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The Executive's Paradox: How to Stretch When You're Pulled by Opposing Demands Paperback – November 12, 2013
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From the Author
It's taken 7 years to research and write this book. It's already been worth it. I've been deeply gratified by the reviews the book has received...
"I was mesmerized by Dave Jensen's style. It simply pulled me in. Once you read this book, it transforms from being a leadership book into a leadership reference handbook. An amazing feat and one that will keep it on your desk rather than on your bookshelf."
Michael P. Melaniphy
President & CEO
American Public Transportation Association
"Dave Jensen knows leadership - what it is and how to achieve it. He has taken nearly everything every written on the topic, distilled it, refined it and transformed it into relevant, coherent guidance, and practical tools. We live in an age that cries out for effective leadership. We'd all be better off if our "leaders" steeped themselves in Dave Jensen's book."
Executive Officer for Public Affairs
"Eye Opening... The possibilities of personal and professional growth are endless. Dave challenges individuals, teams, and organizations to achieve their strategic priorities using his highly researched and "user friendly" eXpansive Leadership Model (XLM). I am a more effective executive because this book showed me how to apply the XLM to "unleash the energy of others toward our worthy goals."
AmTrust North America
From the Inside Flap
The Executive's Paradox defines leadership as "the process of unleashing the energy of others toward worthy goals." Since few executives (or aspiring executives) even have a process, the book reveals a highly researched, yet very practical process, called THE EXPANSIVE LEADERSHIP MODEL (XLM).
Leaders learn how to use the 16 core competencies that comprise the XLM. They also discover how to:
- lead with their strengths and manage their weaknesses
- avoid the seven traps of poor decision making
- develop strategic plans that get results
- boost innovative growth
- gain buy-in to ANY change
- increase employee engagement
- build trust and motivate teams
- knock down silos by think systemically...
The Executive's Paradox also shows leaders how to consistently unleash the energy of their teams toward worthy goals in today's complex, conflicting, and paradoxical environment. Here's what a few other executives are say about this book:
"After reading The Executive's Paradox and following Dave's approach, I now understand my leadership strengths and weaknesses. I also no longer guess what to do when I'm pulled in opposite directions by conflicting issues. Give yourself a decisive advantage by reading this book and you'll be making reasoned decisions that let you take advantage of contradictory demands -- the same ones that used to cause chaos in your work world."
Mountain Line Transit Authority
"Dave Jensen has combined his knowledge and experience as a leader with scientific data to provide a clear plan for current, as well as aspiring, executives to become more effective. He simplifies the otherwise overwhelming task of managing the tensions we all face on a daily basis."
Robert A. Gunning
Principal Financial Group
"Much more than another 'how to' management book, this is the definitive executive handbook. I have profited personally and professionally from learning how to stretch when I'm torn by the competing goals of our diverse stakeholders. Jensen's ability to present compelling, scientific data in such a clear and entertaining manner will hook you from the start...just as it did me!"
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Top customer reviews
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Like all good management books, the author references the wisdom of the ages, as we “don’t so much need to be taught as reminded” to know ourselves, to clarify objectives, to empower or command as the situation requires. Successful executive leaders understand the importance of recognizing emotion and displaying empathy, careful listening and monitoring conditions closely, acknowledging personal shortcomings and fallibility, and enlisting the help, feedback and appraisal of others, even (especially) when it hurts.
Jensen’s Expansive Leadership Model provides the vocabulary and corollaries to explore our range of adaptive strategies, and access the quadrant for stretching into uncomfortable areas to achieve our desired long-term outcome. More than anything, Jensen wants the reader to make practical use of his rigorous research to make a personal difference in leadership activities. At various times we imagine and dream of the future, prescriptively direct staff to take action, unleash staff to devise a solution, or demand extensive research, analysis and work product. “The Executive’s Paradox” provides a constructive model to manage change, conflict, ethical dilemmas, resistance, fear and the paradoxical tensions that won’t neatly resolve at our command. A rigorously scientific approach to executive coaching, you’ll find yourself adopting Jensen’s lexicon as you explain the dynamics of your thoughtful decision-making to peers and staff.
