The Wisdom of Failure: How to Learn the Tough Leadership Lessons Without Paying the Price
  • The Wisdom of Failure: How to Learn the Tough Leadership Lessons Without Paying the Price
  • The Wisdom of Failure: How to Learn the Tough Leadership Lessons Without Paying the Price

The Wisdom of Failure: How to Learn the Tough Leadership Lessons Without Paying the Price

by Laurence G. Weinzimmer, Jim McConoughey
     
 

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"These fresh voices on the leadership stage show us that by looking honestly at failure, we can better navigate around it. An essential read for current and aspiring leaders."
Jack Stack, CEO, SRC Holdings; bestselling author, The Great Game of Business

There is a paradox in leadership: we can succeed only by knowing failure. Every

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Overview

"These fresh voices on the leadership stage show us that by looking honestly at failure, we can better navigate around it. An essential read for current and aspiring leaders."
Jack Stack, CEO, SRC Holdings; bestselling author, The Great Game of Business

There is a paradox in leadership: we can succeed only by knowing failure. Every accomplished leader knows there are minefields of failures that need to be navigated in order to succeed. Unfortunately, at a certain level, learning from failure is not an option. Wouldn't it be great to have the insights to help you prevent avoidable mistakes? Yet, in business, talking about mistakes can be taboo.

In The Wisdom of Failure, Laurence Weinzimmer and Jim McConoughey speak frankly about the things that are difficult to talk about: the unvarnished truths necessary to become a successful leader. Based on a groundbreaking seven-year study of almost 1,000 managers across 21 industries and exclusive interviews with CEOs at a wide range of organizations including Intel, Caterpillar, and Priceline.com, the book uncovers the three most damning leadership mistakes:

  • Unbalanced Orchestration—leadership failures at the organizational level
  • Drama Management—leadership failures at the team level
  • Personality Issues—leadership failures at the personal level

The authors share real-world stories of mistakes leaders have made or avoided and offer practical strategies to help you identify and proactively prevent the potential for failure.

Learning from the mistakes of others is an invaluable part of the journey of effective leadership. Weinzimmer and McConoughey offer an indispensable guide to learning these powerful lessons—without paying the price of failure.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“After reading only one of the chapter headings of TheWisdom of Failure—‘Does This Doorframe Make My HeadLook Big?’—I knew I was in for a real treat. Luckilyfor me, the rest of the book does not disappoint. Through theiranalysis of many pointed leadership examples in American business,the authors distill corporate lessons into pearls of wisdom fromwhich all of us can learn.”
—Marshall Goldsmith, New York Times bestselling author,MOJO and What Got You Here Won't Get YouThere

“A definitive piece of work that makes a most compellingconnection between understanding failure and experiencing success.A must-read for serious-minded leaders who want to take theirbusinesses to higher ground in an enduring way.”
—Douglas R. Conant, former president, CEO, and director,Campbell Soup Company; New York Times bestselling author,Touchpoints

“In this important new book from Weinzimmer andMcConoughey, we discover how true it is, that the best leaders arethe best learners. The Wisdom of Failure is a rare, honestlook at both sides of the leadership story. Solidly researched andfilled with practical examples you can apply immediately, this bookshould be read by leaders across the board.”
—Jim Kouzes, Dean's Executive Fellow of Leadership, LeaveySchool of Business, Santa Clara University; bestselling coauthor,The Leadership Challenge

“All great leaders learn from their mistakes, but mistakesare a precious and costly resource. This provocative and thoughtfulbook allows you to learn from others’ mistakes, so you canlearn without paying the price. Buy copies for everyone on yourteam and leverage these lessons on your journey to creatingextraordinary results.”
—Saj-nicole Joni, confidential CEO advisor; bestsellingauthor, The Right Fight

The Wisdom of Failure is an epiphany. From thevery first chapter, Weinzimmer and McConoughey shift thereader’s focus beyond short term accolades and trade-offs toa horizon where a leader can find true success and accomplishment.In their well-researched book, the authors give leaders the toughlove they need to learn from their mistakes before their mistakesbecome costly. A must-read for aspiring, new, and seasonedleaders.”
—Jennifer Robin, Ph.D., author, The GreatWorkplace

“The importance of understanding failure’s lessonscannot be overstated in today’s fast-moving businessenvironment, and The Wisdom of Failure offers a smartresearch-based guide to navigating these tough leadership lessons.You’ll be engaged from the very first page.”
—Amy C. Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership andManagement, Harvard Business School; author, Teaming

The Wisdom of Failure allows you to benefit fromthe inevitable growth that comes from failure without having toexperience it first-hand. An invaluable read for anyone striving tomove themselves and their business forward.”
—Dan Schawbel, founder, Millennial Branding; author, Me2.0

“Never before has learning from failure been moreimportant—to innovation, to learning, to strategy underuncertainty, and to the development of the next generation ofleaders. Ironically, in many organizations the attitude towardsfailure virtually guarantees not only that people won’t learnits valuable lessons but that they will also suffer the brunt ofits downsides. This well-researched and accessible book is a timelysummary of how failure can be useful, even essential, and serves asa welcome reminder of the importance of ‘failingforward.’”
—Rita Gunther McGrath, strategy and innovation advisor,Columbia Business School Professor; coauthor, Discovery-DrivenGrowth

“Having worked with hundreds of emerging companies, I haveseen failure in all flavors! Finally we have, in one well-writtenbook, the lessons learned from such experiences. The Wisdom ofFailure is an instant business classic destined for the tabletsand shelves of our innovation economy’s leaders.”
—Larry Weber, chairman and CEO, W2 Group

