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Personality at Work: The Drivers and Derailers of Leadership (Business Books) Hardcover – February 20, 2017
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From the Back Cover
"Personality at Work is an essential read for those of us who develop leaders using evidence-based principles and techniques. Personality at Work represents a shift in the quality and sophistication of using personality in the development of leaders. I wish I had this book in the early stages of my work in leader development, but I also treasure it now―the relevance of Personality at Work can’t be overstated.
As leaders are developed, the significance of personality can’t be overlooked, and Ron Warren’s Personality at Work is best-in-genre, it is entirely readable and pricelessly pragmatic. Warren’s work helps any leader craft a data driven, tailored strategy for self-understanding and better leadership. I respect and admire Ron Warren’s energy and intellect, and both shine through the pages of Personality at Work. Tap into the incredible potential between the pages of Personality at Work―I learned so much about myself reading it and I’m a better leader developer because of it!"
Tom Kolditz, PhD Brigadier General, US Army (ret), Professor Emeritus, US Military Academy, Founding Director, West Point Leadership Center; Founding Director, Ann and John Doerr Institute for New Leaders
"Using compelling stories and data to back them up, Warren brings to life the critical importance of personality to effectiveness as a leader. That, combined with his unparalleled skill in translating the academic world of personality theory into something practical make this a must read for anyone looking to drive real organizational change. The LMAP 360 has been one of the cornerstones of our Ignite! Leadership Development program, which has fundamentally changed the way we work at Clayton Homes. Thank you for a powerful tool based on rigorous science and presented in a way that everyone can identify with."
Kevin Clayton, President and CEO, Clayton Homes, Inc.
"Want the truth on how to lead? Read this highly intelligent book. It draws on original research and high-drama real world business cases aptly and deftly. Ron Warren has mastered leadership."
Robert Kaplan, PhD, Co-founder, Kaplan Devries, Author of Fear Your Strengths, The Versatile Leader, and Beyond Ambition
"Want to know how personality plays into success? Look no further than Dr. Warren’s terrific book. His decades of research into employee assessment provide practical insights for leaders at all levels."
Marshall Goldsmith, executive coach, business educator and New York Times-bestselling author, ranked the number one leadership thinker in the world by Thinkers50
"Though I should be used to it by now, I am constantly astonished by Ron Warren's breadth of perspective, depth of insight, and ability to blend scholarly wisdom with practical application. I just cannot believe how Ron has combined such classic knowledge with cutting-edged research to draw such immediately applicable recommendations in Personality at Work. Without dumbing down a single element or overstating the implications of various studies, Ron accurately captures the subtle nuances of various schools of thought, in refreshingly plain English without all the academic jargon. Since I know personally many of the leaders cited in the book (Alan Mulally, Mark Fields, Doug Conant, etc.), I think Ron Warren has masterfully captured key truths in their sagas. Personality at Work is very useful throughout and thoroughly fun to read."
Jeffrey A. Sonnenfeld, Senior Associate Dean for Leadership Studies, Lester Crown Professor of Leadership, Yale School of Management
"Personality at Work by Ron Warren provides a thoughtful framework to analyze one's own personality and strengths, but succeeds on the basis of its storytelling alone. I enjoyed having a seat at the table in the executive meetings of a number of the world’s iconic companies. Mix in some science and the data that rolls out from it, informed by Ronald Warren’s perceptive analyses and you have a thoughtful contribution to the leadership literature."
Whitney Johnson, Thinkers50, World's Most Influential Management Thinkers, author of acclaimed Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work
"Ronald Warren does an excellent job of showing the importance of personality and behavioral skills at work in Personality at Work. With rich examples and relevant research he strongly makes the case that these are factors we can measure and change. These changes can lead directly to increased productivity and success. There's a lot to learn here for leaders and organizations everywhere."
Steven Stein, Ph.D., co-author of The EQ Edge: Emotional Intelligence and Your Success, CEO of Multi-Health Systems – EY Entrepreneur of the Year, 2015
"I was impressed with Ron's work when I was CEO at my first company Kenexa. However he's even better in Personality at Work. A great combination of rigorous, empirical rationality and emotional connectivity using storytelling. Creating models for leadership or simply leading a great life is exceedingly difficult. Ron, as always does it with humor, style and grace. Enjoy the read and make your children read it as well."
Rudy Karsan, Co-founder, Kenexa; Founder, Karlani Capital
"Personality matters. Personality is the polymer bonding knowledge and wisdom in teams to build resilience. In Personality at Work, Ronald Warren explains the elements of personality, that in turn explain how to perceive, think, act and communicate to build and lead effective teams and survive."
