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What's Holding You Back: 10 Bold Steps that Define Gutsy Leaders Hardcover – February 15, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (February 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470639016
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470639016
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #315,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Why do leaders shy away from tough decisions?

The more responsibility a manager has, the more likely it is he or she will face tough decisions. Often, these hard choices determine the difference between success and mediocrity; yet many managers, when faced with tough decisions, crumble. Whether making decisions for a small group, a department, a division, or the whole company, all managers have experienced situations where they know what they need to do, but also know that these steps will be unpopular. They worry there is no ideal option, a lack of data, guaranteed disappointment, or that there is no quick fix—they need a long-term perspective. And they worry that their choices might in fact be dead wrong. They will decide to delay, further analyze, massively compromise, ignore the whole thing, or employ any other tactic to avoid dealing with the situation.

What's Holding You Back? offers leaders and managers (at all levels) the road map they need to confront difficult situations head-on. Robert J. Herbold clearly explains why managers fall victim to very human behaviors, such as avoiding conflict, striving for certainty, avoiding a career risk, a lack of self-confidence, a lack of a sense of urgency, or protecting their turf. Then through illustrative, real-world examples from Microsoft, Porsche, IBM, Merck, Canon, Sony, Whirlpool, IDEO, Tesco, P&G, Target, and 3M, Herbold details the larger consequences of this lack of courage.

What's Holding You Back? spells out the ten core principles of confident leadership. The book also outlines the proven tactics and strategies that managers have used to confront their inner wimp and call upon their inner courage. Step by step Herbold reveals how managers can cultivate and deliver accountable and decisive leadership, even while grappling with the toughest dilemmas.

Operational and innovative excellence can only come with gutsy leadership.

From the Back Cover

Praise for What's Holding You Back?

"Managers at any point on the corporate food chain should read this book. You'll learn to recognize the basic human tendency to put off, ignore, or compromise on tough decisions—and how to combat it with the strong leadership your organization needs."—Carol Bartz, CEO, Yahoo! Inc.

"The first and most important responsibility of leadership is to make clear decisions—about strategy, talent, resources, and other critical issues. Often, these decisions must be made in volatile, uncertain, chaotic, and ambiguous conditions, which requires instinct and courage. Bob Herbold's excellent book equips leaders with the insights and tools needed to make clear and courageous decisions. I recommend it highly."—Robert A. McDonald, chairman of the board, president, and CEO, Procter & Gamble Company

"A must-read for both emerging and established executives! Bob Herbold provides ten clear guidelines that will enable managers to become strong, proactive leaders."—John C. Lechleiter, chairman, president, and CEO, Eli Lilly and Company

"What's Holding You Back? gives good insights as to why managers often fail to make tough decisions. His ten actionable steps are a useful template for becoming a strong, courageous leader and achieving significant impact."—Wee EE Cheong, deputy chairman and CEO, United Overseas Bank Ltd.

"Bob Herbold has written a remarkable business book with useful, practical tips you can use virtually every day. Bob has an outstanding track record as a business leader. He offers a clear road map to making the decisions that lead to business success and, once there, how to stay on top!"—Patrick J. McGovern, founder and chairman, International Data Group

"A terrific book: Herbold's principles are ready-to-use guidelines for strong leadership. A great tool for training your best and brightest leaders to steer through the world of fast change and severe competition. I highly recommend it."—Shin-Bae Kim, vice-chairman and CEO, SK C&C, Korea


More About the Author

Robert J. Herbold

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (Retired), Microsoft Corporation

Managing Director, Herbold Group, LLC


Robert J. (Bob) Herbold, retired executive vice president and chief operating officer of Microsoft Corporation, is the Managing Director of The Herbold Group, LLC, a consulting business focused on profitability, strategic, and operational issues. Herbold is also serves on the Board of Directors of Agilent Technologies and of Neptune Orient Shipping Lines.

Herbold joined Microsoft in 1994 as executive vice president and chief operating officer, retiring in 2001. During his tenure in that position, he was responsible for finance, corporate marketing, market research, manufacturing and distribution, information systems, human resources, and public relations. During his 7 years as COO, Microsoft experienced a four fold increase in revenue and a seven fold increase in profits. From 2001 to 2003, Herbold worked half-time for Microsoft as Executive Vice President assisting in government, industry, and customer issues.