“Leaders become great only when they have overcomeadversity. We learn how to grow from our setbacks. Weinzimmer andMcConoughey have created a simple framework and practicalmethodology to develop an organizational culture that encouragesproductive innovation. The Wisdom of Failure provides uswith the research, case studies, and tools to transform ourfailures into our biggest successes.”
—Jeff DeGraff, professor, Ross School of Business,University of Michigan; author, Innovation You, LeadingInnovation, and Creativity at Work

“Every truly great leader has experienced failure and(more important) learned from it. Organizations that support‘smart’ failure are more innovative, adaptable,resilient, and profitable. In The Wisdom of Failure,Weinzimmer and McConoughey have distilled the key factors that aremost likely to push every one of us off track, and outlined thepractices that leaders, teams, and entire organizations can use tonavigate around those hazards. If you aren’t pushing yourselfto the point where failure is a possibility, you are not comingclose to your potential as a leader. But in today’s times,where acceleration is the new normal, you’ll need this bookas your guide.”
—Eric McNulty, editor, Harvard School of Public Health;coauthor, You’re It! Lessons from CrisisMeta-Leadership

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781118135013
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
10/09/2012
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
1,367,425
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“After reading only one of the chapter headings of The Wisdom of Failure—‘Does This Doorframe Make My Head Look Big?’—I knew I was in for a real treat. Luckily for me, the rest of the book does not disappoint. Through their analysis of many pointed leadership examples in American business, the authors distill corporate lessons into pearls of wisdom from which all of us can learn.”
—Marshall Goldsmith, New York Times bestselling author, MOJO and What Got You Here Won't Get You There

“A definitive piece of work that makes a most compelling connection between understanding failure and experiencing success. A must-read for serious-minded leaders who want to take their businesses to higher ground in an enduring way.”
—Douglas R. Conant, former president, CEO, and director, Campbell Soup Company; New York Times bestselling author, Touchpoints

“In this important new book from Weinzimmer and McConoughey, we discover how true it is, that the best leaders are the best learners. The Wisdom of Failure is a rare, honest look at both sides of the leadership story. Solidly researched and filled with practical examples you can apply immediately, this book should be read by leaders across the board.”
—Jim Kouzes, Dean's Executive Fellow of Leadership, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University; bestselling coauthor, The Leadership Challenge

“All great leaders learn from their mistakes, but mistakes are a precious and costly resource. This provocative and thoughtful book allows you to learn from others’ mistakes, so you can learn without paying the price. Buy copies for everyone on your team and leverage these lessons on your journey to creating extraordinary results.”
—Saj-nicole Joni, confidential CEO advisor; bestselling author, The Right Fight

The Wisdom of Failure is an epiphany. From the very first chapter, Weinzimmer and McConoughey shift the reader’s focus beyond short term accolades and trade-offs to a horizon where a leader can find true success and accomplishment. In their well-researched book, the authors give leaders the tough love they need to learn from their mistakes before their mistakes become costly. A must-read for aspiring, new, and seasoned leaders.”
—Jennifer Robin, Ph.D., author, The Great Workplace

“The importance of understanding failure’s lessons cannot be overstated in today’s fast-moving business environment, and The Wisdom of Failure offers a smart research-based guide to navigating these tough leadership lessons. You’ll be engaged from the very first page.”
—Amy C. Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management, Harvard Business School; author, Teaming

The Wisdom of Failure allows you to benefit from the inevitable growth that comes from failure without having to experience it first-hand. An invaluable read for anyone striving to move themselves and their business forward.”
—Dan Schawbel, founder, Millennial Branding; author, Me 2.0

“Never before has learning from failure been more important—to innovation, to learning, to strategy under uncertainty, and to the development of the next generation of leaders. Ironically, in many organizations the attitude towards failure virtually guarantees not only that people won’t learn its valuable lessons but that they will also suffer the brunt of its downsides. This well-researched and accessible book is a timely summary of how failure can be useful, even essential, and serves as a welcome reminder of the importance of ‘failing forward.’”
—Rita Gunther McGrath, strategy and innovation advisor, Columbia Business School Professor; coauthor, Discovery-Driven Growth

“Having worked with hundreds of emerging companies, I have seen failure in all flavors! Finally we have, in one well-written book, the lessons learned from such experiences. The Wisdom of Failure is an instant business classic destined for the tablets and shelves of our innovation economy’s leaders.”
—Larry Weber, chairman and CEO, W2 Group

“Leaders become great only when they have overcome adversity. We learn how to grow from our setbacks. Weinzimmer and McConoughey have created a simple framework and practical methodology to develop an organizational culture that encourages productive innovation. The Wisdom of Failure provides us with the research, case studies, and tools to transform our failures into our biggest successes.”
—Jeff DeGraff, professor, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan; author, Innovation You, Leading Innovation, and Creativity at Work

“Every truly great leader has experienced failure and (more important) learned from it. Organizations that support ‘smart’ failure are more innovative, adaptable, resilient, and profitable. In The Wisdom of Failure, Weinzimmer and McConoughey have distilled the key factors that are most likely to push every one of us off track, and outlined the practices that leaders, teams, and entire organizations can use to navigate around those hazards. If you aren’t pushing yourself to the point where failure is a possibility, you are not coming close to your potential as a leader. But in today’s times, where acceleration is the new normal, you’ll need this book as your guide.”
—Eric McNulty, editor, Harvard School of Public Health; coauthor, You’re It! Lessons from Crisis Meta-Leadership

Read More

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