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The Leadership Contract: The Fine Print to Becoming a Great Leader Hardcover – July 29, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Is leadership worth dying for? That's the question Dr. Vince Molinaro had to ask himself early in his career after a mentor died of cancer—a disease she believed was brought on by working in an organization with a toxic leadership culture. The stakes in leadership have always been high, but they are getting even higher. Leaders today must execute strategy, drive innovation, and build talent for the future. They are under more pressure and more scrutiny than ever before.

But at the very moment that we need our leaders to be their best—to be truly great—many leaders disappoint and fail us. Recent studies have shown that only 7 percent of employees trust and have confidence in their senior leaders to look out for their best interests. This is a damning statistic and strikes at the heart of the problem with leadership today.

The Leadership Contract tackles this problem head on and explores why leaders must commit to do a lot better. It also provides an inspiring vision of why leadership, and, more specifically, leadership culture, is the only real differentiator between organizations that thrive and those that fall behind.

Designed for top-level executives, mid-level managers, frontline leaders, and emerging leaders, The Leadership Contract asks compelling questions that all leaders must confront at a personal level. The book brings a fresh perspective, proposing a "Leadership Contract" that must be fully understood and agreed upon by business leaders, while laying out the four terms of the leadership contract:

  • Leadership is a decision. Make it.
  • Leadership is an obligation. Step up.
  • Leadership is hard. Get tough.
  • Leadership is a community. Connect.

The Leadership Contract is filled with practical and powerful insights that will immediately show you how to become a great leader.

From the Back Cover

Praise for The Leadership Contract

"Vince Molinaro's new book throws the gauntlet down for leaders today. He asks them to make the commitment to principled leadership, and to step up to the responsibilities. This is a timely and important book!"
—Chester Elton, Motivation Expert and Bestselling Author of All In

"Molinaro has written an insightful book on the competitive advantage of resilient leadership. His practical approach and realistic advice on the personal accountability required by leaders are intriguing and challenge all of us to step up to do the tough work required to increase trust and confidence in leaders today. Sign me up!!"
—Barbara Meens Thistle, Chief Human Resources Officer, Emera Inc.

"The Leadership Contract is a fresh and unique book that confronts some uncomfortable truths about leadership today. Molinaro demands that leaders step up to their obligations as he delivers original and powerful, yet practical, insights for them. Read this book if you aspire to be a great leader!"
—Robert Potter, Group Strategic Human Resources Director, London, Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group

"Molinaro's important book challenges leaders to become more deliberate and conscious in how they lead. This approach is desperately needed in our world today. It's time for all leaders to decide to make their organizations truly great in a way that has a strong and positive impact on society."
—Raj Sisodia, Cofounder and Co-Chairman, Conscious Capitalism, Inc. and coauthor of Conscious Capitalism

"Great leaders are not born, they are made. And that is precisely why you must read The Leadership Contract. This book is both a tool and a stiff dose of reality that will wake you up to what it really takes to lead people and help make you into the leader your people deserve."
—Jeb Blount, Author of People Follow You

"As a leadership speaker, trainer and author, I'm always looking for practical, commonsense leadership ideas that work. I was taken by the idea that we all have individual leadership stories. The better we understand them, the better able we are to write the final chapter in our personal leadership history. It's a thought—and a book—worthy of your time and attention."
—Phillip Van Hooser, Author of Leaders Ought to Know


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (July 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118635574
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118635575
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #463,539 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Is leadership worth dying for? Vince Molinaro posed that question to himself at the beginning of his career when he saw a respected colleague succumb to cancer that she believed was brought on by the stress of an unhealthy workplace. Since then, his passion and focus have been to help senior leaders and executives create compelling organizations that drive sustainable growth. How? By building strong leadership cultures where every leader demonstrates personal clarity and commitment to the execution of the business strategy.

Today, Vince is the Managing Director of the Leadership Practice within Knightsbridge Human Capital Solutions. As a Senior Executive of this award winning company, Vince has helped create one of the leading brands in the Human Capital industry. As a leader, Vince sets the leadership bar high for himself and his team. He doesn't just preach the leadership stuff - he works hard to live it.

Over his career, Vince has worked in several key sectors including energy, pharmaceutical, professional services, technology, financial services, and the public sector.