Richard Champion de Crespigny, Pilot in Command, Qantas Flight QF32; author QF32 – Australia’s non-fiction book of the year, 2015
"Having coached well over 350 leaders during the last 20 years, I found Ron Warren’s Personality at Work filled with brilliant and actionable insights into the qualities that most frequently drive or block leadership effectiveness or success. In these times of immense uncertainty, volatility and complexity, Personality at Work provides leaders with a well guided vision and sound, scientific principles for what exceptional leadership looks like and what leaders can do to build it. Every committed and conscientious leader should have the close by for continued inspiration and guidance."
Greg Hiebert, Managing Partner, Leadership Coach and Educator, leadershipForward
"It’s all about leadership. Leadership determines the success or failure of an organization. And leadership is driven by personality. Ronald bundles hard facts based on extensive research with practical stories. The book is a must read for those seeking insights into leadership principles and the importance of personality. It clearly helped to remind me about the importance of personality day in and day out."
Peter Mockler, Managing Partner BearingPoint
"This book peels away much of the mystery about how personality factors can determine success – or failure – for leaders. In clear and entertaining style, psychologist Dr. Ron Warren provides data- based strategies and tips for building a balanced personality profile, one that will help you succeed as a leader while avoiding common pitfalls and derailers. Essential reading for aspiring leaders in any discipline."
Paul T. Bartone, PhD., Colonel (Ret.), US Army Professor and Senior Research Fellow Center for Technology and National Security Policy National Defense University
"I cannot over-emphasise how valuable the LMAP and MMAP assessments are in stimulating self-reflection in managers and leaders. This includes the several hundred students who have used them in the MGSM MBA program. Ron Warren's book helps take the reflections deeper and further."
Professor Richard J Badham B.A., Dip.Soc, Ph.D (Warwick), Macquarie Graduate School of Management, Macquarie University North Ryde Sydney NSW 2109
"Ronald Warren’s book offers leaders a great path to improve their leadership effectiveness. It is based on years of experience and understanding of how people work and behave in organizations. It is also a great reminder that the most important thing about any company is the people within. To presume this book does not apply to you would be missing a great opportunity."
Philippe Bourguignon, Vice Chairman, Revolution Places
"In my 25+ years of coaching and developing leaders, I have seen and used my fair share of assessment instruments. The LMAP 360 is, quite simply, the best I have seen. Using poignant real-life examples and a solid foundation of research, Personality at Work paints a compelling picture of why understanding and developing key aspects of personality should be at the core of executive development initiatives today. Striking the perfect balance of hard data and razor-sharp insights, the LMAP has been an ideal tool to help us truly awaken people and organizations to new possibilities and transform human potential into peak performance."
Vergil Metts, Ph.D, President and CEO Impact Associates, Inc.
"I’ve worked with Ron and know how committed he is to using the best tools possible. I’m excited he’s distilled what he’s learned from his years of experience with thousands of clients."
Cade Massey, Practice Professor, The Wharton School
"Warren proposes that an individual's personality is critical to success in the work situation, and in fact personality makes or breaks leadership. I have been using Warren's LMAP for more than five years in my executive coaching work in Asia, and can testify to the validity of these insights provided by this 360 assessment instrument. In Personality at Work, Warren argues his thesis based on research evidence. It provides insights into high-performance practices that leaders at all levels and stages in their career would do well to take on."
John Chan, Managing Partner, Corporate Coaching Partners
"This book identifies a combination of key traits that are correlated with successful leadership. A terrific guide for assessing the right stuff."
Samuel Barondes, Robertson Professor, University of California, San Francisco. Author, Making Sense of People: The Science of Personality Differences
"Ron Warren has done it again - after bringing his insightful leadership process to numerous companies over the years, he now brings his knowledge and insight to all of us. Personality at Work provides fresh insights for leaders in ways that not only are provocative, but that have been proven to move the needle on a company's bottom line. This is a must read for anyone in a leadership role of any kind in business."
Dr. William Putsis, Professor of Marketing, Economics & Business Strategy, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; CEO, Chestnut Hill Associates
"I met Ronald Warren the first time at the Yale School of Management in 2013 in his role as my coach with the LMAP 360. The differentiated content of personal attributes and at the same time the clear und understandable structure of the LMAP was and is the most valuable approach for reflecting myself. This happened at an important moment of my work life and helped me to work on myself in different personal topics. I honestly can say, Ron`s coaching expertise and passion during the common work on the LMAP strongly impressed me over the years up to know. This book is a wonderful way through the LMAP method, not in a theoretical way. In truth, this book is RON with all his extensive experiences and his deep passion."
Frank Henrich, Partner at BearingPoint, Berlin, Germany
"Ron Warren captures the essence of how personality impacts effective leadership through compelling factual events that are backed up by scientific research."
