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Leadership Moments: Turning Points That Changed Lives and Organizations Paperback – May 28, 2007
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What we have in these ten personal accounts are dozens of "leadership moments" recounted by associates of the ARC Leadership Group, edited by Claire Gerus with an Introduction by Rick Brydges. Each reveals important lessons about leadership in circumstances when difficult choices must be made. In their book Judgment, Noel Tichy and Warren Bennis characterize such decisions as "good judgment calls" that are at "the core, the nucleus of leadership." Brydges refers to it as "leadership in the trenches," moments that provide "a window in which converging circumstances stimulated the exercise of effectual leadership."
It is important to note that most (if not all) of these leadership moments are shared by those at all levels and in all areas of organizational structure. In my opinion, that is a key point because there are already so many books that examine great leaders throughout history such as Moses, Alexander, Queen Elizabeth I, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and more recently Winston Churchill, Mohandas Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Nelson Mandela. We quite rightly admire them but cannot identify with most (if not all) of them whereas we can with those who share their experiences in this book.
For example, with Martin J. Boyle who was a district security manager in his company when it volunteered a DC-8 to transport much needed supplies to Armenia. At one point, he made a decision that "was probably career-limiting (if not suicidal) and I did not expect anyone [among senior management or on his team] to agree with me...Conversely, it was very likely that anyone who did assist me would incur unpleasant repercussions from my boss."
We can also identify with Arthur L. Jue who was a relatively new employee at IBM, an entry-level mainframe programmer, when a "firing blitz had begun, but hardly a humane one" at IBM (its first "but sadly not the last") and terrified employees were darting around his building, "seeking support from their peers, and trying to elude the [armed guards] who were assigned to escort them out." How to react? What to do? Would he be among those to be hauled off "like a common criminal [to] the "containment room"? He explains how he formulated what he calls "spirit-centered leadership" amidst the mayhem.
And we can also identify with Carolyn Salerno who was at one time employed by Science Research Associates. Responsible for publication sales in public, charter, and private schools for five Southern California counties, she had to make a decision whether or not to accept a "compelling challenge" presented to her. If she accepted it and failed, "not only would my current job and professional credibility be shattered, but my employer's reputation could also be deeply tarnished."
The process by which these and other decisions were made as well as the nature and extent of their decisions' consequences are best revealed within the context of the chapter in which each situation is presented.
Although there are significant differences between and among those who recall their "leadership moment," all of them had to make a pivotal decision. As I finished reading the last chapter, I was again reminded that those who make "good judgment decisions," even especially courageous decisions, are not necessarily great leaders. However, they are nonetheless admirable as they illustrate why Dante reserved the last and worst ring in hell for those who, in a moral crisis, preserve their neutrality.
"An insightful, thought-provoking volume. These engaging stories highlight actionable principles that teach us how to lead at a higher level--with heart and soul. I couldn't recommend it more highly."
Co-author, The One Minute Manager® and Leading at a Higher Level
"A wise person learns from experience--a wiser person learns from someone else's experience. Read this book and learn from some amazing experiences!"
--Marshall Goldsmith, Ph.D.
Co-editor, The Leader of the Future
Named by Forbes as one of five top executive coaches
"Leadership is everyone's business. You'll never know when opportunity will knock, and you'll be asked to answer the call to take you places you've never been before. The key, as these stories relate, is exploring the inner territory and liberating the leader within."
--Barry Z. Posner, Ph.D.
Dean, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University
Co-author, The Leadership Challenge and A Leader's Legacy
"...a marvelous collection reminding readers that leadership is within the reach of every man and woman. I wholeheartedly recommend it."
Author, Creating the Good Life
"There are watershed events in all our lives that send us on a new trajectory. This is an outstanding compilation of such moments. Best of all, it is written with such deep insight that we can all gain from it."
--Jack Zenger, D.B.A.
Co-author, The Extraordinary Leader
"A no-nonsense primer on how to lead with conviction in a world of uncertainty."
--Hon. Rod Diridon
Executive Director, Mineta Transportation Institute
"Full of spirit, this book inspires readers to develop their own leadership presence through sustainable values and a systems perspective. One of the best leadership books I have read and among the few I recommend to my clients and students."
--Prasad Kaipa, Ph.D.
CEO, The Kaipa Group
Council of Trustees, Society for Organizational Learning
"Compelling stories of courage and leadership, full of candid, behind-the-scenes details."
--Joyce Osland, Ph.D.
Lucas Endowed Professor of Global Leadership, San Jose State University
"These lessons in leading change are a unique blend of theory and practice. If you like stories with morals, you'll love these narratives!"
Corporate Controller, Hewlett-Packard OpenView Software Business
"Exemplary standards for leaders. Authentic, practical, and right on target! I enjoyed the book immensely."
Chairman, Coakley Heagerty
"A powerful and engaging book with vital leadership principles conveyed through masterful storytelling!"
--Gloria Abe, D.M., SPHR
Co-founder, Tyson Leadership College, Tyson Foods, Inc.
"...unique personal perspectives on how, by coming face to face with major life-changing dilemmas, we can provide effective leadership to others."
--Gary Silver, M.D.
Biotech Strategy Associates
"These stories of leadership in the face of adversity are an inspiration to all who strive to move their organizations forward."
--Deborah Ludewig, J.D.
Partner, Kirkpatrick, Lockhart, Nicholson and Graham
"Couldn't put it down until I finished--a must read for every aspiring leader!"
--Ed Cheng, M.D., Ph.D.
Biometric security and e-health pioneer