Vince is regularly called upon by the media for his innovative opinions on the future of leadership. An engaging speaker, he conducts keynote presentations for corporation and conferences. He is a New York Times Best Selling author of The Leadership Contract (Wiley, 2013). He's also published two other successful books: Leadership Solutions (co-authored, Jossey-Bass, 2007) and The Leadership Gap (co-authored, Wiley 2005).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JKelly on September 24, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I originally bought this book on my Kindle. But I found the principles so important and so interrelated, I bought the print version too!

After 30+ years as a business leader, in 2006 I started an executive coaching practice. My business background plus coach training school gave me a great foundation on which to build my new career. Although my business is successful, I've always felt something was missing. The Leadership Contract is the missing link. It provides a viewpoint on leadership that is essential for a successful leader. You really might be a successful leader without reading this book but it will only happen if you accidentally follow the principles Molinaro discusses. Instead of hoping for luck to guide your career, read this book.

It begins from the example of ubiquitous phenomenon of the internet age, the statement "Do you agree to these terms?" Almost every interesting service on the web, asks us to agree to a long statement of terms usually written in legalese. We don't read the details. If we want the service, we just agree to the contract. What are we really agreeing to? Well, when we become leaders, we essentially do the same thing. We say "yes" but don't know or understand what we are agreeing to. This book examines what it means to really lead from whatever position in your organization you might currently occupy. If you take the principles to heart, at some time in your career there'll be a "C" in front of your title. And if you already have the "C", reading this book will improve your performance.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sonya on August 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is such a great, practical book on what it takes to be a leader. So many people take on leadership roles for all the wrong reasons. The result? A very real leadership crisis. This book helps leaders to explore what is required to be a leader and whether that responsibility is something they are ready and willing to take on. Fantastic read for leadership development and high potential programs! Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kellin R. on August 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Refreshing! It's as though the words splashed from the pages; smacking me with ice cold water with every chapter. Makes you recognize the diminished returns that even my smallest excuses have reaped in the daily noise. This book was a wake-up call. Truely invigorating...passing this up the line. Batter up!
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Format: Hardcover
Vince Molinaro takes you through the leadership experience providing direction for planning, implementing, and motivating. The Leadership Contract (TLC) best exemplifies the spirit of leaders who don't give up or give in. They instead give until it hurts and until they get results.

Getting the right balance between people and tasks isn't easy; it takes hard work. You see the tough challenges the author is faced with before he gets the edge. Molinaro deals with unenthusiastic team members and colleagues bidding their time in propped up cushy job positions trying not to "rock the boat." Vince recognizes these kinds of weaknesses and becomes discouraged. And just when you think he's about to throw in the towel he gets the lowdown of how the business world works from a senior manager he admires. Her cajoling is the swift kick in the pants (SKIP) he needs to get him back to driving organizational change for accelerating business improvement.

You'll find useful information that shows you how collaborating across silos to do what's best for your customer and organization does a company good. You'll also find helpful techniques that you could adapt your approach to the role you want to inhabit. You ultimately define Six Sigma leadership skills that create the roadmap that paves a path for future leaders.

The book inspires the reader to dream, learn, do and become more. It takes you beyond being someone who just oversees subordinates and makes sure that they do what they're told. The reader gets a broader perspective of how to make greater impact in his or her organization. In essence you become the leader who rolls up your sleeves and get stuff done.
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Format: Hardcover
If you are a leader, much is resting on your shoulders. This book can help you to deeply reflect upon and critique your motivations, goals and behaviors, and will inspire you to never stop challenging yourself and to live up to your potential.

What is The Leadership Contract? It is a personal "commitment to redefine how you lead and become the leader for the future." It is comprised of four terms: Making the Decision to be a leader, Stepping Up to the obligation, Getting Tough to make the hard decisions, Connecting with the community. It demands clarity of purpose and constant mindfulness of core obligations that one has to self, to customers, to organization, to employees, and to community

Molinaro encourages and guides you to make your own leadership contract, sign it and share it with other leaders.

As a former Professor of Leadership Studies, I highly recommend this book. It is practical, with grounded questions and engaging, memorable anecdotes. No matter how many of this type of book we've read, we still need booster shots and periodic reviews to keep things fresh. This is a great one to use this quarter.
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