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The Extraordinary Leader: Turning Good Managers into Great Leaders
     

The Extraordinary Leader: Turning Good Managers into Great Leaders

3.7 4
by John Zenger
 

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People can learn how to lead. This was the position John H. Zenger and Joseph R. Folkman took when they wrote their now-classic leadership book The Extraordinary Leader—and it’s a fact they reinforce in this new, completely updated edition of their bestseller.

When it was first published, The Extraordinary Leader immediately

Overview

People can learn how to lead. This was the position John H. Zenger and Joseph R. Folkman took when they wrote their now-classic leadership book The Extraordinary Leader—and it’s a fact they reinforce in this new, completely updated edition of their bestseller.

When it was first published, The Extraordinary Leader immediately attracted a wide audience of aspiring leaders drawn to its unique feature: the extensive use of scientific studies and hard data, which served to demystify the concept of leadership and get readers thinking about the subject in a pragmatic way.

Now, Zenger and Folkman revisit the subject to address leaders’ most pressing concerns today. The result is an up-to-date, essential leadership guide for the twenty-first century that includes:

  • Late-breaking research on the psychology of leadership
  • New information on leading in a global environment
  • A breakthrough case study on measuring improved leadership behavior
  • Studies revealing the importance of follow-through

The Extraordinary Leader is a remarkable combination of expert insight and extensive research. The authors analyzed more than 200,000 assessments describing 20,000 managers—by far the most expansive research ever conducted for a leadership book.

Zenger and Folkman have created the leadership book of the ages. The Extraordinary Leader explains how to build leadership skills that will take you and your organization to unimagined success.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780071630030
Publisher:
McGraw-Hill Education
Publication date:
06/07/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
1,034,672
File size:
3 MB

Read an Excerpt

Sometime in October, about six weeks after the attack, several friends and readers remarked to me, ``Your columns are really angry.'' I honestly hadn't thought about it, but once they pointed it out I said, ``You know, I am angry.'' I was angry that my country had been violated in this way, angry at the senseless deaths of so many innocent people, angry at the megalomaniacal arrogance of Osama bin Laden and his men, who so blithely assumed that their grievance, whatever it was, justified this mass murder. I was angry that my stock broker, Mark Madden, lost his brother in one of the Trade Center Towers, and angry at all the analyses about why people around the world hate America -- when all I could think about was how much I hated these terrorists.

But most of all, of course, I was angry that the America I had grown up in would never quite be the same for my two daughters, ages thirteen and sixteen. It only took a couple of weeks after Sept. 11 before my daughter Orly's county youth orchestra, which had been planning a tour to Italy over the summer -- a tour which had motivated Orly to practice extra hard all summer in order to retain her chair in the violin section -- announced that the trip was canceled. It was too dangerous for an American orchestra to be traveling around Italy, the staff concluded. I thought this was an awful decision. In fact, I was outraged. But other parents were more worried, and there was no persuading them otherwise -- although I wanted to. It was a new world knocking, and I didn't want to let it in.

Ditto at my daughter Natalie's junior high school. She was supposed to take a class trip to New York three weeks after Sept. 11. We had a parents' meeting. The overwhelming sentiment was against going. Some of the teachers said their own kids would be afraid to see them go. I understood, but I didn't understand. It was a new world knocking, and I didn't want to let it in. So I refused to acknowledge that there was any reason to change any plans. I insisted on going to concerts and Baltimore Oriole's baseball games; I chafed at the extra searches suddenly imposed at Camden Yards, and got enraged while standing in long security lines at Dulles Airport. It was a new world knocking -- not the one I had grown up in, but the one my girls would now grow up in -- and I didn't want to let it in.

