Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value / Edition 1

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 93%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (63) from $1.99   
  • New (9) from $18.95   
  • Used (54) from $1.99   


In the wake of continuing corporate scandals there have been few,if any, CEOs that have stepped forward as models of "doing thingsright"–except the former chairman and CEO of Medtronic, BillGeorge. George has become the unofficial spokesperson forresponsible leadership–in business, the media, and academia.

In Authentic Leadership Bill George makes the case that we neednew leaders, not just new laws, to bring us out of the currentcorporate crisis. He persuasively demonstrates that authenticleaders of mission-driven companies will create far greatershareholder value than financially oriented companies. DuringGeorge’s twelve-year leadership at Medtronic, thecompany’s market capitalization soared from $1.1 billion to$60 billion, averaging 35 percent per year.

George candidly recounts many of the toughest challenges heencountered–from ethical dilemmas and battles with the FDA tohis own development as a leader. He shows how to develop the fiveessential dimensions of authentic leaders–purpose, values,heart, relationships, and self-discipline. Authentic Leadershipoffers inspiring lessons to all who want to lead with heart andwith compassion for those they serve.

Bill George helps readers answer vital questions such as: Whatshould I do when my personal values conflict with company businessvalues? How do I make trade-offs between the needs of my customers,my employees, and my company’s shareholders? Do I really wantto devote my talents to business?

Authentic Leadership provides a tested guide for character-basedleaders and all those who have a stake in the integrity and successof our corporations.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“…even sceptics will like the book’s balancedtone...” (Management Today, Feb. 2005)

George candidly recounts his experiences as chair and CEO ofMedtronic, a medical technology producer, and makes a case that weneed new, authentic business leaders. The five essential dimensionsof "authentic" leaders are purpose, values, heart, relationships,and self-discipline. In the scorched, post-Enron corporate world,this motivational how-to will help developing business leaders findthe path to personal and business success. (Best Business Books2003, Library Journal, March 15, 2004)

George, a former Medtronic CEO, sets the tone early in his book:"Somewhere along the way we lost sight of the imperative ofselecting leaders that create healthy corporations for the longterm." It would be wonderful if George then provided readers hungryfor change with a blueprint for how this could happen; alas, suchis not the case. George's thesis - too many CEOs think only in theshort term and of the stock price, eventually losing a company'sfocus in the hurtling pursuit of all Street validation - is not abad one. His proposal: a call for "authentic leadership," that is,finding a leader who doesn't try to emulate the greats, becausesuch copycatting will never result in authenticity or honestleadership. It all gets a bit fuzzy at times, and George (whoBusinessWeek recognized as a top-25 manager in 1998) relies far toomuch on his experience at Medtronic, a medical technology producer.Although George's company seems a good example of what he's talkingabout (he once made headlines by boldly declaring "Shareholderscome third," after customers and employees), there's not arigor9ous enough attempt here to make that example universallyapplicable. Though superbly moral and inspiring, this volume is notas helpful as it could be. (Aug.)
Forecast: With appearances on Meet the Press and Talk of theNation, George has a recognizable name in the media, and scheduledinterviews on NPR and the Charlie Rose Show will only help withbook sales. (Publishers Weekly, July 7, 2003)

"There is a great deal of valuable insight in AuthenticLeadership. One can only wish that Mr. George had written itfive years ago, before so many chief executives led their companiesso badly astray." (New York Times, July 27, 2003)

