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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2009
With all the leadership books burgeoning shelves it's no wonder another leadership book seems like, well, just another book. Not so with The Inspiring Leader! The rigorous research is right on the money and the developmental applications are attainable for any leader willing to put forth the persistent effort to inspire others. The "matter of fact" data reveals what inspiring leaders actually do to combine a certain set of strengths and actions and thus "magically" inspire others to follow them. The authors combine their own strengths to create a great read that is; seamless, immediately informative, academically inclusive, interesting, and yes, in a word, INSPIRING! Get this book and give it your best shot! It may inspire you too!

Dr. S. Brett Savage
President/CEO
Next Phase Leadership
[...]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The Inspiring Leader is one of those rare books on Leadership: it is at once immensely practical (ideas to use NOW) and at the same time grounded in the best research and models pertaining to that illusive thing called leadership. And instead of avoiding the topic of inspiration which has long been held to be immeasurable and therefore not a topic to discuss, Dr Jack Zenger courageously and successfully breaks apart this key to leadership success so that we can all understand it and make positive use of our understanding. Outstanding book for leaders! Give it to your boss!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2012
This is an extraordinary book on leadership from the experts in extraordinary leadership. In 2002, legendary training and development expert Jack Zenger (he's been given numerous international awards and citations) and Joe Folkman (renowned psychometrician with extensive expertise in survey research and leader assessments) published their groundbreaking book The Extraordinary Leader: Turning Good Managers into Great Leaders. That book was based on their extensive database of more than 200,000 multi-rater or 360-degree feedback reports describing 20,000 managers. It became the foundation for Zenger Folkman's thriving leadership development and consulting firm.

The Inspiring Leader draws from this deep well of research to bring an evidence-based or hard scientific approach to the very soft issue of inspirational leadership. There are countless opinions, platitudes, theories, anecdotes, and leadership models competing for attention today. Periodically I search Amazon for an update on how many leadership books are available. Today's search shows over 50,000!

What's refreshingly unique about all of Zenger Folkman's books and services is their very powerful combination of solid research, building on strengths, and practical how-to applications. As they write in Chapter One, "this book is not a creation of ideas for how leaders inspire. Rather, it provides you with a discovery of what the best leaders around the world do to inspire and motivate others."

The Inspiring Leader emerged from Zenger Folkman's ongoing analysis of their extraordinary leader database in answer to the question "aeSo if I have to choose one thing to work on, what should it be?" A deeper look at their leadership research led to the conclusion; "that there was one leadership competency that deserved some special attention. It was 'inspires and motivates to high performance.'"

This proved to be the most powerful predictor of anyone being seen as an extraordinary leader from their empirical field of 16 leadership competencies. Tens of thousands of frontline staff and team members resoundingly identified this competency as the one they wanted most in their leader. It was also the competency most associated with high levels of employee engagement, and "consistently the most highly correlated with those employees who would recommend the organization to a friend, seldom thought about leaving, and were willing to go the extra mile."

As the Zenger Folkman team sifted and sliced their leadership data on inspirational leadership the identified three attributes forming the cornerstone for inspiring and motivating others: 1. Role Model; 2. Change Champion; and 3. Initiator. After showing the impact of each of these attributes, the section of the book provides a series of practical steps on behaviors and actions leaders can take to strengthen all three.

Their chapter on "Using Emotion: The DNA of Inspiration" aligns very well with the growing research on Emotional Intelligence. Once again, the authors move from insightful understanding to application. As with most of the other chapters, this one ends with bulleted and very helpful Steps to Take.

The largest part of The Inspiring Leader are chapters on six core leadership behaviors that inspire and motivate:

1. Setting stretch goals
2. Creating vision and direction
3. Communicating powerfully
4. Developing people
5. Being collaborative and a good team player
6. Fostering innovation

Each chapter explains and illustrates the leadership behavior and provides examples, keys, processes, and how-to steps. One of the final chapters on "Most Common Mistakes in Inspiring Others" is built around a top ten list of uninspirational behavior.