To be honest, it wasn't only about my kids. Because, as a journalist, I often travel to war zones and other not particularly nice places, coming home to America has always had a special feel for me. Often I would come home from trips abroad -- to Russia or Venezuela, the West Bank or Africa -- and my wife would ask me how it was, and I would answer: ``You know, honey, the wheels aren't on very tight out there.'' I would often come home and marvel at things like Camden Yards -- the beautiful downtown stadium in Baltimore -- or the sleek, clean subway system in Washington, and think to myself how much community, how many tax dollars and how much sheer working together by different people, by different government agencies and the private sector, it took to build these public institutions. And I would think how great it was to live in a country that could come together to create the public goods and public spaces that make up the quilt and quality of American society. No matter how crazy the world was out there, America was my cocoon that I could always crawl back into, where my girls would always be safe.

That's what was violated on Sept. 11, and it was violated by people who didn't even know us.

That's why the American in me was so angry. But the reporter in me was also very curious. Who exactly were these people? What historical forces produced them? So these two impulses -- anger and curiosity -- have been my emotional companions ever since Sept. 11, wrestling for my head and heart, one winning one day and the other the next. They have been the hammer an anvil out of which every one of my columns was forged.

What People are Saying About This

E. Spong
Extraordinarily readable! This book represents some of the best thinking on leadership I've seen in a long while.
— President, Military Aerospace Support, The Boeing Company
Marshall Goldsmith
"This is a 'must read' for coaches, leaders, and those who develop them. The Extraordinary Leader goes beyond anecdotes or 'war stories,' it builds upon comprehensive research. It is destined to be a classic in our field."--(Marshall Goldsmith, named by Forbes as one of five top executive coaches and one of the Wall Street Journal's "Top 10" executive educators)
E. David Spong
"Extraordinarily readable! This book represents some of the best thinking on leadership I've seen in a long while."--(E. David Spong, President, Military Aerospace Support, The Boeing Company)
Ralph Christensen
"Finally someone has moved beyond theory and complicated models to tell us what great leaders really bring to the party. Zenger and Folkman have effectively summarized data on 20,000 leaders that help us understand what really makes leaders tick. Any serious student of leadership will both enjoy this book's jour- ney and walk away with useful new insights that will help them and others."--(Ralph Christensen, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Hallmark Cards, Inc.)
James M. Kouzes
"I fell in love with The Extraordinary Leader on page one. From the moment I started reading I really got jazzed, and my enthusiasm only increased the more I read. If your goal is to be a better leader than you are today, then you must read this book."--(James M. Kouzes, Chairman Emeritus, Tom Peters Company, co-author of The Leadership Challenge and Encouraging the Heart)

Meet the Author

John H. Zenger, D.B.A., is CEO of Zenger Folkman, a firm that helps organizations and individuals improve leadership effectiveness that, in turn, drives business results. These results include increasing employee engagement, retention, productivity, and bottom-line profitability. He is a member of the HRD Hall of Fame and has authored or coauthored eight books and 50 articles on leadership, productivity, and teams.

Joseph R. Folkman, Ph.D., is president of Zenger Folkman. He is an authoritative voice on the subject of creating and using employee surveys to create organizational change and 360- degree feedback assessment for individual development. Folkman is the author of three books: Turning Feedback into Change, Making Feedback Work, and Employee Surveys That Make a Difference.

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The Extraordinary Leader: Turning Good Managers into Great Leaders 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
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I gained several new and useful insights from this book. I especially enjoyed the fact that the information, conclusions and recommendations for leadership development are data-based. Too many books on leadership are opinion driven or based on anecdotal information. Two insights I plan to use immediately in my work with leaders are 1) Focus on a leaders strengths, not their weaknesses; and 2) Use of 'Competency Companions' to assist leaders in selecting what to work on as a result of 360 degree feedback they receive. Zenger and Folkman make a strong case for wasting time and money in 'fixing' a leader's minor flaws. Their data shows that focus on improving one or two strengths will drive upward all of a leader's competencies. The 'competency companions' concept documented by Zenger and Folkman is a new and innovative process for the devlopment of leaders through the use of 360 feedback. Instead of focusing directly on the specific competency a leader chooses to improve, they select one or two competency companions linked to that specific competency and work on those. This will have the effect of improving the original competency. In my experience it does work. I plan to use the concepts, tools and processes described in this newest volume on leadership development.