Bill Sex, President, New England Coaching
"Ron Warren’s book, Personality at Work, is compelling, impetuous and more gratifying than the familiar concepts of self-awareness and conscious choice. It is a must read for any leader desiring transformative behaviors in oneself, a team or an organization!”
Stephanie Duatschek, Appointed Faculty, Georgetown University; used LMAP 360 in former role of Vice President, Commercial Ops at MedImmune, an AstraZeneca Co.
"Ronald Warren hits the nail on the head when he shows that personality IS behavior. I see this every day in my work in the C-suite, where the greatest influence on team effectiveness and performance are individual personalities and the team interactions that result. In today's landscape almost everyone is smart, competent, and putting in long hours, but too few leaders recognize that their personality is their key differentiator. This book clearly lays out how personality drives behavior and what leaders can do to bring their best self each day, all based on rigorous research and experience."
Gavin Fenn-Smith, Partner, The River Group
"For years I longed for a 360 feedback tools that would be personality based; we focused too much on measuring competencies but paid inadequate attention to one of the critical leadership differentials. Dr. Ron Warren's LMAP tool was a precious discovery. I met Ron back in 2008 when I attended the Yale CEO College and he was my coach. I introduced Ron to Asia and brought him and the LMAP tool to Singapore. Since then, many had benefited from this leadership development tool and Asia has gotten onto LMAP's worldwide database. I have since used LMAP repeatedly to assist in executive coaching and I am delighted that this book has finally come to fruition. It is an easy read, the explanation is clear and precise but I find the descriptions on derailment factors and the appropriate remedial measures particularly useful."
Willie Chan, Retired CEO of Temasek Management Services, Singapore
"After completing my LMAP 360 at Yale School of Management, I was a fan. This book is a must-read for Sales Managers, Results-oriented professionals, Coaches, and Parents like me, whose goal is to foster others’ Best Self by advancing ours first. I specially recommend the Behavior action plan of the last appendix."
Rogelio Medina, Sales Manager, European team, Fortune 500 Software Company
"Many leaders think they know themselves well ... Chances are you don't! In P@W Ron has taken the hard data from his years of work with leaders and their teams on LMAP and articulates very simply how your personality ... how you behave ... matters. If you LISTEN your team will tell you; it's not about being everyone’s friend, but the old maxim of 'you reap what you sow' has never been clearer."
Tim Dugan, former-CEO Chris O'Brien Lifehouse, Sydney Cancer Center
“Personality at Work propels readers to understand how personality affects behaviors at work and to reflect on how their own personality helps and hinders their success. Across these pages, Warren is an innately curious and an altruistically-motivated coach who masterfully balances fascinating case studies, evidence-based best practices, and personal anecdotes to help leaders relate to and motivate their employees. For many years, I have watched Ron Warren build 360-degree personality assessment to its largest scale in the history of organizational personality assessment. I’m glad that this book now offers a broader audience the benefits of his unique expertise that spans personality science, clinical psychology, and leadership coaching.”
Brian S. Connelly, Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Integrative Perspectives on Personality, University of Toronto Scarborough
"I experienced firsthand the LMAP360 instrument with Ron at Yale's CEO College. Ron has succinctly identified and clarified the intricate and complex linkages between personality and leadership, offering a holistic lens into the art and craft of leadership. Ron's real-world vignettes enable the reader to gain significant insights into how personality impacts the practice of leadership, provide lively descriptions of multiple personality styles in action, and create a paradigm for strategic, effective leadership. I highly recommend his unique and meaningful work."
Sharafat (Shaz) Khan, PhD., Partner, Deloitte Consulting LLP
"Most business books by psychologists focus rather absurdly on one or another small dimension of the person – from "sticking" to habits to body language – and while they make fun reads and are ego-gratifying for academics who get to show off their clever experiments, they do little to help a person who wants to develop. Ron has invested thirty years in integrating the best findings of his profession, pulling them together in a comprehensive assessment and coaching system, and developed the rare ability to help people make change, relatively quickly and enduringly.
Ron chose to build a book like one might design an executive program at a leading business school. He provides rich, compelling, almost novelistic stories of leaders in action, failing as well as succeeding, struggling with their personality traits and those of others, and seeking to develop the grit to carry on and the emotional intelligence to lead.
Ron's book is informed by his experience, and he seeks to communicate as much as he can in book form. Over several decades Ron led a living lab by collaborating with major organizations and their leaders, and in programs at HBS and Yale SOM. As such, he is in the position to offer a tour de force and delivers."
James Fredrick Moore PhD, Founder and CEO of GeoPartners Research, Author of The Death of Competition, and McKinsey Award Winner, Predators and Prey.
