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The Five Temptations of a CEO, Anniversary Edition: A Leadership Fable Hardcover – Deluxe Edition, June 23, 2008
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From the Inside Flap
The FIVE TEMPTATIONS of a CEO
When it was published over a decade ago, The Five Temptations of a CEO was like no other business book that came before. Highly sought-after management consultant Patrick Lencioni deftly told the tale of a young CEO who, facing his first annual board review, knows he is failing but doesn't know why. Written to be read in one sitting, this refreshingly original and utterly compelling, razor-sharp novelette serves as a timeless and potent reminder that success as a leader can come down to practicing a few simple behaviorsbehaviors that are painfully difficult for each of us to master. Any executive can learn how to recognize the mistakes that leaders make.
The lessons of The Five Temptations of a CEO are as relevant today as ever, and this special anniversary edition celebrates over a decade of inspiration and enlightenment with a brand new introduction and reflections from Lencioni on the new challenges in business and leadership that have occurred since the original book was published.
From the Back Cover
THE COMMEMORATIVE EDITION OF A LANDMARK BOOK FROM PATRICK LENCIONI
"Patrick Lencioni's combination of homey management truths and simple prose has struck a chord with business leaders tired of jargon and complicated strategic models."
The Wall Street Journal
"This book reflects so much of what I love about Patrick's insights; thought provoking, challenging of the accepted, simple but not simplistic, and highly practical. It should be a primer for leaders at all levelsnot just CEOs."
Colleen C. Barrett, president Southwest Airlines Co.
"Lencioni's remarkable ability to tell a compelling story is what sets this book apart from most other leadership books."
Pat Esser, president, Cox Communications
"I talk about the Five Temptations in all my leadership programs and have used it to enhance my leadership and the leadership of others."
David C. Novak, chairman, CEO, and president Yum! Brands
"The Five Temptations of a CEO is a thoughtprovoking story, a reason to examine your behavior in light of your current challenges. Read it, reflect on its message, make changes, and read it again in a few months."
Edward T. Reilly, president and CEO, American Management Association
Top customer reviews
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I purchased this 10th anniversary edition of the book recently. Honestly I struggled a bit with purchasing it since I do not consider myself a CEO at all; however, the book would share principles of leadership and I decided to do so anyway. In this book, Lencioni shares a business "fable" whereby he examines the plight of a particular CEO. In the fable, this CEO comes across a "truth-speaker" (this time in a dream) who imparts to him 5 mistakes that CEOs who fail...make. These are not innate characteristics, but are temptations that, if not mastered, will certainly be the demise of the business leader. The temptations are:
* Choosing status over results
* Choosing popularity over accountability
* Choosing certainty over clarity
* Choosing harmony over conflict
* Choosing invulnerability over trust
Each of the temptations drive to the heart of what it is to be a leader. A CEO often functions without close accountability other than to a Board or Shareholders. As such, much of his daily management must come from self-discipline.
While many things caught my attention in the book, one particular observation was driven home:
"...A great president of the United States wouldn't be as proud of being elected as he would of actually accomplishing something. And a nonprofit agency shouldn't feel good getting funds unless they did something meaningful with the money. And there isn't a great coach alive who would say that his best day was getting hired. Winning games and championships is what great coaching is all about" (p.29).
This particular quote reminds me of the fact that great leaders do not play it safe or consider their role as accomplishment. Their role of leadership is for a purpose and every great CEO must understand that he is accountable to DO SOMETHING with the mantle of leadership that benefits the organization he leads. "Leaders" who simply exist and entertain the masses or maintain the status quo...aren't really leaders at all.
I recommend this book and this author. It is an easy read and offers many opportunities for self-evaluation. It also is a sobering examination for the reader. 5 stars again Lencioni!
Andrew O'Brien is the CEO of a company in trouble. Results are less than promised, he is feeling more distant from the business and his team, and the board is getting restless with "less than spectacular" performance. Where in the organization or in the management team lies the blame? What needs to change? Andrew doesn't have to look very far to discover the five fatal temptations of leadership.
Lencioni has a unique way of stating what should be obvious truths that somehow are not so obvious. Even more interesting is his insight to identify not only the five dangerous weaknesses but also their five corresponding strengths.
A very quick read whose conclusions and insights may weigh heavily for a long time.
The self-assessment could be revealing if people are honest.
Even though the message is simple, the work that becomes available from reading this book is some of the more difficult work of a leader. Even choosing which temptation most plagues your leadership is a gut-wrenching opener. I'm eager to support my coaching clients with this body of work!