book roots out how human behaviors affect results - with robust research and anecdotal evidence that provides readers with progressive but comprehensible logic. It is the best business book I have encountered, because it balances reality against theory, and effectively reconciles the two. It is a bonus that the authors did not impose academic terminology on those of us in the real business world.
The great thing is that the authors took the time to quantify and then explain how perceptions of leaders translate into actions by those they lead. The best thing about the book is that it lists specific levels of characteristics and competencies that distinguish adequate from excellent. A reader can quickly paint a self portrait (or picture of fellow leaders, for that matter) that reveals strengths and flaws. Then, one can easily identify what is needed to move up the ladder of respect and esteem. The hard part is that many leaders, as they say in the book, "think that being 'good' is good enough". For those who truly have an interest in greatness, this book gives the recipe.
Easy to follow, it thoughtfully breaks down the elements of leadership, starting with broad categories that are boiled down into actionable behaviors and traits. The Extraordinary Leader also gives some surprising insights based on findings that will hopefully change how business leaders establish value systems and shape company culture.
This book has become an extremely valuable tool in my consulting practice!
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26 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on developing leaders - by far! September 9, 2002
Format:Hardcover
For the past two years I have been working as a consultant on the creation of an executive service for the UN. More recently I have played a similar role for the US federal government. I have become a student of the thinking and the books on developing leaders. This book is by far the most important book to read. Its based solidly on research findings but more importantly on intuitively valid conclusions. It makes practical sense.
It takes the current state of the art and moves it forward. It also raises important questions about prevailing beliefs and practices. The ideas developed in this book make you realize why most executive development is not productive.
I see this book as a companion piece to another of the great books on the subject, Results-Based Leadership. Jack Zenger is one of the authors of both books.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Packed With Knowledge! June 6, 2004
Format:Hardcover
In this volume, two battle-scarred veterans of what might be called "The Leadership Wars" - that is, the exhaustive effort over several decades to define the elusive nature of leadership and how it can best be nurtured - present insights on leadership that are based on a series of formal surveys conducted with companies nationwide. They also present 16 core competencies that affect the perception of whether you are, or aren't, a great leader. In many ways, they demystify leadership. Being a great leader, they tell us, isn't a matter of genetics or tea leaves: by studying what it takes to be a great leader, you can become one yourself. We strongly recommend this book for followers who want to become leaders, and for leaders who would like to be a little less lonely at the top.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb book.
Lots of data to support the opinions of the authors. I consider this a great contribution to the study of
Leadership.
Published 2 months ago by CaeMike
5.0 out of 5 stars Every manager should read this
Great roadmap for development , very practical ideas to improve your leadership style, recommended read. Very easy to read too, simple read for everyone
Published 6 months ago by Liz Walker
5.0 out of 5 stars All managers can make good leaders
I enjoyed the book very much as the information given was easy to understand and it all really made common sense. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Shirley Woods
4.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary Leaders-Extraordinary book!
By using extensive research data, the authors 'back up' what they say better than any author I have read! Read more
Published 7 months ago by J. Boynton
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Condition!
I've read this book over and over throughout the years and I've learned something new every time. Great management book. Highly recommended. Book was in great condition. Read more
Published 12 months ago by K. Torres
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I have read a lot of leadership books. This was is one of the best I have ever read. Based on extensive, sensible research with practical advice for leaders. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Rachel Collis
3.0 out of 5 stars Another step into Leadership
Leadership can be taught and this book is just another step in your journey to piece the leadership puzzle together.
Published 18 months ago by Rick Yvanovich
3.0 out of 5 stars Long on research yet somehow short on details.
I don't know what to say about this book. It has a lot to say, and a lot of promise. I believe they really know what they are talking about. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Eddie Merkel
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent tool
The Extraordinary Leader is a surprisingly practical tool. Unlike many other texts that exhort the reader to align with the business or get in touch with your inner self this book... Read more
Published 22 months ago by E. J.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best
I chose this book as a gift for participants in my leadership development program because I think it is one of the best recent books on leadership. Read more
Published on November 11, 2011 by VHRO
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