Publishers Weekly
George, a former Medtronic CEO, sets the tone early in his book: "Somewhere along the way we lost sight of the imperative of selecting leaders that create healthy corporations for the long term." It would be wonderful if George then provided readers hungry for change with a blueprint for how this could happen; alas, such is not the case. George's thesis-too many CEOs think only in the short term and of the stock price, eventually losing a company's focus in the hurtling pursuit of Wall Street validation-is not a bad one.. His proposal: a call for "authentic leadership," that is, finding a leader who doesn't try to emulate the greats, because such copycatting will never result in authenticity or honest leadership. It all gets a bit fuzzy at times, and George (who BusinessWeek recognized as a top-25 manager in 1998) relies far too much on his experience at Medtronic, a medical technology producer. Although George's company seems a good example of what he's talking about (he once made headlines by boldly declaring "Shareholders come third," after customers and employees), there's not a rigorous enough attempt here to make that example universally applicable. Though superbly moral and inspiring, this volume is not as helpful as it could be. (Aug.) Forecast: With appearances on Meet the Press and Talk of the Nation, George has a recognizable name in the media, and scheduled interviews on NPR and the Charlie Rose Show will only help with book sales. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Soundview Executive Book Summaries
A Better Way to Create Lasting Value
According to former Medtronic CEO Bill George, when leaders are dedicated stewards and lead in an authentic manner, they build long-lasting organizations that do great good for people and make a giant difference in the world. To help leaders move past the greed that has seduced many others into sacrificing the future of their organizations and the people they lead, George has written a guide that describes a better plan for leading companies. In Authentic Leadership, he offers a way to lead that builds enduring organizations and benefits everyone who has a stake in a company, including customers, employees, and shareholders. He writes that his goal is to show leaders that embracing authentic leadership can reward them with the satisfaction of making a difference in the lives of customers, providing opportunities for employees, and generating superior long-term returns for shareholders.

George begins his book with a special thanks to Enron and Arthur Andersen. He explains that the depth of their misconduct shocked the world and awakened us all to the reality that business was headed toward self-destruction. Although regulators and lawmakers have crafted a few new laws to close loopholes, George writes that integrity, stewardship and sound governance are deeper issues that must be addressed by leaders themselves.

Building Enduring Organizations
His prescription for better leadership is authentic leaders of the highest integrity who are committed to building enduring organizations, who have the courage to build their companies to meet the needs of all their stakeholders, and who recognize the importance of their service to society. Authentic Leadership offers a fresh approach to business leaders that has been "refined in the crucible of real-world experience," while presenting the lessons George learned while dealing with tough issues throughout his career as a successful leader.

In the first part of his book, George describes authentic leaders and how they develop. He writes that they genuinely desire to serve others through their leadership and are more interested in empowering the people they lead to make a difference than they are in power, money or prestige for themselves. They are as guided by passion and compassion as they are by their logical minds.

To develop authenticity, George writes that each leader must develop his or her own leadership style that is consistent with his or her personality and character. The authenticity of the leader is more important than the style with which the leader leads. Authenticity means accepting one's faults as well as using one's strengths. George writes that authentic leaders demonstrate these five qualities:

  1. Authentic leaders understand their purpose.
  2. They practice solid values.
  3. They lead with heart.
  4. They establish connected relationships.
  5. They demonstrate self-discipline.

In the second part of Authentic Leadership, George reveals the ways authentic leaders build authentic companies. He writes that an authentic company is guided by a mission and vision, and practices a consistent set of values while empowering its employees to serve customers with innovative products and superior service. Being disciplined enough to produce results for all stakeholders is also a crucial part of an authentic company.

The Homology Process
George writes that another ingredient in the recipe for creating an authentic company is homology. This is the process by which the leader and the organization interact and grow from interacting with each other. Through interactions with the company, the leader becomes more effective in his or her role. As a result, the organization responds to his or her leadership.

Authentic Leadership also describes how authentic companies compete more effectively in the market and how authentic leaders look beyond the bottom line when pursuing a mission, living by one's values, and satisfying stakeholders. George writes that authentic companies that want to succeed for many decades to come must have a sound system of governance and build in leadership succession for several generations. Authentic leaders must also play a role in the greater society by tackling public policy issues and addressing challenging societal problems.

