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Leading Minds: An Anatomy Of Leadership Paperback – June 14, 1996

4.4 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In a novel analysis of leadership, writing with Project Zero staff member Laskin, Harvard education professor Gardner defines a leader as one who successfully imparts a central message or story to a receptive audience. In their framework, Eleanor Roosevelt exemplified the "story" that a woman of ordinary appearance could improve the lot of the disadvantaged and refute the misconception that only men can lead. Martin Luther King Jr. embodied the precept that African Americans must stand up nonviolently for their rights. The authors differentiate visionaries?leaders who create new stories, such as Gandhi and Jean Monnet, architect of a unified Europe?from such innovative leaders as Margaret Thatcher, who identify a theme latent in the population but neglected over the years and give it a new twist. Other leaders on whom they focus are George Marshall, Margaret Mead, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Pope John XXIII, former General Motors president Alfred P. Sloan Jr. and educator Robert Hutchins. This study will repay the close attention of aspiring leaders in many fields. Photos.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

The man who revolutionized our understanding of intelligence and creativity with such books as Frames of Mind and Creating Minds now does the same for leadership. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; First Trade Paper Edition edition (June 14, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465082807
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465082803
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,129,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bill Godfrey on June 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
There are many studies of leadership from almost as many perspectives. Howard Gardner focuses on the leader as creator, teller and living exponent of a story, and makes an overwhelming case for the centrality of this function in leadership, and its complement, countering the counter-stories that exist in the organisation. Leaders who understand and use this book will add greatly to their effectiveness.
The idea of the leader as living exponent of a story is combined with the concept of the 'five year old mind'. Simply put, even sophisticated people are not sophisticated in all domains. In other domains, the common denominator of shared understanding is the 'five year old mind', the five year old having a very concrete, literal and emotionally based understanding of the world. For success, a leader should know how to appeal to the five year old mind, as well as to more sophisticated audiences.
There are three parts - and do not miss the preface to the paperback edition. The first is 'A Framework for leadership', which states the main thesis.
"When one thinks of the leader as a story-teller, whose stories must wrestle with those that are already operative in the mind of an audience, one obtains a powerful way of conceptualizing the work of leading. It is important for leaders to know their stories, to get them straight, to communicate them effectively, and, above all, to embody in their lives the stories that they tell."
The second part consists of case studies of people who exemplify leadership across various domains.
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Format: Paperback
Brilliant! Howard Gardner and Emma Laskins' LEADING MINDS : AN ANATOMY OF LEADERSHIP is simply Brilliant! Their rigorous analysis of Leadership and wonderful case studies of several contemporary leaders is enthralling. One, if not the, most interesting and insightful investigations into the topic of Leadership.
Howard Gardner, himself a leader in the area of Multiple Intelligences, brings his profound insight on the human mind to a much written about but poorly understood topic of Leadership. Gardner and Laskins' identify six key constants of Leadership including:
1. A Story - Leaders must have a central message or story that speaks directly to the "unschooled mind."
2. An Audience - There must be an audience to act upon the message.
3. An Organization - To endure, leaders must have some type of organizational basis.
4. The Embodiment - To be effective, a leader must be able to "walk the talk."
5. Direct and Indirect Leadership - Leaders have options to exert their influence either indirectly or directly.
6. Expertise - In order for leaders to obtain any credibility, they must be experts within their domain.
Their case studies excellently illustrate and humanize their theory on Leadership. I, as one of the multitude of "unschooled minds", found the stories of contemporary leaders deeply compelling. I have gained a new and deeper appreciation for Margaret Mead, Pope John XXIII, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I now have an intense desire to learn as much as possible regarding the lives and tremendous contributions of all three of these Leaders.
The case studies provide a much needed, if unintended, comical relief to this serious topic.
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Format: Paperback
This is the first book that I read by Howard Gardner, and I now find myself reading all of his books. Before reading this book, I had noticed that the most effective people I know are good story tellers who live their lives in a way that is consistent with their stories. But I had failed to appreciate that this is the core of effective leadership. As you can imagine, I began polishing up my story-telling and story-living skills. This has made an enormous difference in how I am able to connect with others and draw enjoyment from being with people. One example is that I have changed the way I write, and I find that the messages are much better understood now than before. Whether your interest is in politics, your local charity, your work, or your own family, you will get enough insights from this book to keep you excited as you improve your life for years to come. I also like the way that Professor Gardner made it clear what future research needs to be done, so that we can learn even more. I hope that someone reading this review will decide to take up some of this needed research. A good book to read after this one is CREATING MINDS. I also find the UNSCHOOLED MIND to be very valuable, and we cite it in our book about how to overcome stalled thinking.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book sometime after concluding that national intelligence leadership needed to inspire and appeal to the citizens of the USA at large, rather than being so narrowly focused on staying out of trouble with Congress while collecting secrets. This book reviews leadership of both domains and nations, with case studies on Margaret Mead (Culture), J. Robert Oppenheimer (Physics), Robert Maynard Hutchins (Education), Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. (Business), George C. Marshall (Military), Pope John XXII (Religion), Eleanor Roosevelt (Ordinariness and Extraordinariness), Martin Luther King (Minority) and Margaret Thatcher (National). The best leaders that emerge are those who are willing to confront authority and take risk, while also creating networks of contacts that number in the hundreds or thousands rather than tens. Most tellingly, aleader in a discipline (e.g. intelligence) only emerges as a long-term leader if he finally realizes that "he is more likely to achieve his personal goals or to satisfy his community if he addresses a wider audience than if he remains completely within a specific domain." The six constants of leadership are the story, the audience (beginning with a message for the unschooled mind), the organization, the embodiment, a choice between direct (more practical) and indirect (more reflective and often more enduring) leadership, and a paradox-the direct leaders often lack knowledge while the indirect leaders often have greater knowledge, and transferring knowledge from the indirect leader to the direct leader may be one of the central challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century.
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