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Leadership Is an Art Paperback – May 18, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“This is a wonderful book. It captures Max’s spirit—and he’s a truly exceptional person. But it also says more about leadership in clearer, more elegant, and more convincing language than many of the much longer books that have been published on the subject.”—Peter F. Drucker
“His opus is as worthy as scripture.”—New York Times Book Review
“Like the elegant furniture his company makes, De Pree’s book provides a valuable lesson in grace, style, and the elements of success.”—Time
“Leadership Is an Art is one of the best books I have ever read in my life on the subject of leadership and business management philosophy.”—Sam Walton
“Perhaps we should banish all of our management books except Max De Pree’s recent gem, Leadership Is an Art. The successful Herman Miller, Inc., chairman . . . . writes only about trust, grace, spirit, and love . . . . such concerns are the essence of organizations, small or large.”—Inc. magazine
Top Customer Reviews
* The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between the two, the leader must become a servant and a debtor.
* In addition to all of the ratios and goals and parameters and bottom lines, it is fundamental that leaders endorse a concept of persons. This begins with an understanding of the diversity of people's gifts and talents and skills.
* Understanding and accepting diversity enables us to see that each of us is needed. It also enables us to begin to think about being abandoned to the strengths of others, of admitting that we cannot know or do everything.
* Leaders don't inflict pain; they bear pain.
* First, as a Christian I believe that each person is made in the image of God. For those of us who have received the gift of leadership from the people we lead, this belief has enormous implications.
* Leaders owe people space, space in the sense of freedom. Freedom in the sense of enabling our gifts to be exercised.
* Participative management is not democratic. Having a say differs from having a vote.
* Interestingly, though in organizations like ours we need a lot of freedom, there is no room for license. Discipline is what it takes to do the job.
* One of the important things leaders need to learn is to recognize the signals of impending deterioration.Read more ›
This book is a series of interdependent philosophical essays that are part of a holistic view of effective leadership. DePree defines the art of leadership as "liberating people to do what is required of them in the most effective and humane way possible," and that definition is a theme that runs throughout the book. Another closely related common theme in these non-sequential yet complementary essays is that leaders must abandon themselves to the strengths of others in order to serve them and allow them to realize their full potential.
DePree put a lot of emphasis on people and fostering leadership environments in which trusting, respectful, and effective relationships flourish. His ideas and beliefs about leadership, some that I have never really read anywhere else, were refreshing and stimulating. One largely ignored insight that particularly stood out to me was that "much of a leader's performance cannot be reviewed until `after' the fact." In today's common short-term focus/instant gratification world, such insights deserve our uncommon attention.
Although originally published in 1989, DePree's thoughts, ideas, and approach to leadership are timeless. While some people may argue that DePree's writings are idealistic, I found them to be realistic given the nature of people and the frenetic pace of our hyper-competitive professional environments. Every leader owes it to him- or herself, and to those who allow themselves to be led, to read and reflect on the leadership wisdom contained in this small and powerful book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Best leadership book with timeless principles. Our presidential candidate would do well to read it and live by it!!Published 1 day ago by John H. Little
I started out reading this book as an assignment for one of my doctorate class. Once I read the book I truly enjoyed it! The author pulls you in with his stories. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
Better than I expected! Good leadership explained in a way that I have never heard before! What an eye openerPublished 8 days ago by A.L.C.
Older book but the Leadership concepts explained in the book never age. Easy to read and apply to today's crazy environment.Published 2 months ago by R. Dawkins
This book is a classic. I first read it about 20 years ago and just had the opportunity to re-read it.Published 2 months ago by Dana R.
Best leadership book that I have ever read! You can be kind and succeedvin business!Published 2 months ago by Kindle Customer
This is the very best book about leadership I have ever read. Wonderful,wonderful,wonderful!!Published 3 months ago by Patrick Sanaghan