Prior to joining Microsoft, Herbold spent 26 years at The Procter & Gamble Company. In his last 5 years with P&G, he served as senior vice president of advertising and information services. In that role, he was responsible for the company's worldwide marketing/brand management operations as well as all marketing related services such as media and retail promotion programs. He was also responsible for the worldwide information technology and market research organizations.

Herbold's experiences at Microsoft and Procter & Gamble were the basis of an article he authored in the January, 2002 issue of the Harvard Business Review entitled "Inside Microsoft: Balancing Discipline and Creativity", which focuses on how companies can improve their profitability and agility. In 2004 he authored a book published by Random House titled The Fiefdom Syndrome; The Turf Battles that Undermine Careers and Companies - and How to Overcome Them. In 2007 his second book was published by McGraw Hill titled: Seduced by Success; How the Best Companies Survive the 9 Traps of Winning. In February, 2011 his latest book was published by John Wiley & Sons titled: What's Holding You Back; Ten Bold Steps that Define Gutsy Leaders.

Herbold has a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from the University of Cincinnati and both a master's degree in mathematics and a Ph.D. in computer science from Case Western Reserve University. Herbold is a member of the Board of Trustees of The Heritage Foundation and is an Adjunct Professor in the Business School at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He is also the President of The Herbold Foundation, which is primarily focused on providing college scholarships to science and engineering students.




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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tit4Tat on March 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
That's what leadership expert John Maxwell believes. So do I. So does Bob Herbold.

I read Herbold's "Seduced by Success" and then loaned it to everyone who would oblige in my office. When I heard about this, Herbold's latest, I ordered it. As the book's site says, "What's Holding You Back? offers leaders and managers (at all levels) the road map they need to confront difficult situations head-on." I found Herbold's 10 principles to be honest and - most importantly - implementable.

Is being a gutsy leader easy?

No.

Does it require some tough choices and the possibility of losing friends?

Yes.

But leadership is not about making friends. It's about doing the right thing at the right time for the right reasons. Leaders too often get in their own way and the result is stagnation rather than innovation. Avoid consensus ... clean up sloppiness ... staff for success ... it's all inside of this new book on leadership excellence. A road map, if you will, for any established or emerging leader who's doing okay, but wants to do better.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By GTrebbi on May 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Herbold does a fantastic job of posing a straightforward set of working principles and demonstrating with convincing examples what can happen when they are used and not used. The examples are on point and fully illustrative.

I taught MBA courses for over 30 years and I would always put one book by an accomplished business leader on my required reading list. If teaching an MBA course today I'd definitely require Herbold's book. The book should be equally useful for corporate or entrepreneurial types whether senior or junior. Great job!

George G. Trebbi, Jr. Ph.D.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Walt Cunningham on March 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"What's Holding You Back?" That's the question that compelled me to buy this book. As a manager at a thriving small company, I feel I am doing a respectable job, but am also aware that there are areas that could use some improvement. This book has given me practical tools to assist with this.

"Gutsy." That's what Herbold says is required in order to achieve leadership excellence. At the beginning of the book, Herbold says that "Effective leaders must be bold enough and brave enough to make tough choices," and that a lot of managers face these tough issues and "waffle." It's true, I've seen this happen within my own company and I read about it happening a lot these days, especially with high-profile CEOs who may have avoided their downfall had they applied Herbold's 10 principles.

On his watch, Microsoft saw a four-fold increase in revenue and a seven-fold increase in profits. Before that, he was a top executive at Proctor & Gamble. His case studies are relevant and back each point he makes throughout the book. It's a straightforward, no-nonsense read that anyone who calls him or herself a "leader" should add to their collection.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
working with 501(c)3 organizations, I bought one for each president, with the instructions to read it (time allowing - grin) and pass it to the next president
yes, it has points that good
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bob is able to put the 'cookies' on the lowest shelf for the reader. He's great at communicating what we need to hear from a business practices point of view as well as stressing that we need to move forward with tough decisions that we know we need to be made.
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