Chester Patton, Director of Transportation
Jodi Walker, President, Success Alliances
Nonetheless, there are a lot of leadership books in the market that create a general model of an effective executive. Admittedly, I haven't looked thoroughly each of those books, but I have a sense that most of them will be too technical or not enough supplementary for making it enough comprehensive and supportive to each author's leadership model.
In contrast, here we have a model that it looks that it has been put more effort in making it both approachable and more credible than other models I have seen. It is approachable due to providing narratives and guides that use normal words with small stories behind the background. This encourages readers to be able to make the proper links of those guides with the four functions of his leadership model. The stories on the background make the guides even more motivating for the reader to have a greater focus or attachment with the author's vision. It is also very credible. The author tries to link his suggestions by studies of research to prove his points. In addition, a portion of his stories is about his own work experiences that detail how he uses this model as a consultant. The author also has the correct criteria to delve for a general topic like this given to the fact that the author looks things in a cross disciplinary approach by providing a lot of analogies and associations.
However, the jokes end here, as we know in fact that there are other books that do the exact same thing. For example, "The extra one percent" by Rob Yeung has a model of how to be successful. You can say that Rob Yeung book can be a substitute of this book as being successful is the mantra of all leadership. Even then, few books come to this "level" of success. So we can say that this book did good enough to be side to side with other good books and put a "pat on the shoulder" and move on.
However, I do not see it that way. The "main feature" of his leadership model is about how people should "stretch" instead of "snap". It bring a new feature, not for gimmicks, but for demonstrating that it is a part of our reality. If we ignore it, the less good we will be in creating a more collaborative cohesive and mutually respected team or organization.
Let us be more clear of the author's main feature that distinct with the rest of the books. The author tries to separate different traits of being an effective leader, but at the same time, describing the dynamics that each trait correlates with one another while still being approachable and credible. These dynamics are very hard to describe in my review. You have to read the book and test the waters in real life to make sense out of it. However, one thing I can tell for sure is this: Unlike other books describing you how to be a great leader, many people cannot follow it in real life. "The extra one percent" did a great effort by describing the functions in detail of successful people, but I still believe many people could not follow it in real life because it missed to describe the dynamics of how each trait correlates with one another while not grouping several traits in a specific function. This book tries to solve these problems with its model and may definitely be a model that people will be able to follow it with less hiccups in their real life. The author describes this "relationship" of traits with the same name as his last word of his book title: "Paradox".
Another difference that this book tries to distinct from the others is that it looks success from a leadership approach instead of an individualistic approach. Things that a leadership approach focuses more than an individualistic approach is the following: How our work and communication influence the team or organization results instead of how it influences me in terms of my accomplishment and achievements. Although leadership pays attention to our own accomplishment and achievements, most big part of leadership plays how we influence others while doing our part of our own work. Society is becoming "more social" than ever before and we as humans although care about prosperity and money, we see more value to do something in this world by being "leaders" instead of being "successful for our own selves". Now that companies are moving more through a culture that represents "family" or where "every employee is a leader" (self-manage), having a leadership paradigm is more important than ever to protect the organization from its dangers.
In today's world, leadership is more important than ever before for our future of our career, our family, our spiritual own sense. For these reasons, we need a more correct and precise leadership paradigm that represents our own reality as much as possible where every beginner or experienced on this field can start this journey learning and improving the best tactics to be a better member of society. The book "The Executive's Paradox" is an approachable credible book that gives a more precise leadership model than any other past leadership models by correlating different traits of a leader as being the antonym of each other. Main topic of this book is balancing those traits.
Strongly recommended for anyone to read (especially with Holocracy coming on the horizon).