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on July 7, 2016
Despite its age, this is an excellent book. Like other books from HBR, each chapter is a stand alone article, so you get several very focused essays about specific topics. After I finished it, I loaned it with my recommendation to my son, who is chief counsel for a major corporation. I read 2-3 business books a month. I have recommended only a handful to him. This is one of that select group.
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on January 12, 2014
While dated, the content is very good and it's a great reminder of what matters in leadership from one of the great minds on the subject. Unfortunately, it's obvious that the original materials were scanned for the Kindle and there are some very annoying text recognition errors, some of which make it very difficult to determine what the original word was. For a book at this price level, such a sloppy transition to digital form is disappointing.
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VINE VOICEon September 21, 2013
This 15 year old book by John Kotter is a moderately interesting expose on the differences between leadership and management, and the challenges of both. The elements of leadership transcend emotion and charisma to the holistic elements of work, power, influence, interpersonal relationships and organizational change.

Discussed by several other reviewers, the approach used by Kotter in the book is a bit disjointed and seems more like a compendium of articles and lectures than a cohesive thought process about leadership.

The book is a relatively easy and short read, and there's a fair bit of interesting stuff in here, but there are better choices.
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on June 30, 2006
Kotter, a professor of leadership at Harvard Business School, distinguishes between a leader and a manager. The former is someone who works thru people and culture; the latter works thru hierarchy and systems. Kotter points out the need to nurture leaders, and he writes of the interdependence of leaders and led. What is required to bring about change, he says, is starting with a sense of urgency, developing a team, communicating the vision, etc. A leader works with others to develop a vision as well as strategies to implement that vision. He or she empowers individuals to bring that vision to life. There are executives who don't lead; they thereby fall into predictable traps. Therefore they find themselves unable to bring about good, nonincremental change. More is involved in leadership than giving orders within an authority structure. The vision need not be original, but it must serve the interests of the constituencies.

Much here may sound like common sense, but it is organized and delivered in a helpful manner. This work is based on the runs, hits, and errors of many organizations and their executives. A solid treatment. Should be read together with Jim Collins's Good to Great.
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on July 23, 2016
This book is great at addressing several personality types and methods to work cooperatively with each one. It helps differentiate between managers and leaders and helps provide the tools necessary to lead and ultimately fully utilize a support network, not only your subordinates, peers, and superiors.
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on April 29, 2017
Good book
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on June 8, 2000
I look at the other reviewers comments and realize that there's another perspective. One that I think I may share with others who are not the other reviewers.
There's a niche of people out there who are "intuitive / analytical" people. The works of other leadership / management "gurus" seem, well, mystical or overwhelmingly positive.
I personally understand and practice the passion of leadership but personally had a hard time understanding the framework of human relationships and motivations that lead to most management hierarchies. In traditional management hierarchies, passionate people are also labelled as "over the edge". immature, unrealistic.
From an analytical engineering / scientist approach, what occurs in executive management just doesn't seem to make sense. Frankly, I'm blown away by the rampant "peter principle" in executive management. I've not understood why I who have significant leadership skills haven't made it into "the higher echelons".
John Kotter is the first author I've encountered who has been able to layout for me the framework of human interactions. He's the first author who feels to me like he is looking over my shoulder giving me useful guidance, not just pumping me up.
The article on "Leading Change, Why Transformation Efforts Fail" included in the book landed in my lap at a time when I'm attempting to lead cultural changes.
The chapter on "Managing and Power" helped me understand how my independent / contra-dependent leanings might actually be hindering me in a management hierarchy of over dependent managers.
I've gotten more condensed information from Kotter than from any other source to date. However, in this case, I must concur with one of the other reviewers: I'd like greater depth of information on how to better adapt.
Still, Kotter's terse, analytical perspective has been phenomenally valuable in giving me insights into my behaviors (that I'm not the only person who acts, feels, or believes in the things that I do) and a framework for understanding the behaviors of others.
Only time will tell if I've been able to take away anything of any real value and apply it successfully.
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on December 22, 2016
Great Product. Very Happy with my item. Arrived safety and quickly.
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on April 6, 2015
Kotter is the father of great information and insights when it comes too leadership. If you want to learn about leadership this IS the book to have in your library.
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on July 23, 2013
Another great book from JP Kotter!
This book helps you understand the difference between leaders / visionaries and managers that tow the line.
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