This is a rare gem buried in the growing pile of leadership books. Like a precious gem its value comes from its rarity. The Inspiring Leader uniquely and powerfully combines research on what the most inspiring leaders actually do, insightful examples, short, pithy, bite-sized sections in simple and very readable language, and how-to, practical steps to move you from inspiration to application. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The mark of a great leader is someone who gets the job done with quiet confidence, as well as unyielding honesty & integrity. Clearly, charisma is not necessarily a part of the equation; however, building trust is critical. That's why we liked Ike. We didn't have to worry about him doing something dishonest or stupid. We felt safe with him in the Oval Office.

By 2009, we've seen a variety of leaders in all sectors of society come & go. Some were wonderfully inspiring; some not so great. In defining the qualiities that make up an "inspiring leader", authors Zenger, Folkman & Edinger have collaborated on this gem, which is about as good as it gets in covering the issue.

I'm not so sure the qualities that make up a great leader are all that "secret", however, they are vital. Very few have been able to attain the level of greatness achieved by the likes of Lincoln or Churchill; what they seemed to possess, along with other great leaders in politics or business, is a quality of unyielding honesty & integrity. Nowadays, those qualities seem to be difficult to find in so many of our current leaders; perhaps they should read this book to get a clue.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
In every type of organization and in every culture, people want to follow leaders who motivate them to achieve difficult goals. In The Extraordinary Leader, the authors' previous, highly acclaimed book, John H. Zenger, Joseph R. Folkman and Scott K. Edinger examined the 16 core competencies that distinguish superior leaders from merely good ones. In this new work, they employ statistical data and empirical evidence to prove conclusively what people intuitively know: The ability to inspire is, by far, the most salient leadership trait. The authors discuss the strategies that great leaders employ to motivate others and explain how to use them. getAbstract recommends their book to managers, executives and others who want their organizations to accomplish great things.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2011
While I was initially a bit skeptical about this book after reading Extraordinary Leader (which was great!), it appeared to be a really exceptional book - the authors did a great job (again!) in demystifying inspiration and breaking this down into simple and manageable components based on data and facts. It is not just another leadership - it is informative, fact-based, very well structured, logical and what I found most helpful (at least for myself) - it is actionable. I don't want to say that you could just turn on the "inspiration switch" right after you've read it, however by providing a deeper understanding of the nature of inspiration and its components, which are manageable, the authors inspire you for action.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Of the 100s of leadership books I have read, I consider this in the top 5. In fact, I wish I had read this before reading all of the others since it provides a broad overview of strategic, operational, and people leadership strengths.

Like StrenghtsFinder, this book is rooted (mostly) in quantitative, fact-based measurement of what strengths great leader possess. The big "ah-hah" in this book is that "motivates and inspires others" is THE must have strength. After this big reveal, the authors do an excellent job clearly explaining what it means to be inspirational.

"The Inspiring Leader" gives the how-to that is missing from StrenghtsFinder and is therefore a nice complement.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2011
This book is an easy read, and gives valuable tips on how to lead properly. Great for large or small team leaders, and really a great tool to learn how to motivate. Even for those who are seasoned leaders, tips in the book provide additional tips on how to do your job even better.
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on August 17, 2009
An updated interpretation of what makes for superior leadership drawn from multi-rater feedback assessments of 20,000 managers as validated against work group performance. Reveals evidence that individuals who report to leaders they regard as inspiring are as much as 400% more likely to be commited to the enterprise and 250% less likely to thnk about quitting. Codifies what an "inspiring leader" is in terms of concrete behaviors that can be learned as skills, and debunks the notion that motivation requires a honey-tongue. A great coaching template for managers of managers. Authors Zenger, Folkman and Edinger offer lots of best practice examples, as well as illustrations of what can go wrong when motivational intentions are based on faulty assumptions.
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on September 13, 2009
What's the difference between an average leader and a truly great one? "The Inspiring Leader: Unlocking the Secrets of How Extraordinary Leaders Motivate" is John Zenger and his collaborators Joseph R. Folkman, and Scott K. Edinger discussing what an important and inspiring leader should be. Outlining what one needs to do to establish themselves as a leader optimizing everything they need such as empathy, long term planning and goal setting, cooperation, and more, there is much to motivate and inspire someone to motivate and inspire others. "The Inspiring Leader" is a top pick and recommended reading for anyone faced with the task of leadership.
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