About the Author
Ronald A. Warren, Ph.D., developed the LMAP 360 assessment used by top education institutions, corporations, and healthcare systems worldwide. Ron has worked in clinical and organizational psychology and has been published in American Journal of Psychiatry, Adolescence, and Measures of Leadership.
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Top customer reviews
This book cuts through all the b.s. advice you hear on leadership development. We have an abundance of self-appointed experts who collectively produce thousands of new articles and books every year telling you how to become a better leader, or how you can develop more effective leaders. There are many firms who want to sell their consulting packages, trainings or leadership assessments. But when you look at their credentials, you find many of these experts, writers, and consultants don't have the strong evidence-based approach or scientific training in this field. Or you will find they have a narrow lens into leadership -- one that doesn't focus on the whole picture of both drivers and derailers of leadership performance. What you get with Ron's book is what I would call a holistic model because it looks broadly at personality and not just on the "feel good" stuff. And you get a view into leadership that is based on research evidence rather than something purely anecdotal. Ron has a PhD in psychology. He is all about scientific rigor.
Many people in recent years have asked me about the strengths-based approaches to leadership development. Overall it's a good thing that we have more strengths-based dialogue in psychology and in the workplace right now. Strengths-based people say you should focus most of your professional improvement on your strengths, on leveraging them more, and finding assignments or roles that use your strengths. What about your deficiencies? The reasoning is, you gain more by investing time in projects and challenges that play to your strengths. Strengths based people say, turn those strengths into super strengths rather that focusing on roles or projects that bring one of your deficiencies up to average. Careful, my friends! That's risky. This book helps you understand why it's risky to focus so heavily on a person's strengths if you want them to thrive as a leader. Leadership roles demand a lot of a person. Encourage professionals to know their strengths and leverage strengths when they can — at the same time, encourage people to be aware of their deficiencies and to bring deficiencies up. Is this hard? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes. What you get in this book is a holistic and broad view of personality that looks both at the drivers and the derailers of leadership performance.
Another chapter of this book covers team performance. You learn about effective teams, how they behave differently from average and below average teams. You also learn about decision making and biases, how to reduce bias in decision making, and improve performance. There is so much good science packed into this book. It is the type of book you will pick up again and again for reference.
For me, reading this book also helped me on a personal level at work. For example, Ron points out that the research reveals a trait — “approval seeking” -- that derails effectiveness in leadership roles. Upon reading this, I realized I had this trait in me because I like to please people too much at work. That's me operating in my comfort zone. But reading this book make me realize that seeking approval from others (to gain consensus on everything, and to always be liked) is not an effective way to lead or influence others at work. It might make you feel good. Approval seeking behaviors might feel rewarding because you seem non-threatening to everyone. You put everyone at ease. But the research suggests that approval seeking does not drive leadership effectiveness. It's a derailer. If you read this book, you will be able to review your own behaviors at work to see which ones really do support you to be excellent in your role (whether you're a formally appointed leader or not). And you'll get guidance from this book on how you can develop into a much more effective leader. Even small behavioral changes, done with consistency, yield noticeable results, in my experience.
If you want to become a more effective leader, or if you support professionals to become more effective leaders, then I would strongly recommend this book.
Yes, find all of this and more in a coherent, lucid, highly readably, and succinct 250 page book. The insights are grounded in a decade of 360 degree assessments collected for thousands of leaders plus a survey of current research and respected, related literature. I found a coherent framework for understanding personalities and a context that brought fresh and deeper understanding of the topics listed above. That I found so much value in this book surprised me. That I enjoyed it as much as I did was even more surprising. For example, the author includes examples of leadership disasters and disasters avoided by thoughtful leadership. And for all I’ve read about Apple and Steve Jobs, new stories and fresh interpretation were page-turners.
As a Brand Experience and Engagement consultant, I work with organizations and their leaders. I need to quickly understand leaders’ and employees' personalities and strengths to adapt how I communicate and to interpret the data I get from observations, interviews and meetings. The more accurate my understanding, the better I’m able to collaborate. I find the LMAP model with its circumplex of 4 dimensions and 13 traits practical and a complement to the Clifton’s Strengthfinder I’ve used for years.
This is a must-read book on par with other favorites of mine including Mindset, Strengthfinder 2.0, Drive, Triggers, MAGIC, Nudge. If you have any interest in developing the performance and well-being of LEADERS and TEAMS, read this book. In fact, if you’re interested in furthering your own professional and personal development, read this book!
The book is filled with relatable stories about leaders who created toxic environments, those who succeeded by balancing a tough minded approach on issues with an empathetic approach with people, and those who were able to transform themselves based on the insights gained through the personality based LMAP 360 tool described in this book. I look forward to using the LMAP 360 with my clients and to sharing this book with clients and other practitioners alike.