Why We Like This Book
Authentic Leadership reveals the time-tested leadership lessons learned by an important leader during his lifetime and productive tenure at the helm of a leading medical technology company, and shows leaders how they can create similarly astounding results. Filled with detailed stories from George's personal and business life, this book offers leaders a better way out of the current corporate crisis. Copyright © 2004 Soundview Executive Book Summaries

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787969134
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 8/1/2003
  • Series: J-B Warren Bennis Series , #18
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 340,048
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Bill George is former chairman and CEO of Medtronic, theworld's leading medical technology company. He is a board member ofGoldman Sachs, Target, and Novartis and executive-in-residence atYale. George has been recognized as "Executive of the Year" by theAcademy of Management, "Director of the Year" by the NationalAssociation of Corporate Directors, and one of BusinessWeek’s"Top 25 Managers." He has been widely quoted in the New YorkTimes, Fortune, Face the Nation, The News Hourwith Jim Lehrer, and NPR's All Things Considered. HisWeb site is

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface: A New Generation of Leaders
Introduction: Where Have All the Leaders Gone? 1
1 Leadership Is Authenticity, Not Style 11
2 The Transformation of Leaders 27
3 Leading a Balanced Life 45
4 Missions Motivate, Dollars Don't 61
5 Values Don't Lie 71
6 It's the Customer, Stupid! 81
7 It's Not Just the CEO 91
8 Whose Bottom Line: Customers or Shareholders? 101
9 Seven Deadly Sins: Pitfalls to Growth 109
10 Overcoming Obstacles: Nothing Can Stand in Your Way 117
11 Ethical Dilemmas: When in Rome, Don't Follow the Romans 127
12 Innovations from the Heart 133
13 Acquisitions Aren't Just About Money 143
14 Shareholders Come Third 153
15 Governance Is Governance 165
16 Sticking Your Neck Out 177
17 Preparing for Succession ... and Moving On 187
Epilogue: If Not Me, Then Who? If Not Now, When? 197
Medtronic Financial Results 201
Suggested Reading 203
Acknowledgments 207
The Author 209
Index 211
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2003

    purpose, values, heart, relationships, and self-discipline.

    Yes, these ingredients for leadership are included in every leadership book and seminar. If you want to do more than lead, but OPTIMIZE your leadership, I suggest Optimal Thinking by Rosalene Glickman, where the leader learns how to be their best regardless of the cirumstances, create the best results and bring out the best from others.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2003

    Business values we need, right now

    This book shows that business values most say are key but few follow -- long term growth, caring about employees and customers, and ethics --really can be combined to create a great company. Bill George is a real life CEO, not a therorist. His story of his career and the buliding of Medtronic is very interesting in itself and surprisingly personal in some aspects.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2003

    A book that is relevant to our time...

    Bill George¿s book is a powerful challenge ¿ to individuals and to organizations. What¿s more, it helps that it does not come from a celebrity CEO ¿ this is from someone who has achieved enormous success and recognition, but for all the right reasons. For the individual, the book is demanding because it shifts the responsibility directly back to the reader ¿ no quick solutions or ¿how to be a leader in 10 easy steps¿. The simple, but powerful notion of authenticity - to be yourself - is one that is all too easy to gloss over. Faced with complex academic models on leadership and even more complex corporate notions of leadership using long lists of required traits, it is often difficult for the up and coming leader to discover and develop the unique aspects of personality. What could be more daunting in our world of idealized celebrities and leaders to be told to `be yourself¿? In that sense, this book is a challenge to so much of our corporate and educational culture. From an organizational perspective, this book goes closely with Jim Collins¿ work. The case for the mission and values driven company with a longer term strategic horizon has been provided with new and powerful evidence. George, as CEO, provides the practitioner¿s perspective to sit along side the research of Collins. In not being a recipe book for leadership, the book requires time to think and reflect after reading. I suspect you won¿t reach the end of the book, shut it closed and say, ¿ I got it - I now know what to do!¿ It may in fact raise more questions and require working with George¿s model of authenticity over time. So if you want a quick fix, this is not the book for you. But if you want to be stimulated to think about your life, your leadership and the company you work for, this book is highly recommended.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)